|Rockies look to stay hot vs. visiting Marlins|
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies begin a weekend series Friday with the Miami Marlins, hoping to finish a homestand by taking advantage of another National League East laggard.
A 6-4 win over the New York Mets on Thursday enabled the Rockies to take three of four games in that series. The Marlins (29-46), who were off Thursday, have the worst road record (15-25) in the NL but have won nine of their past 16 games overall. They are 3-3 on a road trip that included stops in Baltimore and San Francisco and will end in Denver.
"This has been a good little three-game swing for us," Rockies manager Bud Black said after his team beat the Mets for the third straight time. "We were scuffling a little bit on the mound. We were starting to hit. So collectively, these three hopefully produce a little momentum going forward."
The Rockies (37-38) broke their major-league record-tying string of allowing at least eight runs in nine consecutive home games but have won a season-high tying three straight games at Coors Field where they are 14-20.
Jon Gray (6-7 5.89) will start for the Rockies against Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (2-3, 5.91). Gray is 0-2, 7.36 in his past two starts, the most recent Sunday at Texas where he gave up one run in five innings and left after giving up five runs and facing four batters in the sixth. The last was Jurickson Profar, who hit a two-run homer that gave the Rangers a 6-5 lead. Gray ended up with a no-decision in what became a 13-12 loss to the Rangers.
Gray is 1-2, 6.75 in four starts against the Marlins and 3-3, 6.45 in seven starts at home this season.
Chen gave up three runs in six innings Saturday at Baltimore and won 5-4. It was his first victory in nine starts since he made his 2018 debut against the Rockies in Miami and held them to one run in 5 1/3 innings.
Chen is 1-3, 8.88 in six starts on the road this season. He's 1-1, 7.07 in three starts against the Rockies and will be pitching at Coors Field for the first time.
The Marlins scored three runs in the ninth Monday to beat the Giants 5-4. They are coming off a 6-5 loss Wednesday to the Giants. In that game, Miami came back from a 5-1 deficit and scored two runs in the seventh and two more in the ninth before J.B. Shuck struck out to end the game with runners on first and second. For a young team in a total rebuild like the Marlins, a stirring comeback win followed two games later by a close-but-not-quite effort can help.
"If we're going to grow," veteran Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin said after Wednesday's game, "these are the kinds of series that you need to be in. The type of series where the fans come at you. I think series like this can help a young team like us grow, more than anything."
Unlike the Marlins, the Rockies, an NL wild-card team last year, have realistic aspirations of returning to the postseason, something they have never done in consecutive seasons.
A series win against Miami would complete a 5-2 homestand for the Rockies, a series sweep would make it 6-1 Regardless, a stumble against the Marlins would be ill-advised.
"We know that we're a good team that's got to take care of business, especially when we play at home and play teams that everybody will say on paper we're going to win those games," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "I think we're making progress. We're hitting the ball well. Pitching is making progress, too. We believe in each other. I think this is the perfect time for us to continue to play good baseball and finish strong the first half."