St. Louis (45-37) at Colorado (44-38)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 8:40 pm EDT Tue Jul 6, 2010
  • TV: FSMW, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Coors Field has long had a reputation as a home run hitter’s ballpark. Albert Pujols(notes) hasn’t been able to take advantage of that in recent years.

Pujols and the Cardinals meet the Colorado Rockies for the first time this season in the start a three-game series Tuesday night.

Pujols, who will make his ninth All-Star appearance next week, has nine homers in 32 career games in Denver. But the reigning two-time NL MVP has none in eight games there since May 30, 2007, batting .250 with four RBIs.

Pujols, though, remains the Cardinals’ most dangerous batter. He’s hitting .305 and leads the club with 20 homers, 60 RBIs and 91 hits - one more than former Rockies slugger Matt Holliday(notes).

While Pujols has five homers and 10 RBIs in the last eight games, Holliday is homerless in 12 games after going deep in four straight.

St. Louis (45-37) resumes play after a 7-1 win over Milwaukee on Sunday for a split of the four-game series. Adam Wainwright(notes) celebrated his selection as a first-time All-Star by throwing a five-hitter and chipping in a three-run double.

“I was grinning. You can’t not grin unless you’re Albert Pujols and you do it every year,” Wainwright said of being picked.

Also representing the Cardinals at the All-Star game will be Yadier Molina(notes) as starting catcher, Chris Carpenter(notes) and Holliday.

St. Louis’ only win in seven contests versus Colorado last year came Sept. 26 at Coors where Wainwright outpitched Ubaldo Jimenez(notes), who’s 14-1 this season and is headed to the Midsummer Classic with Troy Tulowitzki(notes).

Colorado (44-38) took three of four from San Francisco after a 4-3 win in 15 innings Sunday. Todd Helton’s(notes) sacrifice fly scored Dexter Fowler(notes) with the winning run.

“That’s just an incredible game to win,” manager Jim Tracy said. “It would have been very, very difficult to take to be on the short end of it. I thank God we have a day off (Monday), I really do, because that is going to be very, very beneficial to a lot of people.”

The Rockies’ Jeff Francis(notes) (2-3, 4.67 ERA) will try to bounce back from his shortest - and worst - outing of 2010 when he gets the call Tuesday. The left-hander was tagged for a career high-tying eight runs and seven hits in three innings of a 13-3 loss to San Diego on Wednesday.

The best outing of his career came at Coors against St. Louis, tossing a two-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 7-0 win July 24, 2006. He’s 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals but hasn’t faced them since May 2008 due to shoulder surgery that sidelined him all of last year.

Former reliever Blake Hawksworth(notes) (2-5, 5.02) will make his third straight start for St. Louis and his first against Colorado.

The right-hander allowed two homers among six hits Thursday and struck out a career-high seven in six innings against Milwaukee, but he received no runs of support as the Cardinals fell 4-1.

Hawksworth has no record and a 9.00 ERA in three appearances versus the Rockies.

Colorado’s Clint Barmes(notes), who will try to match the longest hitting streak of his career, is batting .408 during a 12-game run with three homers and 10 RBIs. Barmes’ only hit off Hawksworth was a three-run homer in a 10-1 win June 6, 2009.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

B. Hawksworth LAD vs. J. Francis TOR
4-8 Record 4-6
4.98 ERA 5.00
61 K 67
35 BB 23
1.64 WHIP 1.36

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Jul 6