Washington Nationals (54-43) at Colorado Rockies (40-59)
Tuesday, July 22 - 8:40 PM EST
Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
The Washington Nationals look to keep alive several streaks when they take on the host Colorado Rockies on Tuesday in the middle contest of their three-game series. Washington's 7-2 rout in the opener gave the club three straight wins, three victories in a row on the road and four triumphs in as many meetings with Colorado this season. Meanwhile, the Rockies have dropped six straight overall and three in a row at home to continue their month-long free-fall.
The last two of those defeats have come without All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is dealing with a minor quadriceps injury. With Tulowitzki sidelined and first baseman Justin Morneau landing on the disabled list Monday, Colorado's weakened lineup was held under four runs for the fifth time during its six-game skid. The lone highlight came in the form of a quality major-league debut by first baseman Ben Paulsen, who collected two hits and an RBI for the Rockies.
TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), ROOT (Colorado)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.03 ERA) vs. Rockies LH Yohan Flande (0-2, 7.36)
Zimmermann has been working his way through a biceps issue but managed to avoid the disabled list after getting through long toss on Thursday and a successful bullpen session two days later. His last start came on July 11, when he was reached for four runs over 3 1/3 innings in a loss at Philadelphia. Zimmermann yielded two runs in six frames to defeat the Rockies at home on June 30.
Flande was pounded for five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings by the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 6 in his previous outing for the Rockies, failing to strike out a single batter in his third start of the season - and his major-league career. He then returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and surrendered eight runs over six frames in a pair of appearances. The 28-year-old Dominican gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings of a loss at Washington opposite Zimmermann last month.
1. Nationals SS Ian Desmond is 13-for-33 during his eight-game hitting streak and has recorded at least one RBI in seven of those contests.
2. Rockies RF Carlos Gonzalez is 6-for-28 with 11 strikeouts since coming off the disabled list earlier this month.
3. Washington LF Ryan Zimmerman has hit safely in eight consecutive games and scored a run in five straight.
PREDICTION: Nationals 6, Rockies 4