The Atlanta Braves have dominated the Colorado Rockies over the last four years and will be bringing a red-hot hitter to Coors Field to face a pitcher making his major league debut.
Evan Gattis looks to extend his career-high hitting streak to 10 games as he and the Braves get their first look at Christian Bergman in Monday night's opener of a four-game set.
Atlanta (32-29) has taken 20 of 25 from Colorado since the start of 2011, winning two of three at home May 23-25.
Gattis went 2 for 4 with two homers and three RBIs in a 7-0 victory in the series finale. That started his nine-game tear in which he's hit .371 with four homers and 10 RBIs.
He got the day off in Sunday's 6-5 loss at Arizona and figures to be back in the lineup to try to help the Braves spoil Bergman's debut. Bergman has risen all the way through Colorado's system after he was a 24th-round pick in 2010 out of UC Irvine, which reached the College World Series this weekend for the first time since he helped the Anteaters get there in 2007.
"It was hard from the very beginning," Bergman told the Rockies' official website. "Sometimes felt like I didn't quite get the attention that maybe I thought I should. But a lot of people drafted before me might think the same thing. I tried to just put that out of my mind and focus on the job at hand."
The right-hander went 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. Even more impressive was his 2.04 ERA in four home starts at the same kind of high altitude he will have to deal with Monday.
His batterymate could be Wilin Rosario, who returned to the lineup in Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers after being scratched the previous day due to dizziness from dehydration.
Michael Cuddyer missed all three games this weekend with a sore left shoulder and could be headed to the disabled list. The Rockies outfield is already thin without injured left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Colorado (29-33) has lost nine of 10 even though major league batting leader Troy Tulowitzki has remained productive. Tulowitzki has hit .440 in his last six games with three homers, including his 17th of the year Sunday to tie Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the NL lead.
The Rockies shortstop is 1 for 5 against Braves starter Gavin Floyd (0-2, 2.80 ERA), who is still searching for his first win since 2012 after going 0-6 with a 3.77 ERA over the last two seasons.
Floyd pitched well May 23 against the Rockies, allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings in a 3-2 victory that lowered his career ERA to 5.40 versus Colorado.
The right-hander may be hoping to see a familiar face in the Rockies lineup in Justin Morneau, who is 7 for 36 against him.
Floyd failed to hold a four-run lead Tuesday, allowing five runs and 10 hits over five-plus innings in a 7-5 defeat to Seattle.
Atlanta has dropped eight of 12 after losing two of three to the Diamondbacks.
Jason Heyward went 0 for 5 on Sunday, ending his 11-game hitting streak in which he batted .354 with four homers and 11 RBIs. He had two homers and five RBIs in the first two games against Arizona.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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