Yankees hope Phelps can even set with Rockies

David Phelps makes his second start in place of the injured Ivan Nova on Wednesday when the New York Yankees continue a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Phelps struggled in his first start against Houston, but did not get a decision despite allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had been 1-1 in six prior relief outings and is pitching to a 5.56 ERA in his seven appearances this season.

"I felt like I could have just really grabbed the reins and taken care of things," Phelps said. "But it's baseball. Stuff happens, and you've just got to do better next time."

Colorado, meanwhile, will turn to righty Juan Nicasio, who is 3-0 with a 4.91 ERA. Nicasio did not get a decision last Wednesday in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers reached him for three runs and five hits in four innings of a 7-3 win.

Since pitching six innings in his first start, Nicasio hasn't gone beyond the fifth in his past five. And in four of those, he's needed 92-97 pitches, including 92 against the Dodgers.

"It's not that he's throwing the ball poorly," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "His stuff is still very good. It's just a matter of being more efficient and not extending at-bats."

Colorado drew first blood in this set on Tuesday, as Carlos Gonzalez clubbed a two-run homer and Jorge De La Rosa spun six strong innings of three-hit ball to lead the Rockies to a 2-0 win.

De La Rosa (3-3) walked one and fanned a pair before Matt Belisle and Rex Brothers each tossed a hitless inning of relief. Rafael Betancourt worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his ninth save.

Josh Rutledge registered three hits and scored once for the Rockies, who dropped two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.

"We just want to get wins, regardless of who it's against," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "We just want to click off as many wins as we can."

Hiroki Kuroda (4-2) was a hard-luck loser, scattering seven hits -- including Gonzalez's homer -- while striking out three over seven solid frames in the setback, New York's third in its last four games.

"He just made a mistake," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Kuroda. "He made one mistake to (Gonzalez) and he made him pay for it. He made one mistake and it cost him the game."

New York is 7-6 all time vs. Colorado.