The Rockies might be feeling an annual late-season comeback in them. While Arizona and San Francisco continue to struggle, the Rockies have won four straight and are picking up steam. Colorado is 8 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona. "We just need to keep coming out here and playing solid baseball and win baseball games," manager Jim Tracy said. "The number is 8 1/2, but the door is cracked a little bit. "One thing about this club -- going back from 2007 to the present -- it has had a keen knack for when the door cracks a little bit, pushing it open a little further. We'll see how it all plays out, but I think there are some dynamics in play right now that haven't been in play like we thought they would have been earlier on." Aaron Cook will be on the mound Wednesday for Colorado and the righty has been strong as of late. He has had three quality starts in the past six and in his last start gave up three runs over 7 2/3 innings in a win over Florida. Cook is 4-1 with a 3.70 ERA in his career against the Astros. The Rockies acquired third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from Oakland Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. "He's had his fair share of success at this level, there's no getting around that," Tracy said. "He has a very business-like approach, which is something that you love. He's a professional. That's exactly what he is." Kouzmanoff hit .221 in 46 games with the A's this season. He will report to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Seven players have started at third base for Colorado this season. Astros: Wandy not concerned with Coors
Rodriguez won't only have to combat trade rumors on Wednesday -- he'll have to battle the conditions at Coors Field. But the veteran isn't quite as concerned about the weather. "I don't think about this stadium," he said. "I try to put the ball where I want and make my quality start. I know in this stadium the wind goes out. I don't put those thoughts in my mind. I concentrate more on where I want to put the ball. "I never think about the stadium. I think about where I want to throw the ball. If he hits the ball, I concentrate on the next hitter." On Monday, the Astros activated outfielder Jordan Schafer from the 15-day disabled list. Schafer, who was on the DL with an injured joint in his left middle finger since July 27, was 10-for-20 in a five-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Schafer went 0-for-4 Monday but went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday.
The Houston bullpen has a 3.50 ERA since the All-Star break with seven saves. Before the Midsummer Classic, the Astros' relievers sported a combined 4.66 ERA with only 10 saves.