The Colorado Rockies didn’t lose any ground in the NL West on a night when they didn’t take the field. They’ll return to the field Friday and try to continue their late playoff push when they open a six-game road trip with a weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After avoiding a three-game sweep to San Diego with a 9-6 victory Wednesday, the Rockies (80-66) were idle Thursday. The Padres lost 4-0 at St. Louis and fell one-half game behind San Francisco, which moved atop the division with a 10-2 victory over the Dodgers (72-75). Colorado remained in third place 2 1/2 games behind.
The Rockies face the Giants for what could be a huge series when they return home Sept. 24, but they first must focus on better run production away from Coors Field. Colorado is 29-42 on the road, due in part to a .228 batting average and 3.5 runs per game there. However, the last time the Rockies took to the road they swept three games in San Diego from Sept. 3-5.
“I take exception sitting here and listening to the interpretation that we’re such a horrible, horrific club on the road,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official web site. “… We haven’t hit on the road like we have here at Coors Field (where the Rockies are batting .304 and scoring 6.0 runs per game).”
Carlos Gonzalez(notes) and Troy Tulowitzki(notes), the NL’s top two hitters at .341 and .325, respectively, will try to help Colorado win four in a row on the road for the first time since May 22-June 1.
A .288 road hitter, Gonzalez is batting .477 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in his last 23 games, with the Rockies going 17-6 in that span.
Tulowitzki, who is hitting .323 on the road since returning from the disabled list in late July, is batting .386 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in his last 14 games. He is one homer shy of tying a franchise record with 12 in one month.
“The game’s not that easy. I’m just hot right now,” Tulowitzki said after hitting two out of the park and matching a career high with seven RBIs on Wednesday.
The Colorado shortstop is 3 for 16 lifetime against scheduled Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda(notes) (10-12, 3.32 ERA), who is 2-2 despite a 2.32 ERA in his last six starts as he’s received a paltry 14 total runs of support.
The right-hander threw six innings of one-run ball, but did not earn a decision in Friday’s 4-2, 11-inning victory at Houston.
Kuroda is 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts against Colorado in 2010, and 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA in six career outings versus the Rockies.
Colorado will counter with ace Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) (18-6, 2.75), who looks to join Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay(notes) and New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia(notes) as the major leagues’ only 19-game winners.
The right-hander, who already owns the franchise record for single-season wins, is 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles this season.
Colorado has lost 12 of 16 at Dodger Stadium since winning its last series at Chavez Ravine from Aug. 19-21, 2008.