Athletics-Rockies Preview

The Associated PressJune 13, 2012

Interleague play is only adding to the Colorado Rockies' misery.

The Rockies look to snap their six-game skid overall and avoid a ninth consecutive interleague defeat Wednesday night against the Oakland Athletics at Coors Field.

Colorado (24-36) appeared to be in good shape to record its first interleague victory this season after jumping out to a 4-0 first inning-lead Tuesday. However, Jeremy Guthrie allowed six runs in the third and the Rockies fell 8-5 to Oakland.

The Rockies, 0-7 against AL opponents in 2012, have been outscored 52-21 during their second six-game losing streak of 2012. Colorado starting pitchers have a whopping 14.23 ERA during the current skid.

"We need some people to pitch some good innings for us in the early part of the game,'' manager Jim Tracy said.

Brandon Moss hit two of the four home runs Tuesday for Oakland (27-35), which snapped a three-game skid to improve to 2-5 during interleague play in 2012. Three of Moss' four hits in 17 at-bats in six games since being recalled from the minors earlier this month have left the park.

"Any time you're new to the team and it's the middle of the year, you want to come in and produce right away,'' said Moss, playing for his fourth team in six years.

Oakland hopes to extend the Rockies' struggles when it faces ex-Athletic Josh Outman (0-2, 8.18 ERA), who makes his third straight start replacing Jamie Moyer in Colorado's rotation.

Outman went 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 games - 25 starts - in three seasons with the A's before they traded him and pitcher Guillermo Moscoso to Colorado for outfielder Seth Smith in January. The left-hander made his first eight appearances out of the bullpen for the Rockies before he allowed two hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 1 in his first start.

He wasn't nearly as sharp in a 6-1 loss at Arizona on Wednesday, yielding five runs and seven hits in three innings.

Todd Helton and Tyler Colvin each homered Tuesday for Colorado, which is 8 for 32 with runners in scoring position over the last three games. Colvin, though, is 7 for 10 with four homers and six RBIs in the last three games.

The Rockies will get their first look at Oakland's Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.77), who takes the ball Wednesday after scheduled starter Brandon McCarthy was scratched with a sore shoulder. McCarthy is expected to undergo an MRI on Wednesday.

Milone is 0-2 in his last three starts but has a 3.86 ERA during that span. He allowed four runs and two homers in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 9-8 loss at Arizona on Friday. Milone delivered a two-run single in the defeat, giving him five RBIs in nine career at-bats.

The left-hander is making his first appearance against the Rockies.

Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes has been held out of Oakland's lineup for four straight games because of a strained hamstring, but could be back Wednesday.

"We're probably a little more careful with a guy as aggressive as he is," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "He does pretty much everything max effort."

Cespedes is 7 for 13 with a homer and four RBIs in his last four games.