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Astros-Rockies Preview

May 11, 2009 - 5:03 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Houston (14-17) at Colorado (12-18), 8:40 p.m. EDT

His teammate isn't thrilled with his new role in the bullpen, but Houston right-hander Felipe Paulino is looking to make the most of his return to the Astros' starting rotation.

After making three relief appearances, Paulino takes the mound Tuesday night at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies as Houston opens a six-game trip looking to win its season-high fourth in a row.

Houston manager Cecil Cooper will give the ball to Paulino (1-2, 5.23 ERA), who takes the place of demoted veteran Russ Ortiz. Ortiz is 2-1 this season, but has a 5.91 ERA and hasn't lasted beyond five innings in any of his four starts.

"I hate it," Ortiz told the Astros' official Web site. "I'm not happy. I told (Cooper) all this. I understand his point, but four starts, come on. We're 3-1 in those starts."

Paulino, meanwhile, has struggled coming out of the bullpen, allowing seven runs in three innings spanning three appearances. He yielded four runs in 2-3 inning during Thursday's 8-5 defeat to the Chicago Cubs. Ortiz took the loss in that game after giving up three runs in 2 1-3 innings.

Despite getting charged with two losses in three starts in April, Paulino compiled a 2.55 ERA in those outings - all of which lasted at least 5 2-3 innings.

"That's three quality starts," Cooper told the team's official Web site. "Except for Wandy (Rodriguez), who else is doing that? We think (returning Paulino to the rotation) is justified."

Paulino, who has never faced the Rockies, likely won't have the backing of slugger Lance Berkman, who has missed the past three games with a sprained left wrist. Houston (14-17), though, pulled off a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres in his absence. The Astros posted season highs in both runs and hits (16) in Sunday's 12-5 victory.

Carlos Lee extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 3-for-4 effort, which included a homer and four RBIs. Lee is batting .500 (19 for 38) during his streak.

Ivan Rodriguez looks to follow up Sunday's 4-for-4 performance with another big game in Denver. In 15 career games at Coors Field, the catcher is batting .391 (25 for 64) with two homers and 10 RBIs. He is one home run shy of 300 for his career.

Colorado (12-18) continues its eight-game homestand, looking to build off Sunday's 3-2 victory over Florida that snapped a three-game slide.

Todd Helton went 2 for 4 with a triple to raise his average to .343. He is hitting .414 with three homers and 13 RBIs in his last 18 games.

The Rockies could be without shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who had his third consecutive multihit game Sunday but left in the ninth inning due to what manager Clint Hurdle called a "tweak" to his left quadriceps.

"We'll see how it feels (Monday)," Tulowitzki said. "Then I'll come back on Tuesday and hopefully I'm ready to go."

Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez (2-4, 5.45) will try to follow up one of his best outings of the season. In Wednesday's 11-1 victory over San Francisco, the right-hander went seven-plus innings, yielding one run and five hits.

"I feel really confident in what I can do out there," said Jimenez, who is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA in two career starts against the Astros.

Colorado lost two of three to Houston last season at Coors Field.






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    Astros 1, Rockies 12  FinalMay 13 12:28 AM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 2
    COLORADO 1 0 2 1 5 2 0 1 x 12 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - FELIPE PAULINO, TIM BYRDAK (5TH), RUSS ORTIZ (6TH) AND IVAN
    RODRIGUEZ
    COL - UBALDO JIMENEZ, MATT BELISLE (8TH), MANUEL CORPAS
    (9TH) AND CHRIS IANNETTA

    HOME

    May 12 11:21 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD HAWPE SCORED MATT MURTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HAWPE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    COLORADO 12 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.204, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Astros 1, Rockies 12  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 12 11:13 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY IVAN RODRIGUEZ SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, G BLUM ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    COLORADO 11 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: R ORTIZ (.143, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Astros 1, Rockies 11  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 12 10:44 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRAD HAWPE (5) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF RUSS ORTIZ SCORED TODD HELTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, COLORADO 11
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.206, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Astros 0, Rockies 11  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 12 10:37 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY IAN STEWART (6) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF TIM BYRDAK SCORED BRAD HAWPE, GARRETT ATKINS AND SETH
    SMITH.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, COLORADO 9
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: U JIMENEZ (.375, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 0, Rockies 9  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 12 10:22 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD HAWPE SCORED TROY TULOWITZKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HAWPE ON FIRST, T HELTON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    COLORADO 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.206, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 0, Rockies 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 12 10:13 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY IAN STEWART (5) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF FELIPE PAULINO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, COLORADO 4
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: U JIMENEZ (.429, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 0, Rockies 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 12 9:52 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TODD HELTON (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF FELIPE PAULINO SCORED DEXTER FOWLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, COLORADO 3
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: B HAWPE (.337, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Astros 0, Rockies 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 12 9:35 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD HAWPE SCORED TROY TULOWITZKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HAWPE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    COLORADO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.210, 3 HR, 13 RBI)

    Astros 0, Rockies 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 12 9:02 PM