With Tulowitzki out and the status of Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler uncertain, the Rockies go for a rare win over the Phillies in the opener of this three-game series at Coors Field on Friday night.
Colorado (35-32) has dropped 29 of its last 37 meetings - including playoffs - with Philadelphia, including 12 of 15 at home thanks in large part to a 6.31 ERA.
However, it’s the offense that is a bigger concern heading into the teams’ first matchup of 2013, specifically Tulowitzki.
The All-Star shortstop and cleanup hitter is out at least four weeks with a broken rib on his right side, suffered while diving for a grounder in Thursday’s 5-4 loss to Washington.
“When he came off, it was very evident he was done,” manager Walt Weiss told the team’s official website of Tulowitzki, the team leader with a .347 average and second with 15 homers and 51 RBIs.
Weiss may also be without Gonzalez and Fowler, who also were hurt Thursday. Gonzalez was hit by a foul ball waiting on deck in the first inning and suffered a bruised left foot, while Fowler was hit by a pitch on the right hand after squaring to bunt in the third.
They’re considered day-to-day.
Gonzalez is batting .299 with team highs of 18 homers and 52 RBIs, while Fowler is hitting .404 with 13 runs over the past 12 games.
The Rockies could be hard-pressed to snap a five-game skid against the Phillies without three of their best hitters.
Gonzalez is hitting .365 over his last 15 meetings, going 11 for 23 (.478) in five home matchups. Fowler is 9 for 20 over his past five games with Philadelphia (32-35).
The Phillies are hoping a series with the Rockies can get them rolling again after ending a season-high five-game slide with Thursday’s 3-2 win at Minnesota. They had won five straight prior to that losing streak.
Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.22 ERA) looks to continue his run of solid outings for Philadelphia. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last three starts, losing his last outing 4-3 at Milwaukee on Saturday after allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Kendrick is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA in six road starts, but the last two have been his worst of the season. He’s yielded eight runs in 11 innings in those games.
His last start at Coors Field on Aug. 2, 2011, was by far the best of the four he’s had there. Kendrick limited the Rockies to four hits in eight innings of a 5-0 victory.
Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.61) is scheduled to counter for Colorado, seeking to end a four-start winless stretch.
The right-hander was superb through the first five innings Sunday against San Diego, retiring the first 16 batters before allowing two runs and leaving after the sixth of an 8-7 win in 10.
He is 1-4 with an 8.17 ERA in six career starts against NL East teams.