Preview: Rockies (30-27) at Reds (35-22)
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: June 03, 2013 7:10 PM EDT
The Cincinnati Reds may be thrilled to return home, and a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies may only improve their mood.
An injury to Brandon Phillips, however, isn't helping.
With Phillips expected to miss this entire series, the Reds go for their longest winning streak over the Rockies in more than 12 years Monday night.
Cincinnati (35-22) owns the best home record in baseball at 20-7, and they collectively are hitting 26 points better at home (.267) and scoring 5.5 runs per game there.
The Reds may be hoping a return to Great American Ball Park can provide a spark after they hit .225 while averaging 3.0 runs during a 2-3 road trip, which was capped with Sunday's 5-4, 11-inning loss at Pittsburgh.
Facing the Rockies (30-27) may also help since Cincinnati went 5-1 against them last year, winning five in a row while batting .303 with 14 homers and 43 runs scored.
The Reds last won six straight against Colorado bridging 2000 and 2001.
Matching that streak will have to be done without Phillips, who was hit by a pitch from the Pirates' Tony Watson during Saturday's 2-0 victory. He was held out of the lineup Sunday, and manager Dusty Baker isn't expecting him to be available versus Colorado.
"It's going to be, I anticipate, three or four days," Baker told the team's official website. "We feel very fortunate, even though it's frustrating, that we'll have Brandon back in a few days. ... It could have been really, really devastating. I was just thinking (about being) without Brandon defensively, and offensively - and he's our cleanup hitter."
Phillips is 9 for 19 (.474) with six runs over his last five games, but Zack Cozart may be a likely candidate to pick up the slack.
Cozart is hitting .405 with five doubles and a triple over the past 10 games, getting at least one hit in nine of them. That stretch includes going 8 for 20 with three doubles in five home contests, helping raise his season average 38 points to .246.
Joey Votto may benefit from facing the Rockies since he's a .358 hitter in 30 career meetings, going 12 for 19 with three homers and four RBIs over his past five.
The Reds are expected to turn to Bronson Arroyo (5-5, 3.75), who was roughed up for five runs and eight hits - two homers - in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-2 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday. He had won his three previous starts behind a 1.33 ERA.
Arroyo held Colorado to six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-0 road win July 27. However, he's struggled versus Todd Helton and Carlos Gonzalez. He's allowed Helton to go 8 for 22 (.364) with two homers off him, while Gonzalez is 7 for 14 with a pair of doubles.
The Rockies are looking for a three-game winning streak after taking back-to-back contests from the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning 7-2 on Sunday behind two homers and three RBIs from Dexter Fowler.
Fowler is batting .381 with 17 runs over the past 16 games, but he's 2 for 10 with a homer versus Arroyo.
Tyler Chatwood (3-0, 2.12 ERA) is scheduled to face Cincinnati for the first time, and the right-hander has won both of his road outings while tossing 12 scoreless innings. He struck out a career-high 10 and yielded two runs in six innings while not getting a decision in a 6-3 loss to Houston on Wednesday.
Chatwood is also proving to be capable at the plate, going 5 for 12 with four RBIs.