Rockies-Giants Preview

The Associated PressMay 14, 2012

The Colorado Rockies' Christian Friedrich impressed in his major league debut last week, slowing down one of the weaker offenses in baseball.

He'll get a chance to face another one of the majors' least intimidating lineups in his second start.

Friedrich tries to provide the slumping Rockies with another lift Monday night at AT&T Park in the opener of this two-game set against the San Francisco Giants, who are hoping Ryan Vogelsong can win a fifth consecutive start in this series.

In the midst of an eight-game road swing, Colorado (13-20) suffered a three-game sweep in Los Angeles over the weekend. The Rockies issued 10 walks over a five-inning stretch and allowed a combined nine runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth frames of Sunday's 11-5 loss.

"There's no way of saying it nicely. That's awful," manager Jim Tracy said. "There's not a whole lot else to say. You walk nine guys form the fifth inning on, I don't care where you play, you're going to lose."

Colorado has compiled a 6.23 ERA during a 1-8 slide - with its only victory coming Wednesday behind a great effort from Friedrich (1-0, 1.50 ERA). The 24-year-old left-hander gave up one earned run, five hits and struck out seven over six innings of a 6-2 win at San Diego.

"I guess it's a dream come true," he said. "I struggled the last two years (in the minors). To come up here and have some success, I know it's only one, but it feels great. It's a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I can go out and there and do my thing."

While the Giants (17-17) rank in the bottom third in the majors in runs (126) and homers (24), they're coming off one of their stronger offensive displays of the year.

After falling 5-1 at Arizona on Friday, San Francisco posted back-to-back victories to conclude its six-game trek. Brett Pill hit his third homer and Melky Cabrera went 4 for 5 with a pair of runs as the Giants had a season-high 14 hits in Sunday's 7-3 win.

"We had some good at-bats there," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Guys did a nice job on this trip bouncing back."

Cabrera has been locked in of late, batting .468 during an 11-game hitting streak. He went 13 for 26 on the Giants' trip.

"He's on fire,'' Bochy said, "from both sides. He's a good hitter. He had a breakout year last year and we're excited to have him, believe me."

Cabrera has collected 12 hits in 22 at-bats (.545) - including a pair of homers - in his last five games against Colorado.

Looking to win three straight for the first time since April 17-20, San Francisco should feel confident as it turns to Vogelsong (1-2, 2.94) in the opener of a seven-game homestand.

Vogelsong outdueled reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and earned his first win during Tuesday's 2-1 road victory over the Dodgers. The right-hander yielded a run and eight hits in a season-high 7 1-3 innings.

"This is as strong as he's been this year as far as both sides of the plate, changing speeds," catcher Buster Posey said. "He's always got such a good focus. That's what's been so impressive."

Unfortunately for Colorado, it knows just how dominant Vogelsong can be. Vogelsong compiled a 1.01 ERA in winning each of his four starts against the Rockies last season, limiting them to a .144 average. He was 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA at home.

Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are a combined 0 for 14 against Vogelsong.