Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, June 9th (All times eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (30-29) at Colorado Rockies (24-33), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Dan Haren (3-6, 3.52) Colorado - Jeff Francis (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies try to avoid their fourth straight setback this afternoon as they gear up for the second of three interleague matchups versus the LA Angels of Anaheim at Coors Field.
Colorado, currently 12 games out of contention in the National League West, has been outscored 23-3 during this current slide and now sits in fourth place in the division as a result.
On Friday the Rockies fell nine games under .500 as they accepted a 7-2 setback in the series opener. Starting pitcher Alex White allowed four runs on eight hits, striking out six, over six innings as he absorbed his fourth loss in six decisions.
Todd Helton accounted for two of his team's seven hits and scored once.
Over on the other side the Angels, currently four games off the pace in the AL West behind only Texas, were paced by Torii Hunter who had a monster game with two home runs and a total of six RBI.
"My first time playing here, my whole career I've been trying to get over here," Hunter remarked. "I like this stadium. I used to wonder if I'd see this place before I [retired]."
Matching Hunter's three hits overall was Mike Trout who came around to score three times. Albert Pujols, who played both first and third base in the contest, contributed a pair of doubles in the second win in three tries for the club.
C.J. Wilson registered his seventh win of the season for the Angels, giving up just a single run on five hits and a walk, while striking out nine over eight innings of action.
California native Dan Haren is preparing to take the ball for the Angels, winners of 12 of their last 16 contests. The right-hander has managed to post just three wins in nine decisions thus far in 2012 and had a two-game win streak snapped his last time out.
On Sunday Haren was up against the Rangers and permitted just two runs on seven hits and a couple of walks in five innings, but his own offense failed to create much of a spark in what turned into a 7-3 setback.
Having spent time in the National League as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Haren is somewhat familiar with the Rockies and has a career mark of 6-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 previous appearances versus the club.
Desperate to get on course, the Rockies are reaching back into the past as they summon Jeff Francis to the hill today. Francis, who was 17-9 with Colorado in 2007 and he helped the club win their only NL pennant, had been pitching in the minors with the Cincinnati Reds farm system at Triple-A Louisville where he had a record of 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA.
Earlier this week Francis opted out of his contract and was then signed by Colorado to a minor league deal on Thursday. While pitching with Kansas City last season Francis struggled with a 6-16 record as opposing hitters batted .301 against him, but he has had success at Coors Field where his 30 total wins are tied for third all-time.
Colorado's pitching has been dreadful across the board this season, ranking last in all of major league baseball with a collective ERA of 5.14. The team has the fewest quality starts (17) of any club and opponents are batting an incredible .293 against them, although much of that is due to the fact that Coors Field has never been a pitcher-friendly park to begin with.
Although he is still hitting just .248 this season, Pujols, who actually leads the Angels in RBI with 32, is hitting .317 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI in 75 career games versus the Rockies.
The Angels, who have won three straight and five of the last six in the series with Colorado, have an interleague record of 154-116. The Rockies are 111-116 against the American League.
06/09 10:47:54 ET