The Colorado Rockies (3-1) begin their first road trip of the season with a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates (4-2) will host their first home series of the season, having taken two of three each from the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2010, the Pirates took four of the seven games the teams played, splitting the four-game series in Pittsburgh.
The Rockies had their offense click during their two-game sweep of the Dodgers, as Troy Tulowitzki hit a home run in each game and Todd Helton edged a ball over the right field wall for a three-run home run in the Wednesday contest. Jhoulys Chacin, who will start Sunday's game, threw seven shutout innings in the 3-0 win on Tuesday.
Because Ubaldo Jimenez is on the 15-day DL with a cut cuticle on his right thumb, the Rockies' rotation will be shuffled a bit. Fifth starter Esmil Rogers starts Thursday's game and will be followed by Jorge De La Rosa, Greg Reynolds (in place of Jimenez) and Chacin. De La Rosa left his first start of the season due to a blister on his middle finger, which the medical staff helped eliminate. He threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks.
Reynolds, however, is making his first major league start since 2008, when he was ill-prepared to be in the Big Show. He suffered a shoulder injury in his first Triple-A start in 2009 and attempted to make his way back without surgery, but eventually needed during the offseason. During Spring Training 2010, Reynolds was hit in the elbow and experienced bone chips, necessitating additional surgery. He made several starts at the end of the minor league season and finished as the runner-up in spring training for the fifth starter position.
Paul Maholm will oppose Rogers in Thursday's game. He took the no-decision in the loss to the Cubs, but held the Cubs to no runs on five hits in five innings. Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and James McDonald will follow in the rotation.
So far, the Pirates' offense has been led by center fielder Andrew McCutchen and second baseman Neil Walker. McCutchen is hitting .389 with two home runs. Walker hit his second home run of the season in Wednesday's game and stands at a .346 average.
First pitch for Thursday's game is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. MT.