Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/5/12

The Rockies finished the first half with a 4-1 loss at St. Louis that left them with a 31-50 record and a chance to make wretched franchise history. The club record for losses in a season is 95 during their inaugural 1993season and again in 2005.

The Rockies have lost 20 of their past 27 games, but in this latest defeat, the Rockies got a good effort from right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who made his first start since June 17 and allowed two runs in six innings. It was two days after that June 17 outing, when the Rockies next played, that they went to a four-man rotation that didn't include Guthrie.

He made four relief appearances before getting a chance to start at St. Louis because Christian Friedrich was pushed back one day after taking a line drive off his right calf in his last start Saturday. In his past five games, Guthrie is 0-2 with a 3.93 ERA.

Guthrie threw 46 pitches, 25 strikes, in the first two innings but then got through the next four innings on 38 pitches, 22 strikes, to finish with 84 pitches, 47 strikes. He gave up a run in the first when he walked Jon Jay with one out, and Matt Holliday bounced a ball over third base that hit the stands and caromed back into left field for a run-scoring double.

Guthrie had the bases loaded with two out in the second when he forced in a run by hitting Jay with a 1-2 pitch, a fastball that he wanted to throw inside. Guthrie wanted to be sure he didn't leave the ball over the plate to where it could be hit but ended up getting the ball in too far on Jay.

From that point on, Guthrie retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced. Manager Jim Tracy said Guthrie pitched the way he did in two earlier seven-inning efforts -- Opening Day at Houston on April 6 and April 22 at Milwaukee. That latter start was Guthrie's fourth of the year and the final one he made before a bicycle accident resulted in a shoulder injury that put him on the 15-day disabled list and caused Guthrie to miss three starts.

He is scheduled to come back on three days of rest and pitch Sunday at Washington in the Rockies final game before the All-Star break.

"We got a very competitive effort from Jeremy Guthrie, no question about that," Tracy said. "He competed, did a great job."

Guthrie is 3-8 with a 6.28 ERA overall. But on the road, he is 2-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 43 innings as opposed to 1-4 with a 9.44 ERA in 34 1/3 innings at Coors Field. The Rockies will either trade Guthrie in the weeks ahead -- and his value comes from his relative success on the road -- or hope he can pitch the way he did Wednesday and give the rotation a lift if no attractive deal results.

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