The Colorado Rockies squandered a chance to move up the NL wild card standings on Friday night.
The inconsistent Rockies will try once again to bounce back from a loss as they meet the Florida Marlins on Saturday in the middle game of their weekend series.
Colorado (76-71) won three in a row from Sept. 2-4, but have dropped five of their last nine. Though the Rockies lost two straight just once in that stretch, they’ve also strung together back-to-back wins once.
Jamie Baker and Matt Holliday homered for the Rockies, but they lost 7-6 in the series opener on Friday night. The defeat, combined with San Diego’s 5-4 win in 10 innings over last-place San Francisco, dropped Colorado 3 1/2 games behind the wild card-leading Padres.
Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3. 4.04 ERA) looks to continue his recent strong pitching. The rookie right-hander has allowed two runs or less in four of his last six starts, winning two of them and posting an impressive 2.39 ERA.
On Monday at Philadelphia, Jimenez didn’t get a decision in the 6-5, 10-inning loss. He lasted six innings, and gave up two runs and four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Jimenez has allowed 19 runs in 34 innings over six starts at Coors Field, but nine of those runs came in a two-plus inning stint during a 10-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 9.
This will be Jimenez’s first appearance against Florida, which will send struggling Sergio Mitre (5-8, 4.74) to the mound. The right-hander hasn’t won in seven starts since defeating San Francisco on July 29.
Mitre has failed to pitch into the seventh inning during any of those games, going 0-3 with an 8.82 ERA. He’ll make his first appearance since Sept. 5, when he lasted just two-thirds of an inning in a 6-4 loss at Washington.
Mitre, who gave up three runs, four hits and walked two, couldn’t pinpoint a reason for his struggles.
“If I’m still around I’ll let you know. I’m trying to figure it out myself,” he said. “I don’t know what to tell you other than I don’t know.”
Mitre has not faced Colorado this season, nor has he ever pitched in Denver. He’s 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three career starts versus the Rockies.
Willis lasted six innings and gave up five runs and seven hits to improve to 3-0 lifetime against the Rockies. Hermida homered, singled and drove in three, and is batting .349 (15-for-43) with three homers during a 10-game hitting streak.
The Marlins (64-83) have scored 25 runs and pounded out 45 hits during their win streak. They last won four straight from May 18-22 to move one game under .500 at 22-23.