The Reds will try to snap a five-game losing streak in this matchup Monday night.
After sweeping San Francisco at home from July 29-31, Cincinnati (55-59) lost two of three to Houston and the Chicago Cubs - the NL’s two worst clubs - on a trip that ended with Sunday’s 8-7 victory at Wrigley Field to avoid a sweep.
“We fought hard for that one big time,” manager Dusty Baker said after the Reds ended a three-game skid. “Just got to take it one at a time and hopefully get back to .500. That’s number one - get back to .500. We’ve been knocking on that door for a long time.”
Getting back to the break-even point against Colorado (53-62) seems unlikely, though, as the Rockies open this four-game set having won 19 of 22 between the teams.
However, the right-hander is coming off one of his better outings this season, a 5-1 win at Houston on Tuesday when he gave up one run in a season-high eight innings. He retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced to win for the third time in four starts.
Bailey will face a Rockies team that just finished a 2-5 homestand. One day after pounding out 19 hits in a 15-7 victory, Colorado had nine singles and stranded 11 runners in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Washington.
“This isn’t the first time on a Sunday that we played like this,” manager Jim Tracy said following his club’s 16th straight Sunday loss.
The Rockies, winners of nine of 12 in Cincinnati, will open their seven-game trip with Jason Hammel(notes) (6-11, 4.88) on the hill. The right-hander is 1-3 with an 8.18 ERA in his last four starts after yielding six runs and eight hits in Wednesday’s 8-6 loss to Philadelphia.
“I am infuriated,” Hammel told the Rockies’ official website. “This is unacceptable. This loss is on me.”
Hammel is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in three career starts versus Cincinnati.
While the Reds have been hampered by key injuries to Scott Rolen(notes), Chris Heisey(notes) and most recently All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips(notes)—recovering from a sprained right ankle suffered Saturday—the club’s rookies have made some nice contributions.
“I’m big on defense,” Baker said. “He saved some runs today.”
The Reds’ outfielders might get plenty of work the way Troy Tulowitzki(notes) is hitting. The All-Star shortstop, 5 for 7 with a double off Bailey, is batting .611 (11 for 18) with a homer and five RBIs in the last five games.
Tulowitzki is 15 for 39 (.385) in nine career games in Cincinnati.
He is 3 for 10 with doubles and a homer off Hammel.