Though Colorado Rockies veteran Jorge De La Rosa(notes) has won seven straight starts, he might be weary of a matchup with Philadelphia. Lately, though, the Phillies’ lineup isn’t scaring many pitchers.
The Rockies, with a chance to win six straight, hope De La Rosa can end his struggles against the slumping Phillies in the middle of a three-game set Wednesday night.
Colorado (59-47) extended its winning streak Tuesday night with an 8-3 victory over NL East-leading Philadelphia (59-45), which has lost five of six. The Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in each of those defeats, getting shut out twice.
It’s an unusual rut for Philadelphia, which has one of the majors’ most productive lineups.
De La Rosa (9-7, 4.68 ERA) couldn’t stop the Phillies on April 11, surrendering five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss. He’s 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in three career starts versus Philadelphia.
The left-hander, however, enters this contest having won a franchise-record seven straight starts, posting a 2.70 ERA during that span. His latest victory came Thursday night, when he gave up two runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings as Colorado beat the New York Mets 4-2.
De La Rosa had never won more than three consecutive starts.
“I feel great. I feel more relaxed right now,” said De La Rosa, who is 9-1 in his last 10 outings. “I think I’m pitching very good so I just have to be focused every game I go out and pitch.”
Philadelphia will counter with J.A. Happ(notes) (7-2, 2.97), who has given up three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. The left-hander allowed two runs and three hits while striking out five in six innings against Arizona on Wednesday, but Philadelphia lost 4-0.
Happ’s only appearance against the Rockies was in relief. He yielded one hit in 2 1-3 scoreless innings of a 10-3 Phillies loss April 10.
The Phillies ended up acquiring Cliff Lee(notes) from Cleveland last Wednesday and they’ll soon have to make room for veteran right-hander Pedro Martinez(notes). Happ or Jamie Moyer(notes) may be removed from the rotation.
“We haven’t talked about that yet,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
The third baseman gave Colorado a boost Tuesday versus Philadelphia lefty Jamie Moyer, hitting a two-run homer as part of a season-high four-RBI performance.
“When you’re playing every day, if you have one bad game, there’s always tomorrow,” Atkins said. “When you’re a bench guy, you put more pressure on yourself to prove that you deserve to be playing. The key is not trying to do too much.”
Victorino is hitting .429 (15 for 35) in his last 10 games against the Rockies and is 3 for 6 with a homer versus De La Rosa.