Colorado (59-54) at New York (56-57)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 12:10 pm EDT Thu Aug 12, 2010
  • TV: SNY
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Colorado has not won a road series against the New York Mets in a little more than eight years. It likely will need to get the best of Johan Santana(notes) in order to do it again.

The Rockies can earn that elusive series win in Queens with a second straight victory Thursday afternoon over the Mets, who could be without closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Melvin Mora’s(notes) grand slam highlighted a five-run eighth inning in Colorado’s 6-2 win Wednesday night that evened its set with New York. The Rockies (59-54) have won four times in 26 games in Queens since last winning a series there May 10-12, 2002.

Despite the club’s futility in New York, the approach of the Colorado players remains the same no matter where they play.

“The best way to play this game is to keep it as simple as you possibly can,” outfielder Brad Hawpe(notes) told the Rockies’ official website.

Securing a winning series might not be easy against Santana (9-6, 3.06 ERA), who is 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA over a span of eight starts. After allowing 11 runs and 22 hits in his previous two outings, Santana gave up five hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 1-0 win at Philadelphia on Saturday.

The left-hander was excellent in his only appearance against the Rockies at Citi Field on July 30, 2009, giving up four hits and striking out eight in seven innings of a 7-0 win.

“You spot him a (big) lead and the hole is close to being impossible to climb out of,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said after that game.

Jason Hammel(notes) (8-6, 4.38) took the loss in that contest after giving up five runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings in his only appearance against the Mets.

The right-hander hopes for a better effort Wednesday as he tries to build on his first win in a month. Hammel was 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in four starts since beating San Diego on July 10, but allowed only a three-run homer in his sixth and final inning of a 6-3 win at Pittsburgh on Friday.

Even after that solid effort, Hammel expects to pitch better.

“It’s just disappointing that there’s always that one inning that I’m giving up runs - dominate for five straight and then, bam,” Hammel said.

The 38-year-old Mora hit his third homer of the season, and joined Troy Tulowitzki(notes) and Todd Helton(notes) with two hits apiece Wednesday as the Rockies improved to 3-3 on a seven-game trip.

Tulowitzki is 14 for 29 in his last seven games. The shortstop is a lifetime .321 hitter against the Mets on the road.

The Mets, who have lost six of nine to open August, could be without Rodriguez after he was charged with third-degree assault late Wednesday night after scuffling with his father-in-law at Citi Field, police said.

Rodriguez was arrested and being held at the ballpark early Thursday, police said. His father-in-law was in a hospital with a scrape on his face and a bump on his head.

“There was an incident at the ballpark between Francisco Rodriguez and his family. He was questioned by police and all other questions pertaining to this matter can be addressed to police,” Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

Mets All-Star third baseman David Wright(notes) went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts Wednesday, and is 2 for 33 in his last nine games.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Hammel ChC vs. J. Santana Tor
10-9 Record 11-9
4.81 ERA 2.98
141 K 144
47 BB 55
1.40 WHIP 1.18

Scoreboard

Thursday, Aug 12