Rockies-Cubs Preview

Troy Tulowitzki didn’t have much trouble at the plate against

the Chicago Cubs last weekend at Coors Field.

It could be a different story when the Colorado Rockies visit

Wrigley Field.

Tulowitzki hopes to shake his struggles on Chicago’s North Side

in Monday night’s series opener against the Cubs.

The Rockies (14-7) took two of three from Chicago in Denver from

April 15-17, as catcher Chris Iannetta led Colorado’s offense with

five RBIs.

Tulowitzki didn’t drive in any runs in that series, but went 4

for 11 with a triple and scored twice. The All-Star shortstop was 1

for 3 on April 15 against Matt Garza (0-2, 4.74 ERA), Chicago’s

scheduled starter Monday.

Tulowitzki, who drove in his team-leading 16th run in Sunday’s

6-3 loss to Florida, hasn’t had much luck at Wrigley, batting .162

with a homer and 13 strikeouts in nine games there. It’s his lowest

batting average at any current NL park.

Unsurprisingly given Tulowitzki’s struggles, the Rockies haven’t

enjoyed much success lately at Wrigley, losing 11 of their last 12

games there.

The Cubs (10-11) have dropped three of their last four at home,

though, including a 7-3 defeat to Los Angeles on Sunday. Batting

third, shortstop Starlin Castro went hitless for just the third

time in 15 games.

Castro, who went 7 for 13 with a homer and four RBIs in Colorado

earlier this month, is 2 for 12 as the No. 3 hitter, compared to a

.500 average when batting out of the leadoff spot.

“If I mix and match the first three guys, I don’t care where

(they hit),” manager Mike Quade told the Cubs’ official

website.

Quade now hopes Garza can finally earn his first victory as a

Cub.

The offseason acquisition from Tampa Bay allowed six hits and

struck out nine over six shutout innings of a 2-1, 11-inning win

over San Diego on Wednesday in the second game of a doubleheader.

The Cubs had lost Garza’s first three starts.

“(Personal) wins don’t matter,” said Garza, who won a

career-best 15 games last season with the Rays. “If I don’t win a

game all year, but we win my games it doesn’t bother me one

bit.”

Garza didn’t give the Cubs a good chance to win in his last

start at Coors Field, yielding five runs and seven hits in six

innings of a 5-0 loss. The right-hander, who leads the majors with

an average of 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings, struck out five

Rockies.

Garza posted a similar line in his other career start versus the

Rockies – a 4-3 Rays loss at Coors on June 18, 2009, in which he

yielded four runs over five innings.

Iannetta, who had a three-run triple off Garza at Coors Field,

has sat out the last two games for the Rockies but may return to

the starting lineup Monday to catch Esmil Rogers (2-1, 6.75).

After winning his first two starts of the season on the road,

Rogers was tagged for eight runs and six hits – including three

homers – in three innings of an 8-1 home loss to San Francisco on

Monday. The right-hander had not yielded a home run in his previous

nine starts.

Rogers has never faced the Cubs.