The Colorado Rockies finally broke out of their slump in a big way. Whether they can follow that with another good performance remains to be seen as they run into yet another matchup against a tough pitcher.
Colorado will try to keep it going Monday night against Travis Wood and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Rockies (20-17) had been held scoreless for 28 innings prior to Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer in the third Sunday, leading to an 8-2 victory at St. Louis. Colorado ended a four-game slide with 11 hits, matching the total from its skid, which included back-to-back shutouts at the hands of Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright.
It was an uncharacteristic stretch for Colorado, which has fielded one of the majors' top offenses, hitting .267 and averaging 4.8 runs.
"It's too good of an offensive lineup to stay down too long," manager Walt Weiss said.
After solving St. Louis' Jaime Garcia, who entered Sunday with a 2.25 ERA, the Rockies now must contest with Wood (3-2, 2.33 ERA). The left-hander has wins in two of his last three outings and gave up one run while limiting the Cardinals to five hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1 victory Tuesday.
Wood looks vastly improved from his 2012 form - he was 1-3 through his first seven starts - earning high praise from his manager.
"He's the best starter in baseball, pretty much," Dale Sveum said. "He's figured it out."
Against the Rockies, Wood is 0-1 with a 2.77 in three games. Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are a combined 1 for 14 off him.
Colorado's lineup also took a hit prior to Sunday's game as Michael Cuddyer was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a neck injury. Cuddyer was batting .319 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs, though Charlie Blackmon - recalled from Triple-A - filled in nicely, going 2 for 4 with a homer versus St. Louis.
The Cubs (15-22) have won four of six after taking two of three at Washington.
Anthony Rizzo had been swinging a hot bat, going 11 for 21 with seven RBIs in five games before an 0-for-4 performance Sunday, though it didn't keep Chicago from a 2-1 come-from-behind victory.
Rizzo and company will dig in against Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.72 ERA). The right-hander hasn't exactly made an inspiring case to remain in the rotation as he's failed to go deeper than five innings in six outings since throwing six in his first start of the season.
"I need to work hard and keep the team in the game," Nicasio, who averages 18.9 pitches per inning, told the team's official website. "I know they have a lot of pitchers in (Triple-A) Colorado Springs who are working hard and pitching good."
Tulowitzki is a career .204 hitter at Wrigley Field - his worst mark at any current NL ballpark.
Chicago has won 14 of the teams' last 18 meetings at Wrigley dating back to Oct. 1, 2006.