Rockies-Giants Preview


With losses piling up, the Colorado Rockies are hoping they don't have to play too long without Troy Tulowitzki.

The All-Star shortstop appeared to avoid a major injury during a freak incident in San Francisco, but his status is unknown for the Rockies' attempt to continue their success against Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum.

Tulowitzki injured his left leg Monday night when he was struck by teammate Dexter Fowler's foul ball while standing on the dugout steps. He initially stayed in the came but was removed after hobbling to first on an infield single.

Subsequent X-rays showed no bone break or major damage, and the shortstop is considered day to day.

"All I can tell you is we dodged a serious bullet there," manager Jim Tracy said. "If that ball would have been a couple of inches left, it might have hit him right in the kneecap. We were really fortunate."

That's not a word that would describe the Rockies lately - they're 1-9 over their last 10 games and 1-6 on a road trip against NL West foes.

Colorado - batting .212 over its last eight games - had five hits during Monday's 3-2 defeat, with Wilin Rosario recording his team's lone RBI on a solo homer. Buster Posey and Brett Pill hit RBI singles for the Giants (18-17) in the eighth inning.

With or without Tulowitzki, the Rockies (13-21) will try to continue to make it difficult on Lincecum (2-3, 5.89 ERA). The right-hander gave up a season-high six runs while failing to make it past the third inning for the first time in his career during a 17-8 loss to Colorado on April 11.

Lincecum also surrendered seven runs during a 7-4 defeat last May but only three were earned. His six losses over 18 matchups are tied for his most against any team.

The right-hander, though, is 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA in his last four home matchups against Colorado, but the most recent of those, however, took place Sept. 1, 2010. He's also 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his past two starts at AT&T Park.

If he can avoid the big inning, Lincecum might have a chance to continue that success and power the Giants to a season-high fourth straight win. He's allowed a combined seven runs in his last two starts, three during the opening frame of a 6-4 loss to Milwaukee on May 4 and four in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 6-2 defeat to Los Angeles.

Before that frame, Lincecum had fanned six of the 12 batters he faced.

"I thought he had great stuff," manager Bruce Bochy told the team's website. "It was electric at times. He should be encouraged. We are. Unfortunately, that (fourth) inning counts."

Lincecum's first loss since April 16 also marked the fourth time in seven outings this season he's failed to pitch beyond the fifth inning. His counterpart Tuesday, Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.92), had lasted seven innings in three of his four outings this season before going on the disabled list for a sprained right shoulder suffered April 27 after the chain to his bicycle fell off and sent him tumbling on the way to Coors Field.

The only outing in which the right-hander struggled, though, was against San Francisco on April 11. He allowed six runs and nine hits over 3 1-3 innings in that game and is 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in his two career matchups.

Melky Cabrera had two hits off Guthrie last month and is 13 for 34 (.382) with five doubles in his career versus the right-hander.

Todd Helton's 13 hits are tied for the most by any batter against Lincecum. He's hitting .371 versus the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, and Carlos Gonzalez had a pair of RBI triples during the matchup in April.