It hasn’t taken long for Mark Ellis to make an impact on the
Ellis and the Rockies look to complete a sweep of the sputtering
Kansas City Royals on Sunday after scoring nine runs in each of the
first two games.
Ellis was hitting .217 when he was traded Thursday from Oakland
to Colorado (41-42), which was looking to shake up a team that is
third in the NL West, 6 1-2 back of first-place San Francisco. The
Rockies had lost five of six entering the weekend, averaging 3.2
runs and batting .229.
After a 9-0 win Friday, Colorado had another productive day at
the plate in a 9-6 victory Saturday. Ellis had three doubles and
drove in two runs and Troy Tulowitzki homered for a third straight
game as the Rockies had a season-high nine extra-base hits.
Ellis is 6 for 10 with five RBIs, four doubles and a home run in
his first two games with Colorado.
”I personally feel he’s going to be a lift, and he doesn’t have
to do it with two and three hits every game,” manager Jim Tracy
said. ”His presence and the professionalism he brings to our
clubhouse each and every day – that’s a lift.”
Ellis will try to help the Rockies win three straight for the
first time since a four-game run June 14-18.
Kansas City (33-50) dropped a season-high 17 games below .500
with Saturday’s loss, the team’s seventh straight on the road. The
Royals, who have lost five in a row overall and 11 of 13, scored
six runs Saturday to match their total from the previous four
”For us to come out swinging the bats was nice for us,” Jeff
Francoeur said. ”Hopefully that’s something that can get us
Alex Gordon matched a career high with four hits, including a
home run, and is 7 for 13 his last three games.
The Royals will send Denver native Luke Hochevar (5-8, 4.96 ERA)
to the mound Sunday in his Coors Field debut.
Hochevar avoided a third straight loss with a win over the Cubs
last Sunday. He threw a season-low 88 pitches over 5 2-3 innings
while giving up three runs and seven hits in a 6-3 victory.
The right-hander is 9-3 with a 4.32 ERA in his last 14 day
starts compared to 2-11 with a 5.26 ERA in 21 night appearances
over the last two seasons.
“I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” Hochevar said. “Whether
it’s day or night, I’ve got to go out and do exactly the same
thing. I don’t get into that. I’ve pitched good in day. I’ve
pitched good at night. It doesn’t matter.”
Hochevar started against the Rockies in 2008, allowing two runs
in eight innings of a 4-2 victory.
Colorado will hand the ball to Jason Hammel (4-7 4.02) as he
tries to build off a promising start.
Hammel has just one win in his last 11 starts, but pitched well
against the White Sox on Tuesday, giving up two runs in seven
innings of a 3-2, 13-inning victory.
The right-hander has given up two or fewer earned runs in six of
his last 11 starts.
Hammel is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts and three relief
appearances against the Royals. He faced them last year as a
starter and allowed five runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-2 loss.