In the last month, the Phillies and Rockies have been mired in second-half fades that all but buried their playoff aspirations, but a series victory for either club in this week's four-game set could help restore some pride among their respective clubhouse leaders, who have enjoyed postseason success in the past.
"It's rough," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said on Monday of the rebuilding process underway in Philadelphia. "You learn to deal with it, knowing you're going out there, almost every day you're outmanned. That's just the truth of the matter."
Phillies right-hander Tyler Cloyd will look to hand new manager Ryne Sandberg his third consecutive victory on Tuesday night at the expense of the Rockies, who saw their road woes extended with a 5-4 loss in Monday's series opener.
After posting a 3.41 ERA in six starts in May and June, Cloyd was sent down in mid-June to make room for John Lannan in his return from a strained tendon in his left knee. When left knee tendinosis landed Lannan back on the disabled list on Friday, Cloyd got the call to begin his second big league stint of the year.
Cloyd returns to the Phillies' rotation riding a hot streak that started shortly after he was sent to the Minors. He has gone the distance in his last two starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and has carried a 1.88 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of July.
The Rockies' struggles away from Coors Field are well-documented -- in all of baseball, only the White Sox have more than Colorado's 41 losses away from home this season. The Marlins also have 41. The Rockies will turn to lefty Jorge De La Rosa with designs on improving their unsightly 2-12 record on the road since the All-Star break.
De La Rosa scattered eight hits over seven innings in a 4-2 win over the Padres his last time out, lifting the Rockies to victory in consecutive starts for the first time since late June.
"He did what he does," San Diego manager Bud Black said of De La Rosa after his last start. "He's got a mix of pitches. He keeps the ball down and changes speeds. The ball had good down action through the hitting area today."
Rockies: Helton chasing history
With a ground-rule double in Monday night's seventh inning, Todd Helton tied Hall of Famer Robin Yount for 17th on the all-time doubles list with his 583rd career two-bagger. It was career hit No. 2,493 for the 17-year veteran, who turns 40 on Tuesday.
• Catcher Yorvit Torrealba was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Monday with a concussion he suffered after taking a foul ball off his mask in the eighth inning of Sunday's loss to the Orioles. Torrealba passed the initial baseline concussion tests on Sunday, but Wilin Rosario got the start behind the plate on Monday as catcher and utility man Jordan Pacheco was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Torrealba's spot on the 25-man roster.
Phillies: Home runs help halt scoring drought
After being held scoreless for the first 21 innings of a three-game series against the Dodgers this past weekend, the Phillies' much-maligned offense, which ranks 14th in the National League in runs scored ahead of only the Marlins, has started to show signs of life thanks to the long ball.
Darin Ruf's solo home run broke the scoreless drought in the fourth inning on Sunday, and home runs by John Mayberry and Carlos Ruiz helped stake starter Ethan Martin to a 5-0 lead on Monday night.
• Reliever Luis Garcia gave up two runs in the eighth inning of Monday's win, lowering the Philadelphia bullpen's NL-worst ERA to 4.29.
• The Rockies put right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin on the bereavement list on Monday and recalled corner infielder Ryan Wheeler from Colorado Springs.
• The Phillies have won back-to-back games for the first time since July 14, when they won the last two games before the All-Star break.