Returning home from another disappointing road trip, the Colorado Rockies realize time is running out to make a playoff push.
With another trip looming, continuing their home dominance against the Milwaukee Brewers is imperative.
The Rockies look to beat the Brewers for the 12th time in 14 games at Coors Field in Friday night’s series opener.
Colorado (59-55) finished a seven-game trip against NL-worst Pittsburgh and the slumping New York Mets with three wins. The Rockies return home six games back of wild card-leading San Francisco following Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Mets, the second time in three days they were shut out.
“The clock is on,” Carlos Gonzalez(notes) told the Rockies’ official website. “We know we have to do something about it, because we don’t have very much time. But at the same time, we don’t need to add any pressure, or it’s going to be worse.”
Returning home should help reduce some of the pressure.
Colorado has the league’s third-best home record at 36-19, but isn’t home for long. This three-game series against the Brewers marks the Rockies’ only home dates in a 16-game stretch. Colorado, 5-13 away from Coors since the All-Star break, opens a six-game trip Tuesday against the Dodgers.
First, the Rockies hope to take advantage of Milwaukee (54-62), which has lost six of nine away from Miller Park.
Colorado took two of three from the Brewers at Coors in late June, and has won 11 of 13 meetings there.
Troy Tulowitzki(notes) is leading this charge. The All-Star shortstop, who missed the last Milwaukee series with a fractured left wrist, is batting .625 with three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in six career home games against the Brewers with the Rockies winning each time.
Gallardo gave up four runs and eight hits while striking out seven in six innings in Sunday’s 11-6 win over Houston.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in his last five road starts - a stretch that includes an 8-7 loss at Coors Field on June 19, when he gave up one run in six innings without a decision. Gallardo struck out nine Rockies in that game, and his 10.1 strikeouts per nine-inning ratio is best in the NL.
He’ll look to keep this going against a Colorado team that struck out 10 times Thursday, and ranks fourth in the majors with 892.
The Brewers, just behind the Rockies with 885 strikeouts, avoided a four-game sweep to Arizona with Thursday’s 8-4 win. Casey McGehee(notes) went 4 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs, and set a franchise record with his ninth straight hit to break the mark set by Ryan Braun in 2008.
Braun is 0 for 6 with three strikeouts after sitting out a game with a sore left wrist, and a series against Colorado might help him get back on track.
The three-time All-Star has a 17-game hitting streak against the Rockies, batting .391 with three homers, seven doubles and 14 RBIs. He is also 6 for 7 with a homer and two doubles lifetime against scheduled starter Jorge De La Rosa(notes) (4-3, 5.01).
De La Rosa gave up three runs, five hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings in Saturday’s 8-7, 10-inning loss to Pittsburgh.
This will be the right-hander’s first start against Milwaukee since giving up two runs and four hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of a 4-2 win June 10, 2009. He had a 14.54 ERA in losing his first two starts versus the Brewers.