The Colorado Rockies are on a tear at the plate, but opening a three-game set against Madison Bumgarner at AT&T Park could cool their bats.
With Jorge De La Rosa scheduled to take the mound, the Rockies may need to continue their offensive barrage in order to get a rare road win over Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
Colorado (5-5) led the NL with a .270 batting average last year, and is already off to a terrific start at the plate in 2014. It may be early, but the Rockies lead the majors with a .320 average, 60 runs, a .494 slugging percentage and a .371 on-base percentage.
Their production continued with Wednesday’s 10-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, concluding a 4-2 homestand during which they hit .354 with eight homers and 45 runs.
"Need to keep the momentum," said left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who has a .389 average with 11 RBIs after going 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs on Wednesday.
Carrying that offensive success onto the road, especially against Bumgarner (1-0, 1.74 ERA), will be difficult, though.
Colorado has dropped 13 of 15 games at San Francisco (6-4) while batting .250 and averaging 3.4 runs, and that may not improve Friday.
The left-hander has dominated the Rockies through six career home starts, going 3-1 with a 1.43 ERA while limiting the NL West rival to a .222 average with one homer.
He enters this meeting coming off a strong performance Saturday in a 7-2 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, yielding two runs with 10 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.
"I was throwing a little bit of everything," Bumgarner said. "It seemed like they had a lot of baserunners, but I felt like I made good pitches all day. The command was there and my stuff was pretty good."
Despite his home success against Colorado, Bumgarner is 0-3 in five starts since he last won at AT&T Park on July 6 against the Dodgers. However, he can’t be entirely blamed since he has a 1.75 ERA while being backed by four total runs.
The Giants will try to avoid a third straight loss after falling 6-5 in 10 innings to Arizona on Thursday.
Facing De La Rosa (0-1, 8.31) could provide a spark for San Francisco. He’s 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA over his last four road starts against the Giants.
The left-hander is also off to a sluggish start to the season, failing to complete five innings in either of his two starts.
"It’s only two games," De La Rosa told the team’s official website. "I was in those situations before. I know how to get out.
"It’s normal when I don’t pitch well – a lot of people are going to start worrying about me. But I believe in myself. I know what I have to do to get better. That’s what I’m going to try to do."
He matched his career high with 16 wins last year, while his 3.49 ERA was a personal best.
De La Rosa, though, wasn’t close to being that effective Saturday, giving up four runs and four hits with three walks while being pulled with one out in the fifth and not getting a decision in a 9-4 win over Arizona.
"I just have to stop thinking, have fun and win the most games I can for this team," De La Rosa said.
He’ll face Michael Morse for the first time. Morse, a career .452 hitter against Colorado, is 7 for 14 with three doubles, one homer and five RBIs in four games.