Ryan Howard broke out of his slump with another offensive barrage against the Colorado Rockies.
Jorge De La Rosa is looking to prevent that from happening again.
De La Rosa will try to slow Howard as he aims for a sixth consecutive win in the middle game of this series between the Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies.
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Howard went 3 for 4 with a homer and five RBIs to power Philadelphia’s 9-0 win over Colorado on Monday. The All-Star first baseman was 2 for 30 with three RBIs over the previous nine games.
"We got good pitches to hit and we jumped out early," Howard said. "Our approach was similar. Sometimes when a guy is on, he’s on. You can have a bad day yesterday, but next day is a fresh start."
Howard is batting .378 with 14 RBIs over his past nine meetings with the Rockies, and has done much of the damage in the last two – collecting seven hits with two homers and eight RBIs.
While facing Colorado (27-24) would seem to favor Howard’s chances of putting together a hot stretch, De La Rosa (5-3, 3.91 ERA) presents a tough test. Howard is 3 for 13 against him and has a .212 average against left-handers this season.
De La Rosa is also 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA while holding opponents to .181 at the plate over his last six starts. He was 0-3 with a 7.58 ERA during his first four.
"Especially with the way I started the season, it feels good for me now," De La Rosa told the team’s official website. "I’m making good pitches."
Only the weather could stop De La Rosa on Thursday against San Francisco. His scoreless innings streak reached 15 while tossing three innings of no-hit baseball before a rain delay ended his outing, and another forced a postponement in the sixth with the score tied at 2.
The Rockies may need another strong performance from De La Rosa since they’re hitting .181 with nine runs during a 1-6 stretch on the road, and they’ve failed to score in each of the last two games.
"We’re on one of those runs where things aren’t going our way," said left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is 3 for 24 in seven road games. "Just have to make adjustments and get going (Tuesday)."
Colorado had seven singles in the opener of this series, and Troy Tulowitzki had two of them.
The All-Star shortstop leads the majors with a .378 average, and he’s 16 for 30 with three doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs over his last nine meetings with the Phillies (22-26).
Philadelphia has won four of six at home behind a 1.83 ERA, which has compensated for its .234 batting average.
Cole Hamels (1-2, 4.30) was superb in his last start at Citizens Bank Park on May 17, allowing one run and three hits with a season high-tying 10 strikeouts in seven innings of a 12-1 win over Cincinnati. He had been 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA over his two previous games there.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 innings over his last three overall starts. He could’ve used some help while not getting a decision in his most recent, allowing three runs in seven innings of a 4-3 loss at Miami.
Hamels has held Tulowitzki to a triple in seven at-bats.