Rockies-Nationals Preview

The Colorado Rockies have enjoyed going to Washington. The

possible return of All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki could help

the Rockies continue that success in the nation’s capital.

The Rockies go for their fifth straight win over the Washington

Nationals on Saturday night when these clubs continue their

three-game series.

Entering Friday’s contest a season-worst six games below .500,

Colorado (42-47) won 3-2 to snap a season-high five-game losing

streak.

“You forget what (winning) feels like sometimes,” reliever Matt

Reynolds said.

The Rockies, though, have won 15 of 20 on the road over the

Nationals and 15 of 18 against them overall.

Carlos Gonzalez went hitless in four at-bats Friday after

missing four games with a bruised right wrist, and now Tulowitzki –

a starter for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Phoenix – could return for

the first time since leaving Monday’s 4-1 loss at Atlanta with a

right quadriceps strain.

“In Tulo’s case, we’re going to monitor very closely how things

go this weekend,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official

website. “With that being said, I’d hate to see the guy get grinded

on in the All-Star Game. In order to take a run at the division, I

know full well that if we’re without him for an extended period of

time, it’s not going to happen.”

While the Rockies’ lineup is starting to get healthy, Tracy

would like to see Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.39 ERA) deliver a solid

performance before the All-Star break. After yielding three runs

over 5 1-3 innings Monday, the right-hander has already matched his

loss total from last season when he finished with a career-best 19

wins.

Facing the Nationals could help Jimenez end the first half on a

positive note. He is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last three starts

in this matchup.

The Nationals will give the ball to Jason Marquis (7-3, 4.11) as

they try to avoid a season high-tying third straight home loss.

The veteran right-hander is enjoying a solid campaign after

going 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA for Washington in an injury-shortened

2010, but he is 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA in his last two starts.

Marquis lasted a season-low 1 1-3 innings in Sunday’s 10-2 loss

to Pittsburgh. It was his first defeat in seven starts and shortest

outing since Sept. 17.

“It was one of those days,” Marquis told the Nationals’ official

website after getting tagged for seven runs and eight hits. “I’m

obviously not happy about it. It’s one start in a long season. Turn

the page and be ready next time out. I’ve been through it before,

it happens. That’s going to happen if you take the mound

enough.”

Marquis, who finished 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA in his one season

with Colorado in 2009, is 5-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 11 starts against

the Rockies.

Gonzalez gets his first look at Marquis, while Tulowitzki has

one hit – a double – in eight at-bats off the right-hander.

The Nationals have won 15 of 20 at home overall.