Astros-Rockies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 28, 2013
Runs have come at a premium in this series between the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros, and Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood has turned in a string of strong performances. Colorado is 4-0 in Chatwood's outings this year heading into Wednesday night's matchup at Coors Field, where the Astros have dropped seven straight. Houston (15-37) won 3-2 in 12 innings Monday before Colorado (28-24) evened this series with a 2-1 victory Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. "The bottom line is we found a way to win a game and that's huge,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday. "You've got to find ways to win those tight games." Chatwood (3-0, 1.90 ERA) is brimming with confidence after winning his last three starts, with the previous two coming against San Francisco. He has allowed one run over his last 17 2-3 innings, including a six-inning effort in Friday's 5-0 win over the defending World Series champions. "They're a great hitting team," said Chatwood, who is also 5 for 10 with four RBIs at the plate. "Any time you can have success against a lineup like that, it's big." The right-hander has never started against the Astros, and the lineup he will see Wednesday is considerably worse than what he saw his last time out. Houston has totaled 22 runs while striking out 65 times in its last seven games. The Astros are the first team to reach 500 strikeouts this year. Chatwood has struck out 16 over 23 2-3 innings. The Rockies also need to get their bats untracked after totaling 17 runs in a 2-3 trip. They have gone 6 for 28 with runners in scoring position in this series. Colorado, however, has totaled 64 runs in winning all seven home meetings over Houston from the last two seasons, hitting .346 with 15 homers. Carlos Gonzalez is 16 for 32 with six homers and 15 RBIs in those games, and he's batting .400 during a 13-game hitting streak against the Astros. Gonzalez, however, has been better on the road (.337, eight homers) than at home (.283, five). Michael Cuddyer, who did not start Monday due to a sore wrist at the start of this series, is batting .365 in 15 career games against the Astros. He returned to the lineup Tuesday and capped a three-hit performance with the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning. "It's sore. There's no question it's sore and swollen,'' Cuddyer said. "But fortunately the way I got hit the one thing that really doesn't bother me is swinging." Cuddyer has faced Houston starter Erik Bedard (0-2, 5.68) more than any Colorado hitter, going 6 for 24. Bedard allowed two runs over five innings Friday and did not receive a decision in a 6-5 loss to Oakland. He's now 0-4 with a 7.52 ERA in his last 10 starts. His batterymate will likely be Jason Castro, who got Tuesday off in favor of Carlos Corporan. Castro has 11 hits in his last 15 at-bats. Colorado has dropped 13 of its last 15 home interleague games and 8-11 when opponents start left-handers.
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