Colorado (1-1) @ St. Louis (1-1)
By MATT BECKER, STATS Writer 16 minutes ago
The high-powered Colorado Rockiesâ€™ offense has gotten off to a slow start, but slugger Brad Hawpe is not too concerned.
The defending NL champion Rockies look to break out of their early offensive funk when they wrap up a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday at Busch Stadium.
Colorado (1-1) was second in the NL with 860 runs in 2007, but has scored only five times and left 20 runners on base through two games this season.
The first five batters of the Rockies lineup went just 4-for-20 in Wednesdayâ€™s 8-3 loss to St. Louis (1-1).
â€œSometimes things like that are going to happenâ€”the other guys are going to get outs at the right time,â€ Hawpe told the teamâ€™s officials Web site. â€œBut over the course of 162 games, our offense is going to come through more times than not.â€
Hawpe provided most of Coloradoâ€™s offense on Wednesday with a solo home run and RBI double. He is 4-for-7 with a one double in his career against Thursdayâ€™s scheduled starter Brad Thompson.
Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday is 1-for-7 through two games after a career year in 2007 with a .340 batting average, 36 home runs and 137 RBIs in 158 games. Holliday is 3-for-6 with a homer and a double lifetime against Thompson.
St. Louisâ€™ Rich Ankiel homered in the fourth and singled twice Wednesday, matching his career best with three hits in a single game. The former wild starting pitcher also made a diving catch in center field.
Twelve of Ankielâ€™s 14 career home runs have come at home, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he looks like a player with a half-dozen years of major league hitting experience.
â€œI just like the way he goes about it,â€ La Russa said. â€œItâ€™s remarkable how proficient he is with so few big league at-bats.â€
Albert Pujols was 2-for-2 with three walks and an RBI on Wednesday, and is batting .390 (32-for-82) with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 24 career home games against Colorado.
Thompson starts the season in the Cardinalsâ€™ rotation after spending time as both a starter and reliever in 2007.
Thompson began last season in the bullpen before making his first start against the Rockies on May 8. The right-hander finished the year 8-6 with a 4.73 ERA in 44 games, and was 6-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 17 starts. He went 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts against Colorado in 2007.
Thompson earned a spot in starting rotation this season after a stellar spring, as he allowed five runs, struck out 14 and walked four in 16 1-3 innings over five games in the Grapefruit League.
Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for Colorado Thursday to make his first career start against the Cardinals.
Jimenez went 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 15 starts for the Rockies last season as a rookie. In six starts away from Coors Field, the right-hander was 1-1 with a 5.01 ERA.
Jimenez is looking to bounce back from a rough spring training, as he allowed 17 runs in 19 2-3 innings over five starts in the Cactus League.