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News » Rockies-Pirates Preview 2009-05-16

Rockies-Pirates Preview 2009-05-16

Rockies-Pirates Preview 2009-05-16
Brad Hawpe has been on a tear of late, and the Colorado Rockies are capitalizing.

After powering a comeback victory for Colorado, Hawpe looks to continue his hot hitting Saturday night when the Rockies face the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of their series.

Hawpe hit a two-run homer to trigger a three-run ninth inning as the Rockies rallied for a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Friday.

"That's why you play the game, for fun moments and opportunities like that," Hawpe said. "You're not going to come through every time, but when you do, then you realize why you love the game."

The right fielder is 17 for 36 (.472) with three homers and 13 RBIs in the last 10 games. He's driven in 11 of those runs in the last five contests, giving him a team-high 30. Hawpe, who ranks among the NL leaders with a .363 batting average and .667 slugging percentage, is 5 for 9 with two homers against Ian Snell, Pittsburgh's scheduled starter Saturday.

The Rockies (14-20) appear to be taking advantage of Hawpe's impressive run, winning three of five following a 1-4 stretch. They've won six of the last eight meetings with the Pirates (14-21).

Hawpe has also thrived against Pittsburgh, going 11 for 26 (.423) with two homers and seven RBIs in 10 career games at PNC Park.

Colorado will give the ball to Aaron Cook (2-1, 5.03 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his last three starts.

The right-hander was solid again Sunday, yielding two runs - one earned - and four hits with three strikeouts and four walks in six innings of a 3-2 win over Florida.

Cook will now attempt to win a third consecutive decision for the first time since winning three starts in a row last July. That stretch included his only two career wins against the Pirates, while posting a 4.50 ERA. Prior to that, he was 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA in five games - two starts - against them.

The last-place Pirates have dropped 14 of 17 while hitting .239 and getting outscored 92-53.

Pittsburgh has also had major problems with its bullpen during that stretch, as the relievers are 0-5 with a 7.50 ERA while blowing four of five save chances.

Closer Matt Capps has played a big role in those struggles, going 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA and six saves on the season. He blew his second save in three opportunities Friday when he was reached for three runs and five hits in the ninth.

Snell (1-5, 4.50) looks to end a personal three-game losing streak. The right-hander has a 4.50 ERA during his slide while getting four total runs of support. He lost four consecutive starts from May 21-June 6, 2008.

Snell allowed three runs and six hits with five strikeouts in six innings of an 8-4 road loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.

"I felt better," Snell told the Pirates' official Web site. "I felt strong. I battled through the whole game. I came prepared."

Snell is 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 26 1-3 innings over five games - four starts - against the Rockies. He is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two home starts versus Colorado.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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