Published September 08, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - Win streak plus returning slugger equals longer win streak.
That's the theory the Colorado Rockies will put to the test on Monday night at Citi Field, where they visit the New York Mets to open a three-game series.
Colorado enters in the midst of a four-game win streak propelled by a weekend sweep of the San Diego Padres, and they should get reinforcements when Michael Cuddyer is activated after a stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
He was joined in absence by Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, both of whom are out for the season. Cuddyer was the 2013 National League batting champion and has hit .331 with six home runs and 19 runs batted in across 34 games in 2014.
Colorado last won five in a row in mid-June, but it's won just five of 33 road games since.
Meanwhile, New York returns home after a 4-2 road trip and a run of nine games in which it's won six times. The Mets swept the Rockies in their last three- game visit to Citi Field last August.
Colorado starts Jordan Lyles, who was nicked for six runs in 6 1/3 innings of the Rockies' 12-7 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday.
He's 1-1 in six starts since missing time with a fractured hand. In his last seven road games, his earned run average is 3.05. In his last six starts at home, it's 7.71.
His only meeting with the Mets came in 2012, when he was with the Houston Astros.
He's opposed by New York's Jonathon Niese, who escaped with a win on Tuesday after allowing six runs and 10 hits in six innings of an 8-6 defeat of the Miami Marlins.
"It was one of those nights, but he kept battling and got through it," manager Terry Collins said.
Niese has won just three of nine decisions since the All-Star break after winning five of nine decisions in the season's first half. In six career meetings with the Rockies, he's 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA.
On Sunday in Colorado, Jackson Williams smacked a three-run shot for his first career home run as the Rockies blanked the San Diego Padres, 6-0, to sweep a three-game set.
Nolan Arenado cracked a two-run blast, while Franklin Morales (6-7) struck out six, scattered four hits and walked two over six blank innings for the Rockies.
In Cincinnati, Anthony Recker and Curtis Granderson both homered and the Mets held off the Reds, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Granderson finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Kirk Nieuwenhuis supplied two hits for the Mets, who have won six of their last nine games against the Reds.
Starter Zack Wheeler (10-9) earned the win after allowing just a run on five hits with six strikeouts over six solid innings. Wheeler is now 7-1 in his last 13 starts.