Rockies-Cubs Preview

The Colorado Rockies haven’t been hitting well recently, but if

the Chicago Cubs are as sloppy defensively as they were in the last

game, it might not matter.

The Rockies will try to win their third straight against the

Cubs when the teams continue their series Tuesday night in

Chicago.

Colorado (15-7) won seven straight April 9-15, but is 4-5 since,

failing to win back-to-back games during that stretch.

The Rockies have a chance to do that after Monday’s 5-3 victory

over the Cubs (10-12). They scored four unearned runs off Matt

Garza, taking advantage of three errors by Starlin Castro in the

second inning and one by Garza in the fifth that allowed the

go-ahead run to score.

“We lost tonight because I couldn’t throw the ball to first

base,” Garza said.

Colorado was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and had

only four hits, including three singles. The team is batting .139

during the first four games of its road trip while scoring 12

runs.

Carlos Gonzalez had another rough game, going 0 for 4. He’s

hitless in his last 21 at-bats, dropping his average to .217 after

it was .333 on April 9.

Jorge De La Rosa (3-0, 3.00 ERA), who is looking to extend the

best start of his career, will take the mound Tuesday for the

Rockies as they try to win consecutive games at Wrigley Field for

the first time since 2006.

De La Rosa, who had 16 victories in 2009 but just eight last

year, had another strong outing Wednesday, giving up two runs and

four hits in a season-high seven innings of a 10-2 victory against

San Francisco. He struck out six as he recorded his first quality

start of the year.

“Very good stuff today,” he said. “We needed this. I hope we can

stay playing like we did today.”

De La Rosa is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in six appearances against the

Cubs. He’s made only two starts against them, including one last

season in which he allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2-3

innings of an 8-7 victory Aug. 1.

Chicago, which has seven errors in its last three contests, has

lost four of five, stranding 20 baserunners the last two games –

including 12 on Monday.

Kosuke Fukudome had five of his team’s 11 hits in the defeat,

but the Cubs went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Castro

was 0 for 5 after going hitless in four at-bats Sunday.

Before Monday’s loss, the Cubs had won 11 of 12 at home against

the Rockies, but they dropped two of three in Denver from April

15-17.

James Russell (1-2, 8.00) will make his third start for the Cubs

on Tuesday due to injuries. He allowed four runs and seven hits –

three of which were homers – in four-plus innings of a 5-4 loss to

San Diego on Wednesday, falling to 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA in two

starts.

The left-hander has made five career relief appearances against

the Rockies, including 1 1-3 scoreless innings over two this

season.