Rockies-Marlins Preview

The Associated Press

The Colorado Rockies let victories slip away in their last two contests to extend their frustrating slump, while a lack of offense - which has been the trend all season - has contributed to the Miami Marlins' latest skid.

Jhoulys Chacin takes the hill Friday night for visiting Colorado seeking his first career victory over the Marlins, who look to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

The Rockies (59-70) led Philadelphia by one run heading into the ninth in the final two of their four-game set, but Rafael Betancourt allowed a pair of runs in each instance as they lost 4-3 on Wednesday and 5-4 on Thursday.

Wilin Rosario, who has homered in three straight as part of a 13-game hitting streak, hit a three-run shot in the series finale for Colorado, which has dropped five of six.

"He's been swinging the bat well for a few weeks,'' manager Walt Weiss said. "He's an impact offensive player.''

The Rockies will look to bounce back with help from Chacin, who is coming off a rare tough performance.

Chacin (11-7, 3.24 ERA) had pitched at least six innings in each of his previous seven starts while boasting a 2.02 ERA in that stretch, but he allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 loss at Baltimore on Sunday.

The right-hander decided to pitch just one day after the passing of his grandmother.

"He was pretty emotional and pitching with a heavy heart, but he battled and he wanted to stay out there," Weiss said. "He competed well."

It marked the first time Chacin yielded more than two runs in his 10 road starts this season, falling to 4-4 with a 2.14 ERA there. He pitched well against the Marlins on July 23 in Colorado, but he suffered a 4-2 loss despite giving up three runs - two earned - in seven innings.

Chacin is 0-4 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts and two relief appearances versus Miami, which scored five runs while losing the final three of its four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Marlins (48-78) got a solo homer from Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning of Wednesday's 4-1 defeat, then were shut out for the final 17 frames following Thursday's 6-0 loss.

Miami, which ranks last in the majors in runs and batting average, has gone 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position during its skid.

"Runs are going to be a premium for us, and we had that opportunity several times,'' manager Mike Redmond said. "It's definitely an area we need to improve - driving in runs - especially early.''

The Marlins have a 5.29 ERA while losing five of seven, and they'll turn to Tom Koehler in the series opener.

Koehler (3-8, 4.66), though, has pitched fewer than six innings in each of his last three starts while going 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA. He allowed three runs and walked four in five innings of Miami's 6-5 win over San Francisco on Monday.

The right-hander was solid against the Rockies on July 22, though, giving up a solo homer to Ed Lucas and eight hits overall while striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-2 victory.

"At the beginning of any series, you want to set the tone," Koehler said. "You want to set the tone from a pitching standpoint, and set the bar for what you want the guys to do the rest of the way."

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