Cincinnati (56-72) at Colorado (59-70)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 22, 2008
  • TV: FSOH, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Based on the way they’re playing on the road, the Colorado Rockies probably don’t mind that they’re not seeing much of Coors Field these days. Entering their last home series of August, however, they hope to carry some of that road success to their home turf.

After winning five of six on the road, the Rockies hope to continue their strong play as they return to Coors Field to open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

Twelve of Colorado’s last 15 games in August are away from home, but that hasn’t bothered the Rockies (59-70), who opened that stretch with a 5-1 road trip against Washington and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Though they dropped the finale 3-1 to the Dodgers on Thursday, the Rockies are still 11-5 on the road since the All-Star break.

“It was a good challenge coming in,” manager Clint Hurdle told the Rockies’ official Web site. “We’ve played well on the road the last few times out. We won five games. We’d like to win them all, but we’ll take our five and go home.”

Home hasn’t been as friendly to Colorado, which lost all three series and seven of 10 games on its last homestand Aug. 4-14. That stretch included three losses to last-place teams Washington and two to San Diego.

The Rockies hope to get back on track at home against struggling Reds starter Aaron Harang (3-13, 5.59 ERA), who’s coming off two of the worst outings of his seven-year career.

In his first start after a month on the disabled list with a strained forearm, the right-hander set a career high by giving up eight earned runs in four innings of a loss to Houston on Aug. 10. He matched that mark in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-3 loss to St. Louis on Saturday, tying his career high with his 13th defeat of the year.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Harang, a 16-game winner in each of the last two seasons. “I have to sit down and figure it out. It’s one thing after another. … It’s stressing me. It’s no fun right now. I feel like I’m letting my team down.”

Originally scheduled to start Thursday, Harang was pushed back a day because of neck spasms. He’s 3-2 with a 3.55 ERA in five career starts against the Rockies.

Harang takes the mound for a Cincinnati club that went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday to finish the series 0-for-15 in such situations.

“It’s not like we didn’t have the chances,” rookie outfielder Jay Bruce told the Reds’ official Web site. “The big thing in the major leagues, and it’s something I’m learning, you have to capitalize on the chances you have. The more we start doing that, the better off we’re going to be.”

Cincinnati figures to have plenty of opportunities against Colorado starter Livan Hernandez (1-1, 15.58), who leads the majors in hits (216) and runs allowed (108).

In his second start since the Rockies acquired him off waivers from Minnesota, the right-hander gave up six runs in six innings of a 13-6 victory over Washington on Saturday. Four of those runs came in Hernandez’s final inning.

“I think he’s in a lot better place than when he joined us,” Hurdle said. “I just think he fatigued a little bit in the sixth inning.”

Hernandez is 2-6 with a 5.21 ERA in 12 career starts against the Reds. He hasn’t faced them since May 2006.

The Rockies outscored the Reds 23-3 in sweeping a three-game series in Cincinnati from July 25-27.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Harang Atl vs. L. Hernández Mil
6-17 Record 13-11
4.78 ERA 6.05
153 K 67
50 BB 43
1.38 WHIP 1.67

Scoreboard

Friday, Aug 22