Rockies-Orioles Preview

With a win to open a 10-game road trip, the Colorado Rockies

managed to carry over the offensive surge that keyed a preceding

successful homestand.

Now the hot-hitting Rockies hope to deal Bud Norris his first

loss as a starter with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night when

they seek their seventh win in eight games.

Wilin Rosario hit one of Colorado’s four home runs – a

tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh – and the Rockies (58-65)

snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 6-3 victory over

Baltimore (65-56) on Friday.

“It’s a cozy park, but you’ve still got to hit it,” manager

Walt Weiss said. “We put some good swings on it.”

After averaging 2.3 runs and hitting .239 while dropping nine of

10 on the road, Colorado has scored 6.9 per game and batted .314

during this 6-1 stretch.

Rosario (11 for 27), Nolan Arenado (12 for 27), Charlie

Culberson (7 for 17) and Dexter Fowler (10 for 27) have heated up

to lead the team’s recent outburst.

The Rockies will try to continue that production against Norris

(8-10, 3.83 ERA), who looks to help the Orioles avoid their longest

losing streak in three months.

The right-hander is coming off the second relief appearance of

his career, allowing two walks and a game-winning single to Aaron

Hill in a 5-4, 14-inning loss at Arizona on Wednesday.

Norris returns to his starting role hoping to improve on his 2-0

record and 2.65 ERA in three starts with the Orioles, who have won

all three of those contests. He allowed two runs and six hits over

five innings before leaving without a decision in a 10-2 win at San

Francisco on Sunday.

While he’s 0-1 with a 17.55 ERA in two career starts at Coors

Field, Norris has a 2.57 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 14 innings in

a pair of home outings against the Rockies. He did not factor in

either of those decisions while with Houston.

Colorado would like to get into the Baltimore bullpen, which has

a 6.89 ERA during the team’s four-game skid. The Orioles haven’t

lost five in a row since a six-game slide May 14-20.

“We’ve got to go out there and play better,” said center

fielder Adam Jones, who is 1 for 18 during the losing streak. “Not

just better, but smarter. Team-oriented. Keep grinding.”

Baltimore will try to regroup against rookie Chad Bettis (0-1,

5.06), who has been much more effective since a rough debut in an

11-2 loss at Atlanta on Aug. 1.

The right-hander has allowed four runs and eight hits over 11

innings in two starts after giving up five runs and six hits over

five frames against the Braves. Bettis surrendered two runs and

four hits in six innings against Pittsburgh on Sunday, an eventual

3-2 win for the Rockies.

Bettis hopes to benefit from Colorado’s scoring surge after

receiving a total of four runs in his last two outings, though he

faces a Baltimore team that has been reeling offensively of


The Orioles have totaled 16 runs while hitting .226 over their

last four games.

Matt Wieters (8 for 58) and Nate McLouth (7 for 38) are slumping

despite homering in the opener and Nick Markakis has gone 24 games

without an extra-base hit.