Angels-Rockies Preview

The Los Angeles Angels’ first two games with the Colorado Rockies this season ended in the same fashion as nearly every meeting of the past five years – with a victory.

The surging Angels will turn to Andrew Heaney to continue that dominance Tuesday night against a Rockies team fresh off a disappointing road trip.

Los Angeles (44-38) has won seven straight versus Colorado (35-47) – tied for its second-longest active winning streak against any opponent, trailing only Philadelphia (9) – and last dropped a meeting at Coors Field in 1999. The Angels extended that run with two May victories over the Rockies, allowing three runs.

Heaney (1-0, 1.38 ERA) has been similarly stifling in two starts with Los Angeles, earning his first career victory last Tuesday with seven innings of two-hit ball in a 2-1 win over the New York Yankees.

The left-hander, who posted a 6.93 ERA in five starts last season while with Miami, has limited opposing batters to .136 average in his two outings this year since joining the rotation in place of the injured Jered Weaver.

"I was kind of fighting my own mechanics, fighting myself on the mound (in spring training)," Heaney told MLB’s official website. "Here I’ve felt comfortable, and I’ve felt like I’m able to go out there and for the most part execute a game plan."

One of Heaney’s primary challenge will be with Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, who combined to go 3 for 17 in the two losses to Los Angeles, yet enter Tuesday’s contest after each hitting a home run in Colorado’s 6-4 win Sunday against Arizona.

The Rockies entered the 10-game trip averaging 4.6 runs, but reached that number only three times en route to a 3-7 record.

"You look at any team, when you look at the middle of their lineup and both guys hit, the team’s record is probably real good," said Tulowitzki. " … I hope the power stroke shows up."

For the most part, Tulowitzki has upheld his end of that bargain. Despite only two home runs since June 9, the shortstop has an 18-game hitting streak with a .371 average and .907 OPS in that span.

Gonzalez, however, had slumped prior to Sunday’s three-hit performance, batting .103 in his previous eight games.

Generating offense hasn’t been an issue lately for the Angels, who scored 33 runs and had 47 hits in a three-game sweep of Texas. Los Angeles rolled to a 12-6 victory Sunday for its seventh win in eight games, as Albert Pujols hit his AL-best 25th home run and Kole Calhoun had four RBIs.

Calhoun has three straight two-hit games, knocking in 10 runs in that span.

The Angels’ starting pitching also performed well, notching a quality start in each of the three wins.

"We really broke out this series, no doubt," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think what I’m going to carry away from this series is really how well we pitched against a team that can really swing it. I thought we pitched really well this series and gave us a chance, and our offense blossomed."

Chad Bettis (4-3, 3.67) will try to slow Los Angeles’ bats in his first appearance against the team. The right-hander fell just shy of a third straight quality start Wednesday, allowing three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss at Oakland.

Bettis has been far better at Coors Field this season, touting a 2.84 in five starts compared with a 4.55 mark on the road.