When Jorge De La Rosa takes the hill on Sunday at Comerica Park, it will mark the Rockies' 19th straight start by a left-handed pitcher. Since 1914, the current 18-game stretch is the fourth longest by any team. The record is 20 games, set by the Royals in 1982.
In his last start, De La Rosa threw 118 pitches in a somewhat sloppy effort at Wrigley Field, but he lasted six innings and gave up three runs on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
The Rockies got out to a three-run lead, but De La Rosa eventually yielded enough offense for the Cubs to tie the game. Chicago won, 4-3, in 16 innings.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez faced a similar situation in his last start against the White Sox. He only gave up two runs through the first six innings, but then collapsed as Chicago added seven more in the seventh.
"Everything turned around, I don't know how," Sanchez said. "A couple errors, a couple singles made the difference."
The seven-run inning tied the Tigers' season high. They've now had four this season, including the seventh inning in two of Sanchez's last three starts.
Here are Sanchez' splits based on times through an opposing order.
• First time through the order: .175 average, .507 OPS, 32 K's, 27 hits
• Second time: .225 average, .597 OPS, 39 K's, 34 hits
• Third time: .288 average, .748 OPS, 15 K's, 32 hits
"I think everything [that has] happened in that situation is something that I don't know what happened," Sanchez said. "I feel good. I feel great. I've never done that before [this year]. All the time when I got really good beginnings of games, all the time I finish really strong. Right now, that's not happening. It's not because I feel tired. I think it's part of the game."
Rockies: CarGo likely out again
The Rockies will likely be without Carlos Gonzalez again on Sunday, which is a significant blow to an offense that is struggling to score runs on the road.
Gonzalez aggravated his right ankle while making a sliding catch in foul territory on Friday. He sprained the ankle a week earlier and had to miss two starts.
"He's better than we thought he would be," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's sore. But the swelling has gone down some. He's made some improvements since last night. That's a good sign. We have an off-day coming up that helps us out a little bit. We'll make a decision on him in the next day or two. It looks like he's going to be OK. He's made enough improvement to give us hope that we won't have to DL him."
Tigers: Davis filling Jackson's spot well
Rajai Davis certainly has the speed to fill Austin Jackson's shoes in center field. But he needs to keep proving himself if he wants to ward off Ezequiel Carrera for the majority of the starts.
"Certainly, his speed can make up for some misjudgments and some bad jumps occasionally," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We'll see how it works."
Davis was excellent at the plate on Saturday night, picking up his second straight game with at least two hits out of the leadoff spot. As long as his bat is cooking, the veteran will be able to buy more time for learning in the field.
"I think he does see it, not as a challenge, but as taking a lot of pride in being a center fielder," Ausmus said. "He's going to play a lot in center field."
• If De La Rosa lasts four innings on Sunday, he'll become the sixth pitcher in franchise history to throw 800 innings with Colorado.
• De La Rosa has not given up more than three earned runs in five straight starts. His ERA has dipped from 4.86 to 4.20 in that span.
• Sanchez has thrown more than 100 pitches in 10 of his past 12 starts, but he hasn't pitched more than seven innings in a game since May 28 at Oakland, when he went 8 1/3 innings in a 3-1 loss.