Rangers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Troy Tulowitzki is on a torrid pace this season at Coors Field and that has led to the highest batting average in the majors.

The same holds true for the Colorado Rockies.

Tulowitzki and the Rockies go for another offensive onslaught against the struggling Texas Rangers on Tuesday night before this series shifts venues.

Tulowitzki's .408 average is the highest in baseball by 48 points over AL-leader Shin-Soo Choo of Texas.

The All-Star shortstop has done the vast majority of his damage at home, where he's batting .596 with six of his nine homers and 21 of 29 RBIs.

While those numbers would seem more accustomed to appearing in a video game, Tulowitzki's recent production has been even better. He's 13 for 20 with 10 RBIs in his past five home games.

He connected for a pair of two-run homers Monday, leading the Rockies (20-14) to an 8-2 victory over the Rangers in the first of two meetings at Coors Field. The four-game set switches to Arlington on Wednesday for the first of two games.

"If there was a good pitch to hit I was definitely going to offer," Tulowitzki said after walking in his final plate appearance. "You do think about three home runs but it's not like I was trying to go deep, I was trying to put together a good at-bat."

Colorado is also pounding the ball at home, leading baseball with a .344 average, 31 homers and 7.4 runs per game. Those numbers are in stark contrast to the team's .254 average on the road, where it's hit 16 homers and averaged 4.0 runs.

Tulowitzki is getting ample help from Nolan Arenado, who homered Monday to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest in the majors this season and the second-longest in franchise history. He is batting .354 with four home runs and 16 RBIs during the run.

The Rockies' red-hot offense will face Robbie Ross Jr. (1-2, 3.86 ERA) on Tuesday. The left-hander is coming of the worst start of his career, allowing seven runs in the third inning before yielding three more in the fourth and leaving with one out in Wednesday's 12-1 loss to Oakland.

"Obviously, it's not what I wanted to happen," Ross told the team's official website. "Obviously, I'm trying to make good pitches. It's on me. I've still got to go out and battle."

Ross will try to help prevent Texas (17-15) from losing for the seventh time in nine games. The Rangers have scored 33 runs during that span but 14 came in Sunday's rout of the Angels.

Colorado, which has won seven of eight at home against Texas, is slated to send Juan Nicasio (3-1, 4.19) to the mound.

The right-hander yielded three hits in seven scoreless innings of a 7-4 home win over the New York Mets on Thursday. That was a dramatic improvement after he allowed 10 runs and 15 hits - four homers - in 9 1-3 innings over his previous two outings.

"All my breaking balls worked and I had good command of my fastball, too," Nicasio said. "That's why I was good. I threw a lot of sliders for strikes, my fastball was down in the zone."

That hasn't been the case over his last three interleague starts at home, going 0-1 with a 6.60 ERA.

He'll have to contend with Choo, who is 9 for 13 in his last four games overall and 9 for 17 with four doubles and a homer over his last four in Denver.

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