The Colorado Rockies entered the road portion of this home-and-home, four-game series with the Texas Rangers looking to dispel doubts of whether their offense can be just as potent away from Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado looks to set the franchise record by hitting safely in a 28th straight game as Colorado seeks to complete a sweep of the Rangers on Thursday night.
After beating Texas 8-2 and 12-1 at Coors Field, the Rockies (22-14) racked up 16 hits in Wednesday’s 9-2 victory in Arlington. They entered that contest hitting .254 with 16 homers in 17 road games compared to .355 with 33 homers in 18 at home, but it proved its offense can have the same pop no matter the location.
”We’ve got to ride this wave while it’s going good,” manager Walt Weiss said.
Carlos Gonzalez homered and is hitting .400 during a nine-game hitting streak that pales in comparison to Arenado’s. The third baseman extended his streak with a two-run double in the first inning and finished with three hits, giving him the longest run of anyone 23 years old or younger since Albert Pujols had a 30-game streak in 2003.
Arenado’s streak ties Michael Cuddyer’s run from last season for the Rockies’ all-time mark. He’s hitting .364 since the streak began April 9.
”It’s pretty cool,” Arenado said. ”I’m trying to stay within myself, I’m not trying to get too big, or trying to hit the home run. I’m just trying to hit the ball hard. I’m going to keep on saying that until the year is over.”
Adrian Beltre made his own history for the Rangers (17-17) on Wednesday, joining Darrell Evans, Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome as the only players in baseball history to hit at least 100 homers for three teams (Seattle and the Los Angeles Dodgers being the others) with a two-run shot in the fourth.
Texas, which has lost eight of 10, hasn’t come close to matching Colorado’s high-scoring offense, though.
The Rangers try to salvage the final game of this set behind Matt Harrison, who hopes for some improvement after his last outing.
Harrison (0-0, 4.35 ERA) labored through his second start of the season Saturday, throwing 96 pitches in 4 1-3 innings while giving up three runs, 10 hits and three walks in Texas’ 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
"I was lucky I got out of there without giving up 10 runs," Harrison said. "Every inning, it seemed like the leadoff man was getting on base. I was putting myself in position where I had to make perfect pitches."
The left-hander tossed five scoreless innings in a 4-2 victory June 24, 2012, in his only start against the Rockies, who will counter with Franklin Morales.
Morales (3-1, 5.05) had his three-start winning streak end Saturday when he allowed six runs and a season-worst nine hits in five innings before the Rockies rallied for an 11-10 win over the New York Mets.
"I just tried to keep competing, you know?" Morales said. "I know we’ve got a great team here."
The left-hander posted a 9.00 ERA in six relief appearances against Texas during his 2 1/2 seasons with Boston before being acquired in a trade for his second stint with Colorado in the offseason.
Rangers second baseman Donnie Murphy left after the sixth inning Wednesday with a neck strain after tripping over first base on a groundout. His status for this contest is unclear.