Troy Tulowitzki came into the Colorado Rockies’ series against
the Pittsburgh Pirates with an impressive average since returning
from the disabled list, but it’s harder to find a hotter hitter
than Carlos Gonzalez.
The Rockies’ two best hitters look to build on their respective
three-hit performances and help Colorado earn its seventh win in
nine games Saturday night at PNC Park.
With Tulowitzki – who missed six weeks due to a fractured left
wrist – back for the past 10 games, Colorado (57-52) is clicking
again at the plate. The Rockies have hit .330 with 11 homers while
winning six of eight to stay within striking distance in the NL
Tulowitzki is hitting .400 with 10 RBIs since his return, while
Gonzalez seems to keep matching the feats of his All-Star teammate.
Each had three hits in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Pirates (38-71),
with Gonzalez homering early and Tulowitzki driving in the go-ahead
run in the seventh inning to snap the Rockies’ seven-game road
Gonzalez is batting .439 with seven homers since Tulowitzki – a
.488 hitter in 11 games at PNC Park – returned to the cleanup
“He wasn’t an All-Star, and that’s a shame, isn’t it?” manager
Jim Tracy said of Gonzalez, batting .316 on the season with 23
homers and 72 RBIs. “As we continue to see what’s unfolded since
post-All-Star break. But you know something, the numbers strongly
suggest (MVP) consideration.”
Pittsburgh’s Ross Ohlendorf (1-9, 4.41 ERA) won’t be eager to
face either hitter, and may be happy to merely get through a start
without incident. Ohlendorf lasted two-thirds of an inning July 28
at Colorado, leaving after taking a Tulowitzki line drive to the
He nearly had to leave in the first inning again Monday against
Cincinnati after a shot up the middle hit the right-hander in the
right leg. He stayed in the game, but allowed three runs over five
innings of a 4-0 loss.
“I thought it was funny more than anything else. That’s two
games in a row,” Ohlendorf said. “I don’t know what’s going to
happen the next time. At least it saved a hit.”
Tulowitzki is 3 for 7 with two homers and Gonzalez 2 for 6 with
one homer off Ohlendorf, who’s 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA in three career
starts against Colorado.
The Rockies will counter with Jorge De La Rosa (4-3, 5.01). The
left-hander, who spent 2 1/2 months recovering from a torn tendon
in his middle finger, earned his first win in five starts since
returning by allowing three runs over 6 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 8-7
victory over the Cubs.
“He got set back a little bit with the finger and the first
couple (starts) coming back off the injury weren’t real good,”
Tracy told the Rockies’ official website. “But he has rectified
himself and resembles an awful lot the guy we had predominantly the
entire season last year.”
De La Rosa allowed three runs over seven innings of a 4-2 loss
to the Pirates in Denver on July 27, falling to 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA
in four starts in this series since 2008.
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 3 for 7 with a
double and triple against De La Rosa.