The Rockies will be glad to get out of Milwaukee after Sunday's series finale with the Brewers. They just hope to do it with a victory.
Colorado is winless in six games against Milwaukee this season, and it hasn't helped that the Rockies have had many key players out of the lineup because of injury. But even with Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and Michael Cuddyer sidelined, not to mention several pitchers, these days teams at full strength have their hands full with a club that has won 18 of 27 games this month.
"I don't know if there's been a good time this season to be playing the Brewers," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said on Saturday. "They've got the best record in the National League, and they're playing complete games. I don't know if the timing is good to be playing them right now."
Weiss hopes veteran southpaw Jorge De La Rosa can give Colorado a chance to salvage a victory before the Rockies head to the nation's capital to take on the Nationals.
De La Rosa had an outstanding May, going 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in five starts. But June has been a trying month in which he has posted a 1-3 mark with a 7.36 ERA thus far. To make matters worse, the left-hander has struggled away from Coors Field this season, to the tune of a 5.85 ERA in eight starts.
De La Rosa's counterpart on Sunday has seen his season move in the opposite direction. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo had a nightmarish May, watching his ERA balloon from 1.91 at the end of April to 3.56 by the beginning of June after posting a 1-3 record and 5.79 ERA over five starts.
But Gallardo has righted the ship in June. Since giving up six runs in five innings in a loss to Minnesota on June 3, he has allowed only three runs over his past four outings (27 innings pitched, 1.00 ERA). He has had problems with the Rockies throughout his career, however, so far 0-4 in nine appearances (eight starts) with a 5.77 ERA.
Gallardo allowed only one run over six innings in his latest start, but he took a no-decision in Milwaukee's 4-2, 16-inning loss to the Nationals on Tuesday.
"For a game to go that long you obviously want to be on the winning side, just to make everything worth it," Gallardo said afterward. "It's definitely tough when you lose a long game like that, but you've just got to forget about it and get ready to go."
Rockies: Arenado rehabbing, CarGo has stitches removed
Arenado, who sustained a fractured middle finger on his left hand while sliding headfirst against the Braves on May 24, made a rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Weiss said the timetable for the third baseman's return to the Rockies lineup would be determined by how he felt after getting back to game action.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez had the stitches removed on his left index finger following surgery to remove a tumor.
"He's starting to just take dry swings with the bat. He hasn't taken any batting practice or anything; he's just swinging the bat," Weiss said Saturday. "He's had the stitches removed, but it's still a pretty good scar there, and the incision was pretty sizable, so just working around that."
Brewers: Gomez takes routine left-handed BP
Center fielder Carlos Gomez takes left-handed swings during batting practice as part of his normal routine each day. On Saturday, he took early BP on the field and was seen hitting soft toss from the left side.
"I swing a lot every day, 150-200 swings, and this puts a lot on one side," Gomez said. "If I do only that, then the other side will be weak, and I can get hurt. I try to keep it balanced, like, swing 50-70 times to the left side and do my normal workout from the right side. That's what I do every day."
Gomez noted that he used to be a switch-hitter before he was instructed to hit from only the right side while coming up in the Mets' organization because of a lack of left-handed power. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is fine with Gomez's taking some hacks from the opposite batter's box.
"He needs to have fun when he's working," Roenicke said. "He actually has a really nice left-handed swing. He's trying to work on some things that he hasn't been doing real well lately. He's trying to smooth that out."
Gomez said he made a slight adjustment before Saturday's game that had to do with his hands while at the plate, and it seemed to pay dividends: He hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Saturday's win over Colorado, his first home run since June 5.
Gomez left the game in the seventh after colliding with right fielder Ryan Braun as the two chased a fly ball that ended up being a double by Colorado's Ryan Wheeler. Gomez is day to day with a strained neck.
• The Rockies have lost 11 of their past 12 games dating back to June 16.
• Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is 9-for-21 (.429) with four doubles, a home run and four RBIs in his career against Gallardo. First baseman Justin Morneau is 6-for-10 with two doubles against the right-hander.
• Braun is 8-for-11 (.727) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs against De La Rosa. Second baseman Rickie Weeks is 5-for-8 (.625) with three doubles against the left-hander.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.