Sports Network | June 18, 2010
(Sports Network) - Colorado Rockies starter Jason Hammel must be getting tired of all the news about staff ace Ubaldo Jimenez and is riding an impressive streak of his own. Tonight Hammel will take the mound in the opener of a three-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field.
Hammel is 3-0 with a 0.99 earned run average in his last four starts and pushed his scoreless innings streak 18 the last time out in a 1-0 win over Toronto on Saturday. Hammel had eight shutout innings of three-hit ball and struck out six batters to win for the fourth time in five decisions.
The right-hander, who is 4-3 in 10 starts this season to go along with a 4.53 ERA, has enjoyed success in his career against Milwaukee, going 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts.
Colorado will rest its hopes on Hammel and salvaged the finale of a three-game interleague series at Minnesota with Thursday's 5-1 victory behind another gem from Jimenez. The hard-throwing right-hander improved to 13-1 this season and held the Twins to a run on eight hits and two walks over eight innings.
"Those guys are good hitters over there. They look for fastballs and hit them hard every time," Jimenez said of the Twins' lineup. "If you allow them to score two or three runs, you're probably going to be down. When you're facing a guy like [Francisco] Liriano you have to find a way to pitch a better game than you're normally used to."
Ryan Spilborghs hit a two-run homer and Troy Tulowitzki added an RBI triple during a three-run first inning for the Rockies, winners of four of their last six games. Colorado is four games off the lead in the National League West Division and will put its 19-12 home record on the line tonight.
Milwaukee has dropped three of its last five games and its chances for a three-game sweep of the LA Angels of Anaheim were dashed with Wednesday's 5-1 loss at the Big A.
Chris Narveson was saddled with the loss and permitted all five runs -- three in the second inning alone -- on seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. Carlos Gomez provided the offense with a solo home run in the third inning for the Brewers, who sit 8 1/2 games off the pace in the NL Central and are 17-19 away from Brew City this season.
"Chris didn't throw the ball very well," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "In my mind, today was a bad day. He has to avoid the home run and big innings."
Macha will roll the dice with Manny Parra on the mound Friday. Parra is 1-4 with a 4.04 earned run average in 21 games (4 starts) and lost his most recent trip to the hill on Saturday versus Texas. In the 4-3 loss to the Rangers, Parra allowed three runs and five hits with eight K's over six innings.
Parra, who has 18 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings over his last two starts while holding opponents to a .205 batting average, has yielded at least two earned runs in three consecutive outings and will face Colorado for the fourth time in his career tonight. The southpaw is 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in three games (1 start) against the Rockies.
Milwaukee took two of three matchups with Colorado at Miller Park to kick off the 2010 campaign, but the Rockies have won 14 of the previous 19 contests between the ballclubs.