Petit covers for Cain, looks to even series
Yusmeiro Petit has started 37 MLB games over six seasons, but he has yet to start a game this year. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Programming note: Giants-Rockies coverage begins tonight at 5 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
While the Colorado Rockies are playing very well at Coors Field, one player who has keyed that success might not be able to help it continue.
The short-handed Rockies may be missing Dexter Fowler as they try for their eighth win in nine home games Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants.
Following a 4-6 road trip, Colorado (62-71) continued its winning ways back home with a 6-1 victory in Monday's series opener. Todd Helton and Charlie Blackmon homered and Nolan Arenado added three hits for the Rockies, who won for the sixth time in eight home games versus the last-place Giants (58-73).
Colorado scored 3.5 runs per game while batting .186 with runners in scoring position on its trip, but has hit .330 in those situations over the last eight home games while averaging 6.8 runs. Arenado has hit .516 in that span at Coors.
Fowler also has keyed that stretch as he's hit .429 with seven RBIs and nine runs scored, and he ranks among the NL's top 10 with a .316 batting average at home. He singled in his only at-bat Monday, but left in the second inning because of a left lateral knee bruise and is day-to-day.
The Rockies already have been without Carlos Gonzalez since Aug. 4 due to a strained finger, though fellow All-Star Troy Tulowitzki is expected to return after missing the past two starts with a sore oblique.
Tulowitzki is hitless in seven at-bats against Yusmeiro Petit (0-0, 3.38 ERA), who is replacing an injured Matt Cain in the Giants rotation to make his first major league start since Sept. 23. He's made one appearance with San Francisco this season, striking out seven and giving up two runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 9-3 loss to Cincinnati on July 23.
The right-hander has gone 0-1 with an 8.18 ERA in three career starts at Coors Field, though he hasn't pitched there since 2009 while with Arizona.
Helton, three hits away from 2,500 for his career, is 4 for 7 lifetime against Petit.
Colorado counters with rookie Chad Bettis (0-2, 4.50), who takes his sixth shot at his first major league victory.
Bettis bounced back from his worst performance, allowing eight runs - two earned - in 2 2-3 innings of a loss at Baltimore, with a solid effort Thursday in Philadelphia. He had a career-high five strikeouts and allowed one run over 5 1-3 frames before the bullpen blew a three-run lead in a 5-4 loss.
"Everything was working pretty well," Bettis said. "I had better location than my last start. I had the same stuff but my command and location were better."
He may get to avoid Buster Posey, who is batting .491 with six home runs and 14 RBIs over a 13-game hitting streak at Coors. He's reached base in 49 straight games overall against Colorado, but manager Bruce Bochy told the team's official website that he would "probably" give Posey the night off Tuesday.
"I've played him every day here for a while," said Bochy, whose Giants have lost six of nine.
Pablo Sandoval is 5 for 42 (.119) in his last 10 in Denver.