Rockies-Giants Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 14, 2012
The Colorado Rockies' Christian Friedrich impressed in his major league debut last week, slowing down one of the weaker offenses in baseball. He'll get a chance to face another one of the majors' least intimidating lineups in his second start. Friedrich tries to provide the slumping Rockies with another lift Monday night at AT&T Park in the opener of this two-game set against the San Francisco Giants, who are hoping Ryan Vogelsong can win a fifth consecutive start in this series. In the midst of an eight-game road swing, Colorado (13-20) suffered a three-game sweep in Los Angeles over the weekend. The Rockies issued 10 walks over a five-inning stretch and allowed a combined nine runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth frames of Sunday's 11-5 loss. "There's no way of saying it nicely. That's awful," manager Jim Tracy said. "There's not a whole lot else to say. You walk nine guys form the fifth inning on, I don't care where you play, you're going to lose." Colorado has compiled a 6.23 ERA during a 1-8 slide - with its only victory coming Wednesday behind a great effort from Friedrich (1-0, 1.50 ERA). The 24-year-old left-hander gave up one earned run, five hits and struck out seven over six innings of a 6-2 win at San Diego. "I guess it's a dream come true," he said. "I struggled the last two years (in the minors). To come up here and have some success, I know it's only one, but it feels great. It's a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I can go out and there and do my thing." While the Giants (17-17) rank in the bottom third in the majors in runs (126) and homers (24), they're coming off one of their stronger offensive displays of the year. After falling 5-1 at Arizona on Friday, San Francisco posted back-to-back victories to conclude its six-game trek. Brett Pill hit his third homer and Melky Cabrera went 4 for 5 with a pair of runs as the Giants had a season-high 14 hits in Sunday's 7-3 win. "We had some good at-bats there," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Guys did a nice job on this trip bouncing back." Cabrera has been locked in of late, batting .468 during an 11-game hitting streak. He went 13 for 26 on the Giants' trip. "He's on fire,'' Bochy said, "from both sides. He's a good hitter. He had a breakout year last year and we're excited to have him, believe me." Cabrera has collected 12 hits in 22 at-bats (.545) - including a pair of homers - in his last five games against Colorado. Looking to win three straight for the first time since April 17-20, San Francisco should feel confident as it turns to Vogelsong (1-2, 2.94) in the opener of a seven-game homestand. Vogelsong outdueled reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and earned his first win during Tuesday's 2-1 road victory over the Dodgers. The right-hander yielded a run and eight hits in a season-high 7 1-3 innings. "This is as strong as he's been this year as far as both sides of the plate, changing speeds," catcher Buster Posey said. "He's always got such a good focus. That's what's been so impressive." Unfortunately for Colorado, it knows just how dominant Vogelsong can be. Vogelsong compiled a 1.01 ERA in winning each of his four starts against the Rockies last season, limiting them to a .144 average. He was 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA at home. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are a combined 0 for 14 against Vogelsong.
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