The Colorado Rockies may prefer to have a whole series against the Philadelphia Phillies as they chase the NL wild-card leaders, but they’ll hope to make the most of one game as the teams make up a May rainout Thursday at Coors Field.
Colorado (69-63) already squandered a chance to gain ground on another opponent this week.
The Rockies’ 2-1 win at San Francisco on Monday was their seventh in eight games, but they totaled three runs while dropping their next two to the Giants - remaining seven games behind NL West-leading San Diego and four back of San Francisco.
They’re also 5 1/2 games behind Philadelphia, which has stayed atop the wild card race by going 5-1 to begin its seven-game road trip.
The Phillies (75-58) followed a three-game sweep at San Diego by taking two of three from the Dodgers, racking up 13 runs and 19 hits in victories Tuesday and Wednesday.
Some of the biggest bats for the two-time reigning NL champions may be awakening. Jimmy Rollins(notes) went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run in Wednesday’s 5-1 win, raising his disappointing average to .244, while Ryan Howard’s(notes) first homer since July 27 - a three-run shot - powered Tuesday’s 8-4 victory.
“It’s pretty amazing what these guys are able to turn it on when it counts,” closer Brad Lidge(notes) told the Phillies’ official website. “I think that’s the one thing we’ve done the past couple years since I’ve been here. It takes everybody to do it, but it’s a pretty great group of players.”
While Philadelphia is 11-2 on the road since the start of August, Colorado has won 12 of 15 at home. The Rockies have averaged 3.5 runs while going 26-42 on the road, but they’ve scored 5.8 per game in Denver, where they own a 43-21 record.
They’ve struggled everywhere, however, against the Phillies lately. The Rockies are 4-17 versus Philadelphia since the start of 2008, including a four-game defeat in last year’s NL division series.
Colorado has dropped five of six in the 2010 season series, which wraps up Thursday.
Blanton (6-6, 5.15 ERA) is unbeaten in his last seven outings for Philadelphia, going 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in that stretch - including a win over Colorado on July 26. He held the Rockies to two runs in six innings of a 5-4 victory.
He’s walked one batter in 19 1-3 innings over his last three starts, a major reason why he’s 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA over that span.
The 22-year-old Chacin (7-9, 3.79) has allowed one run and seven hits over 14 2-3 innings while winning back-to-back starts, regaining his grip on a rotation spot after a stint in the minors from July 24-Aug. 16.
The rookie fanned seven in seven innings of Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Dodgers, giving him 109 strikeouts in 102 innings.
“Another terrific performance by that young kid,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Carlos Gonzalez(notes) also continues to impress for the Rockies. The 24-year-old outfielder was his team’s lone offensive bright spot in a 2-1 loss Wednesday, going 3 for 4 with a home run. He’s 17 for 33 (.515) with five homers and 13 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.