(Sports Network) - Both the Rockies and Marlins have struggled on offense in the second half. Given Tuesday's pitching matchup, neither team is likely to break out at the plate on Monday night.
National League All-Star starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who seeks a career-high 16th victory tonight, resumes his season for Colorado in the opener of a four-game series versus Anibal Sanchez and the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.
The Rockies and Marlins are both coming off 1-0 victories on Sunday and neither team has scored more than two runs in a game since the All-Star break.
Florida took two of three from Washington despite scoring just three runs in the series, kicking off a 10-game homestand. Emilio Bonifacio doubled in the fifth inning and scored the game's lone run when Gaby Sanchezhit a two-base hit of his own.
That was enough to give the Marlins their fourth win in six games and hand Alex Sanabia his first major league victory. The 21-year-old rookie hurled 5 1/3 scoreless innings, working around four hits and two walks while striking out five. Leo Nunez recorded his 22nd save of the year to cap the victory.
"It's exciting," Sanabia said about winning his first big league game. "Today was real special; got a win and the team a win. It worked out perfectly."
Colorado, meanwhile, posted just four runs over the weekend versus Cincinnati and avoided a three-game sweep with Sunday's triumph. Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer in the sixth inning to back seven scoreless innings fromAaron Cook, who gave up six hits en route to winning his first road start of the season.
"It was definitely an important game. For us, we get out of here with at least one win and go to Florida and hope we can get on a roll from here," said Cook, who retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
Huston Street notched his sixth save of the season to help the Rockies snap a three-game slide and remain four games back of the first-place Padres in the NL West. Colorado's set in Ohio kicked of an 11-game road trip.
The Rockies should feel great about their chances tonight with Jimenez set to take the mound. The right-hander won his final start before the break, besting the Cardinals on July 8 with eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball to carry a 15-1 record and 2.20 earned run average into the hiatus. It was an important victory for Jimenez, who had allowed 17 runs over his previous three outings. Still, he leads the majors in victories and is the first NL pitcher to notch 15 wins before the All-Star break since Greg Maddux in 1988.
The 26-year-old, who hasn't lost since May 9, then started last Tuesday's All- Star Game in Anaheim and hurled two scoreless innings, working around two hits and a walk while throwing 15 of his 25 pitches for strikes.
"I was trying to slow down, trying to relax," Jimenez told MLB.com. "It was a challenge. I like to throw hard, especially in a game like this, with so many people in the stands, but I was able to control myself."
Jimenez is 9-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 10 road starts this season and 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts versus the Marlins. He has given up just two earned runs in 10 innings against them, striking out 15.
Sanchez, meanwhile, will make his career-high 18th start of the season tonight, surpassing the 17 he made as a rookie in 2006 during a solid 10-3 campaign. He is 7-6 with a 3.66 ERA this year, but lost his final two starts before the break while allowing nine earned runs over 10 innings.
The 26-year-old righty lasted just four innings versus the Diamondbacks on July 8, getting charged with six runs (five earned) on nine hits.
Sanchez has been tough at home, where he is 3-2 with a solid 2.50 ERA in eight starts. He has also beaten the Rockies in his only other start against them, holding the club to two runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings of a 12-2 triumph on July 31, 2008.
The Rockies took two of three from the Marlins at home from April 24-25.