Giants-Rockies Preview


With Troy Tulowitzki on a tear, the Colorado Rockies appear to have moved past their recent offensive woes as they try for their first three-game winning streak in almost a month.

The All-Star shortstop, however, will now face a pitcher he's struggled against throughout his career.

Tulowitzki will try to stay hot Sunday and help the Rockies take three of four from the visiting San Francisco Giants, who send Barry Zito to the mound.

After snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Giants with a 10-9 win Friday, Colorado (23-20) rolled to a 10-2 victory the next day.

Tulowitzki matched a career high with four hits as the Rockies scored double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29, 2012. They've won two in a row for the first time since an eight-game run April 12-20.

Since going 2 for 17 over a five-game stretch, Tulowitzki is 11 for 23 with three doubles and four RBIs in his last five. He's batting .410 with eight RBIs during a nine-game home hitting streak against the Giants (24-19).

That surge has sparked a Colorado team that totaled 14 runs and hit .156 during a seven-game span before scoring 38 while batting .313 in its last five.

"We're ready to go," catcher Wilin Rosario, 6 for 14 with two homers in this series, told the team's official website. "We're not afraid to go against any team. We're ready to go hit."

Tulowitzki, though, hasn't fared well against Zito (3-2, 3.40 ERA), batting .159 with two extra-base hits in 44 career at-bats. He's 4 for 34 (.118) with eight strikeouts versus the left-hander since the start of 2008.

Teammate Dexter Fowler has gone 5 for 10 in the past two games, but he's also struggled against Zito with two hits in his last 14 at-bats.

Zito will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing, having allowed eight runs - five earned - and a season-high 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 10-6 loss to Toronto on Tuesday.

He appears to have a favorable matchup as he tries to get back on track, as he's won six straight decisions versus the Rockies and gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in the past four starts against them. Zito gave up seven hits in seven innings of a 10-0 home win over Colorado on April 10.

In his last appearance at Coors Field, he threw a four-hitter in a 7-0 victory April 9, 2012.

The Giants, however, will have to tighten up defensively behind Zito, having committed 12 errors while dropping four of five on a road trip that concludes Sunday.

"We just came off a really good homestand and everything's that hit is either not at us or we're having some difficulties handling tough balls. It's a funk,'' right fielder Hunter Pence said.

Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio (3-1, 5.13) is coming off his worst start of the season, a 9-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Nicasio gave up five runs in six innings.

He'll make his first career home start against the Giants. Nicasio walked a season-high five and allowed four runs over five innings of a 9-6 defeat at San Francisco on April 9.

Former Colorado infielder Marco Scutaro went 2 for 3 with an RBI in that contest and is batting .486 during a 17-game hitting streak.