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Preview: Cardinals at Rockies

The St. Louis Cardinals look to extend their National League Central lead when they close a four-game series against the host Colorado Rockies on Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals posted a 4-3 victory on Wednesday to move two games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the division race, with the Cincinnati Reds just 2 1/2 games off the pace. Colorado will be without NL batting leader Michael Cuddyer in the finale after he bruised his right forearm and left wrist on Wednesday.

Washington Nationals - PlayerWatch

LF Bryce Harper had doubles in his first two at-bats to extend his on-base streak to eight. He was retired on a liner to second in his third at-bat. He had a third hit, a single, as he reached base nine times in 10 at-bats before he was retired in his final at-bat in the eighth. Harper is hitting .280 with 19 home runs. Harper also had his third assist in two days. "Harper was impressive. I mean that's impressive, his assists. Three out of four attempts. The other was a bang-bang. Could have had four assists, all on balls that looked like routine doubles to the base runners.

Washington Nationals - PlayerWatch

LF Bryce Harper had doubles in his first two at-bats to extend his on-base streak to eight. He was retired on a liner to second in his third at-bat. He had a third hit, a single, as he reached base nine times in 10 at-bats before he was retired in his final at-bat in the eighth. Harper is hitting .280 with 19 home runs. Harper also had his third assist in two days. "Harper was impressive. I mean that's impressive, his assists. Three out of four attempts. The other was a bang-bang. Could have had four assists, all on balls that looked like routine doubles to the base runners.

Rockies 9, Giants 8

Rockies 9, Giants 8: Michael Cuddyer's second home run of the game - a solo shot to lead off the ninth inning - gave visiting Colorado an improbable victory. Cuddyer also hit a three-run homer during a five-run fifth as Colorado, which snapped a four-game losing streak, rallied from a 6-0 deficit to improve to 3-34 on the road when their opponent scores first. Cuddyer had three hits to raise his average to .33033 - behind only Atlanta's Chris Johnson (.33039) in the National League batting race.

Colorado Rockies - PlayerWatch

RHP Juan Nicasio (6-5) had his worst start of the season on Tuesday at Turner Field. He pitched only four innings, his second-shortest stint of the year, and allowed a career-worst eight earned runs on 10 hits, two home runs and three walks. Nicasio had allowed only one run over his last 19 innings since being recalled. 2B Nolan Arenado hit his ninth home run of the season deep into the left-field seats. It was the third time this season the rookie has homered in back-to-back games. He tied a career high by getting an RBI in his third straight game.

Colorado Rockies - PlayerWatch

RHP Juan Nicasio (6-5) had his worst start of the season on Tuesday at Turner Field. He pitched only four innings, his second-shortest stint of the year, and allowed a career-worst eight earned runs on 10 hits, two home runs and three walks. Nicasio had allowed only one run over his last 19 innings since being recalled. 2B Nolan Arenado hit his ninth home run of the season deep into the left-field seats. It was the third time this season the rookie has homered in back-to-back games. He tied a career high by getting an RBI in his third straight game.

Rockies 8, Brewers 3

Rockies 8, Brewers 3: Tyler Chatwood recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts and delivered a two-run double as host Colorado batted around twice in a pair of four-run innings to break out of its offensive slump. Todd Helton and rookie Nolan Arenado added two hits and an RBI apiece for the Rockies, who scored eight runs in four games - three losses - against Miami this week. Chatwood (7-3) was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice to raise his average to .345 while yielding two runs and six hits in seven innings to keep his ERA at 2.48.

Colorado Rockies - PlayerWatch

LHP Jorge De La Rosa will lead off the Colorado rotation when they return from the All-Star break as he takes the mound against Chicago next Friday. De La Rosa has alternated success and failure in his last 10 games, picking up four wins since May 22 but none in succession. He is 2-2 in his last six starts and he has not allowed more than three runs in any.

Colorado Rockies - PlayerWatch

LHP Jorge De La Rosa will lead off the Colorado rotation when they return from the All-Star break as he takes the mound against Chicago next Friday. De La Rosa has alternated success and failure in his last 10 games, picking up four wins since May 22 but none in succession. He is 2-2 in his last six starts and he has not allowed more than three runs in any.

Colorado Rockies - TeamReport

MLB Team Report - Colorado Rockies - INSIDE PITCH Michael Cuddyer's hitting streak was in jeopardy when the Rockies right fielder came to bat in the eighth inning Sunday. His team-record run was on the verge of ending after Cuddyer went hitless in three at-bats against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner, striking out once and grounding out twice. However,
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