The Rockies scored 21 runs the last time they hosted the Pirates in a series June 19-21, and have outscored the Pirates 49-23 in winning the last seven meetings in Colorado.
The Pirates, opening a six-game road trip, have scored four runs in losing their last five road games and are 3-17 away from Pittsburgh since June 18. The Rockies are 21-8 at home since June 12.
In the opener of this series, Pirates manager John Russell gives the ball to Ross Ohlendorf (9-8, 4.29 ERA), who again tries to go a little deeper into the game.
Ohlendorf has yielded three runs or fewer in seven of his past eight starts but has pitched less than seven innings in six of those outings.
The right-hander was effective at times Wednesday against Arizona but ran his pitch total to 104 and had to be removed after six innings. He did not receive a decision after allowing one run, four hits and five walks in a 4-3 loss.
While Ohlendorf has been solid lately, he didn’t have much success in his only career start against the Rockies on June 19, allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-3 loss.
Colorado counters with rookie Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 1.80), who takes the place in the rotation of injured staff ace Aaron Cook (toe).
This will be the first career start for the right-hander, who has allowed one run and two hits in five innings over four appearances since being called up from Double-A Tulsa on July 24.
The first instant replay review in Coors Field history took 4 minutes, 10 seconds Monday night and resulted in a possible grand slam for Troy Tulowitzki being ruled a foul ball—not that the decision in the second inning deterred him.
Tulowitzki hit for the cycle and went 5-for-5 with seven RBI, establishing career highs in hits and RBI.
The review occurred in the second inning on a ball Tulowitzki hit down the left-field line. After the ruling of a foul ball, Tulowitzki lined the next pitch from right-hander Esmailin Caridad, who was making his major league debut, for a two-run single.
Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer in the first, and after his two-run single in the second he doubled home a run in the fourth and led off the seventh with a triple for his cycle. For good measure, he singled home two runs in the eighth. His seven RBI were one short of the franchise record.
Tulowitzki’s cycle is the fifth in Rockies franchise history and first since Mike Lansing did it June 18, 2000 against Arizona. The others were by Dante Bichette on June 10, 1998 against Texas; Neifi Perez on July 25, 1998 against St. Louis; and Todd Helton on June 19, 1999, against Florida.
Tulowitzki’s seven RBI gave him a team-leading 23 since the All-Star break. He raised his average 10 points to .276, the highest it has been since he was hitting .333 (5-for-15) on April 11.
Rockies 11, Cubs 5: Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle while going 5-for-5 and reached career highs in hits and RBI (seven) as the Rockies built an 11-1 lead after eight innings and took three of four games in the series. Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer in the first, his 21st of the season, singled home two runs in the second, doubled home a run in the fourth, led off the seventh with a triple and singled home two runs in the eighth.
• RHP Aaron Cook saw a foot specialist Monday in Denver and is still on course to make his start Saturday at Florida. Cook, who was originally supposed to start Tuesday, has a sprained right big toe. He threw off flat ground out to 120 feet Monday without any problem. Trainer Keith Dugger said the doctor Cook saw confirmed the diagnosis of a small sprain and some inflammation in the joint of the big toe. The big test for Cook, who has been fitted with insoles, will come Thursday when he throws a bullpen session.
• The Rockies won the season series 4-2 from the Cubs, marking their first season-series win over the Cubs since 2006, when they also won four of six games.
By The Numbers: 5 1/2—The Rockies were 5 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West through Monday. That’s the closest they have been to first since they trailed by 5 1/2 on April 30.
Quote To Note: “There is no way I want to end my career being taken off the field on a cart. Any retirement thoughts were put on hold, because when the game gets taken away, you appreciate it even more.”—LHP Alan Embree, 39, who is recovering from a broken right leg, suffered when he was struck with a line drive July 10.
• LHP Jorge De La Rosa threw a career-high 125 pitches as he allowed one run, seven hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings. His 11 strikeouts were one short of his career high. His previous high pitch count was 115 for the Royals in 7 1/3 innings on June 5, 2007 at Cleveland. De La Rosa is 10-8, and nine of his wins have come since June 1—the most in the majors in that span.
• 1B Todd Helton went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, his longest streak since he hit safely in a career-best 17 consecutive games June 14-July 2, 2003. Helton has four consecutive multi-hit games and has raised his average to .327, the highest it has been since July 16, when he was also at that mark. Helton has not struck out in his last 12 games, a span of 51 at-bats.
• RHP Huston Street retired one of the six batters he faced to start the ninth, allowing four hits, four runs and a walk. Street had allowed a total of four runs in his last 22 games, a stretch of 24 innings. His ERA rose from 2.33 to 3.09.
• 2B Clint Barmes hit a solo homer in the second and went 1-for-3. He has four hits in his last 54 at-bats (.074), and all four hits are home runs.
• RHP Jhoulys Chacin will make his first major league start Tuesday. Manager Jim Tracy decided veteran RHP Josh Fogg can provide bullpen protection if needed, a burden he didn’t want to place on Chacin if Fogg were to get knocked out early. Chacin, 21, who is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four relief appearances, will start against the Pirates and, Tracy said, “has probably 70-75 pitches available and then we’ll go from there.”
• C Yorvit Torrealba made his second consecutive start, and manager Jim Tracy said the reason was two-fold. Torrealba had a good game Sunday, going 2-for-3 with a season-high three RBI. And C Chris Iannetta, who Tracy said will be back in the lineup Tuesday, got another day to work with hitting coach Don Baylor. Iannetta has one hit in his last 12 at-bats with five strikeouts.
• OF Seth Smith leads the majors with a .448 average (13-for-29) as a pinch hitter.
RHP Aaron Cook (sprained right big toe) left the Aug. 6 game. He will not make his scheduled start on Aug. 11 but is scheduled to pitch on Aug. 15.
RHP Juan Rincon (right elbow stiffness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 31.
RHP Manuel Corpas (bone chips in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 21. He had arthroscopic surgery July 24, and he might return in September.
LHP Alan Embree (broken right tibia) went on the 15-day disabled list July 11 and had surgery that day. He might be able to return to action in September.
LHP Jeff Francis (left shoulder surgery in February 2009) went on the 60-day disabled list April 5. He likely will miss the entire season. Recovery time ranges from six to 12 months, meaning it’s possible Francis could pitch in September but not very likely.
RHP Taylor Buchholz (partial tear in right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 22. He threw a simulated game June 10, but after feeling renewed pain, he had season-ending Tommy John surgery June 17.