Braves-Rockies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 03, 2012
The Colorado Rockies have had a flair for the dramatic this season. What they haven't had is much consistency. Coming off a walk-off victory, the Rockies will try to win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks as they open a three-game home series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Colorado took two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers this week, including an 8-5 win in Wednesday's series finale on Jason Giambi's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning. It was the seventh time this season the Rockies (12-12), who trailed 3-2 in the eighth, scored the go-ahead run after the seventh inning. The challenge will be building off the latest dramatic victory - something Colorado often has failed to do. The Rockies haven't won back-to-back games since a three-game winning streak April 17-20. As a team, Colorado may lack consistency, but it can certainly rely on Carlos Gonzalez. The left fielder homered twice Wednesday and is batting .478 with five homers and 14 RBIs through six contests of a nine-game homestand, which ends Sunday. Giambi's homer Wednesday came with Gonzalez in the on-deck circle. "It's a dream spot to be in - that situation with CarGo behind you," Giambi said. "It makes a tough decision for people. You're not out of the woods walking me right there. You load the bases for CarGo? He's been so hot." Gonzalez has provided plenty of frustration for Atlanta pitchers. During a nine-game hitting streak against the Braves, he is batting .400 with four homers, five doubles and 13 RBIs. Gonzalez is 2 for 6 with both hits staying in the park against Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.60 ERA), who will take the mound for Atlanta. Hudson made his season debut Sunday following offseason back surgery. He allowed two runs and six hits while striking out six in five innings of a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh. "He's one of those guys who goes out there and performs and gives everything he has," Atlanta's Martin Prado said. "... We love to have him back on the team." The veteran right-hander is 4-2 in eight starts against the Rockies but 0-2 with a 7.77 ERA at Coors Field. Todd Helton is 10 for 15 against him and Giambi is 9 for 23 (.391) with three homers. The Braves (15-11) turn to Hudson after losing two of three at home against Philadelphia. After winning 15-13 on Chipper Jones' two-run homer in the 11th inning Wednesday, the Braves were held to three hits - all singles - in a 4-0 loss Thursday. Following an uninspiring 3-4 homestand, the Braves are on the road for their next nine. They've won seven of their last nine road games but have failed to score more than four runs in the last five. Atlanta scored three runs or fewer in five of the final six games of its homestand. "But we've played pretty well on the road," Dan Uggla told the Braves' official website of bouncing back after Thursday's home loss. Atlanta will try to get the offense going against Guillermo Moscoso (0-1, 10.80), who will make his second start in place of the injured Jeremy Guthrie. Moscoso made his Rockies debut Saturday, allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets. The right-hander, who made 21 starts with Oakland last year and also has played with Texas, has never faced the Braves. Colorado went 2-6 against Atlanta last season, but the Braves haven't won a series at Coors Field since 2007.
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