Rockies-Nationals Preview

The Associated Press

His record certainly doesn't reflect it, but Jorge De La Rosa has been a better pitcher on the road in his six years with the Colorado Rockies.

Never has that been more true than in his past three starts away from Denver.

De La Rosa has given up a grand total of one run in a fantastic stretch he'd love to continue Sunday as the visiting Rockies try to salvage a split of this four-game set with the Washington Nationals.

De La Rosa (7-4, 3.21 ERA) is 30-12 at home since arriving in Colorado in 2008, while he's 16-20 away from Coors Field.

At home, though, he's had the highest run-support average in the majors in that span (7.26 per nine innings). That's three runs more than he's received on the road (4.24), the big reason for a record that doesn't reflect his ERA (4.05) and opponents' OPS (.718) being considerably lower outside of Denver.

The left-hander has never had a better road stretch than this that began May 12, yet he has only one win to show for it. De La Rosa has pitched exactly seven innings in his past three starts away from home, giving up a total of eight hits and one run.

He only gave up one hit Monday in Toronto, a sixth-inning single, before being forced to exit after seven with a bruise on the tip of his thumb. The Blue Jays scored the game's only two runs in the eighth, but De La Rosa expects to be fine.

His sense of humor certainly is. De La Rosa, who had been bothered by a cut on his hand in his previous two starts, joked "my hand hates me."

"It's not anything that's going to be an issue with his next start,'' manager Walt Weiss said of the bruise. "It just made him uncomfortable (Monday).''

De La Rosa didn't make the Nationals (37-37) particularly uncomfortable at Coors Field on June 12, giving up three runs and four hits over 5 1-3 innings. But aside from being on the road Sunday, he has something else going for him. At 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in five starts, De La Rosa has been brilliant during daytime outings.

Colorado (38-38) finally got its dormant offense going in Saturday's matinee. After totaling seven runs during a five-game skid to begin this road trip, the Rockies broke out with three in the first inning en route to a 7-1 victory.

"It's all about winning games," Weiss said. "You don't want to dwell too much on what's happened the previous four or five days or the previous week. You show up the next day and try to win a ballgame."

Colorado wore its batting practice jerseys at starter Jhoulys Chacin's request Saturday to try to emerge from its hitting slump, and Weiss said the attire likely won't change in the finale.

One player who certainly isn't slumping is Michael Cuddyer, who singled in his first at-bat Saturday to extend his hitting streak to 20 games - tied for the majors' longest this season. Cuddyer has reached base safely in 39 straight games, breaking the Rockies record set by Matt Holliday in 2007.

"Balls are just falling in,'' said Cuddyer, batting .349 since the streak began May 28. "That's just the way the game is going for me. At least once a day, it's finding the outfield grass.''

Cuddyer has a double in two at-bats against Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.34), who will take the ball for Washington. The left-hander gave up three runs over five innings June 13 at Colorado as the Nationals rallied for a 5-4 win.

Detwiler, 6-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 12 home starts since the 2012 All-Star break, allowed four runs over six in a 4-2 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

What to Read Next