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Phillies-Rockies Preview

Phillies-Rockies Preview
The 2009 season is less than a week old, but the Colorado Rockies' offense is already in midseason form.

The same cannot be said about the Philadelphia Phillies'.

The Rockies look to keep up their surge and win their fourth straight game Saturday night when they continue their three-game series against the punchless Phillies.

After taking two of three from Arizona in its first series this season, Colorado (3-1) defeated the defending World Series champions 10-3 in Friday's home opener.

The Rockies knocked around Cole Hamels for seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings, including a five-run third in which the reigning World Series and NLCS MVP gave up six extra-base hits.

Colorado's offense has been clicking, scoring at least eight runs in three of four games.

"There's no easy out in our whole lineup, from one through eight," said Garrett Atkins, who hit a two-run homer.

The Rockies' offensive outburst is quite a turnaround from last season when they scored just 16 runs in their first eight games. Colorado, which won once in its first six contests of 2008, has not opened a season 4-1 since 1998.

Atkins, who was hitless in 11 at-bats in his first three games, is 5-for-11 with a homer lifetime versus Saturday's scheduled starter Brett Myers (0-1, 6.00 ERA), who hopes to bounce back from a shaky performance in the season opener.

In a 4-1 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, Myers allowed four runs and eight hits - including three home runs - in six innings. The right-hander is prone to giving up the long ball as he was tied for sixth in the NL last season with 29 home runs allowed.

"I made three mistakes and they didn't miss them," he said.

Myers looks to rebound against the only NL team he has never lost to other than the Phillies.

He's 6-0 with a 3.19 ERA in seven games - six starts - lifetime versus the Rockies, but wasn't very sharp in his only appearance against them last season. On April 22, Myers allowed six runs and 11 hits - including two home runs - in seven innings of an 8-6 win, but did not factor in the decision.

While Colorado's offense has been tough to shut down, Philadelphia's bats have struggled to generate runs.

The Phillies, who were tied for second in the NL in runs (799) in 2008, defeated Atlanta 12-11 on Wednesday, but have scored just four runs in their other three games combined.

Jimmy Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, is 2-for-18 this season, while Ryan Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, is 3-for-16.

The Phillies hope to break out of their funk against Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa, who is scheduled to make his first start of the season.

De La Rosa went 10-8 with a 4.92 ERA in 28 games - 23 starts - last season and was at his best at hitter-friendly Coors Field, where he went 6-2 with a 4.65 ERA in 15 games - 12 starts. In six home starts after the All-Star break, the left-hander went 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA.

De La Rosa struggled in his only start against the Phillies last season, yielding seven runs, four hits and three walks in 3 1-3 innings of a 20-5 loss at Philadelphia on May 26.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 11, 2009

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