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News » Astros-Rockies Preview 2009-05-13

Astros-Rockies Preview 2009-05-13

Astros-Rockies Preview 2009-05-13
If the Colorado Rockies are able to consistently play like they did in their last contest, manager Clint Hurdle might not have to worry about his job security.

The Rockies hope to build off a big offensive effort while trying to match their season high with a third straight win Wednesday night against the Houston Astros at Coors Field.

Hours after club owner Dick Monfort gave Hurdle a vote of confidence, the Rockies (13-18) routed Houston 12-1 in Tuesday's series opener.

Two seasons removed from an improbable run to the World Series, Colorado has a talented lineup, but has been inconsistent in just about every facet of the game. The Rockies are third in NL West, already 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Monfort, though, won't place the blame solely on Hurdle, who has only one winning year - 90-73 in 2007 - since taking over for Buddy Bell during the 2002 season.

"We're all in this. We're working together," Monfort said. "Clint's doing everything he can. We're all frustrated, but we're going to get through this together."

More games like Tuesday could help the Rockies, who last won three in a row from April 7-10.

Ian Stewart hit a grand slam and a solo shot, Brad Hawpe had four hits with five RBIs and Todd Helton added a two-run homer to move within six hits of 2,000.

Hawpe, who's hitting .359, has eight RBIs in his last five games. He is 13 for 24 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his last six games against the Astros.

After batting a career-low .264 last season, Helton is hitting .343. He's batting .391 (9 for 23) with five RBIs against Houston's scheduled starter Mike Hampton.

Hampton (1-3, 4.91 ERA), who pitched for Colorado from 2001-02, looks to avoid a third consecutive losing decision after giving up five runs - three earned - and seven hits while walking four in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday.

The left-hander is 9-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 18 starts versus his former team. He's 17-10 with a 5.79 ERA in 33 career starts at Coors Field.

Jason Marquis (4-2, 3.92) has been one of the more consistent Colorado starters, but will try to bounce back from a rough outing in this contest.

The right-hander allowed seven runs and eight hits in six innings of an 8-3 loss to San Francisco on Thursday.

"Just one of those days where I didn't execute when I needed to," Marquis told the Rockies' official Web site. "I still need to execute, still got to make pitches."

Marquis is 9-6 with a 4.86 ERA in 21 starts against Houston, (14-18), which had its three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday.

Ivan Rodriguez drove in a run for the Astros and Lance Berkman had a hit in his return to the starting lineup after missing three games with a sore left wrist.

"It feels pretty good," Berkman said. "I'm in good shape."

Though Berkman is batting .187, he's a lifetime .488 (21 for 43) hitter with 14 RBIs versus Marquis.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 13, 2009

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