Rockies make a stop at Citi Field

    8:45 AM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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    (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies have not been left a thick margin for error in the race for the NL West's top spot.

    A rough road trip has not helped the Rockies, who look to avoid a third straight setback on Tuesday night in the first of three straight meetings with the New York Mets.

    Colorado has lost six of the first seven contests of this 10-game road trip and sits nine games under .500 at 52-61. Even worse, the Rockies now trail the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of 15 straight on the road, by 11 games for first place in the division.

    The Rockies dropped the rubber match of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, 5-1, and sit 9 1/2 games out of the league's second Wild Card spot.

    Colorado did see Carlos Gonzalez return to the lineup on Sunday as he continues to battle a nagging sprained right finger. Gonzalez, hitting .302 with 70 RBI in 103 games this season, is tied for second in the NL with 26 homers, but has not gone deep in his past 10 games since a home run on July 20.

    The Rockies hope to get on track tonight behind Tyler Chatwood, who will lean on his career success versus the Mets in an effort to rebound from a horrid outing last time out.

    Chatwood allowed more than two earned runs for just the third time in his 15 stats this year, lasting a season-low 2 1/3 innings at Atlanta on Wednesday. The righty was charged with eight runs -- seven earned -- on 10 hits and a walk.

    "You can't fall behind hot teams like that. You've got to be able to get ahead and try to pick the corners. I think I was behind pretty much every hitter tonight," said Chatwood, who fell to 7-4 and saw his earned run average spike from 2.48 to 3.15.

    The 23-year-old is 1-0 in his career versus the Mets in three starts, allowing only one run over 16 innings. He did not factor into a 3-2 loss on June 27 in Colorado, giving up a run over six innings.

    The Mets are not without their struggles, having lost four of five and seven of their past 10 games. They dropped the final two contests of their three- game weekend series versus the Kansas City Royals without All-Star third baseman David Wright, who landed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring.

    Wright was hitting .309 with 16 homers and 54 RBI in 105 games this season.

    It was a bit of an eventful off day for the Mets on Monday as they saw two of their players handed 50-game suspensions for their connection to the Biogenesis case.

    Hit with the bans were minor leaguers Jordany Valdespin and Cesar Puello. Valdespin batted .188 with four homers and 16 RBI in 66 games with the Mets earlier this season before a demotion to Triple-A in mid-July.

    Puello, meanwhile, is ranked as New York's sixth-best prospect by MLB.com.

    The Mets turn to right-hander Jenrry Mejia on Tuesday, with the undrafted 23- year-old set to make his third start of the season and ninth of his career.

    Mejia made his season debut on July 26 and won in Washington, logging seven scoreless innings while striking out seven. He then hurled another quality start at Miami on Wednesday, but lost a 3-2 decision after giving up three runs on six hits and a walk in six frames.

    "He was behind in a lot of counts ... and got himself into trouble," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

    Two of Mejia's 40 career appearances have come versus the Rockies, both in relief.

    The Rockies have won eight in a row in New York, having not lost there since Aug. 12, 2010. They have swept back-to-back four-game sets at Citi Field.

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