(Sports Network) - While the Astros have enjoyed a nice run of success at Coors Field as of late, the Rockiesmight have the perfect pitcher to slow them down.
Colorado's Aaron Cook will aim to extend his solid home performance so far this year and avoid just his second career loss to Houston this evening in the third meeting of a four-game series in Denver.
While the Astros and Rockies have split four meetings this year, including the first two contests of this series, Houston has still won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams and five of its last seven at Coors Field.
After the Rockies took the opener of this set on Monday, the Astros rallied to take last night's meeting 4-3.
Colorado got all of its runs in the first inning off Brian Moehler as Troy Tulowitzki had a two-run double andBrad Hawpe followed with an RBI single. However, Colorado went cold from there and Houston managed to finally go on top in the eighth inning when Lance Berkman came through with a fielder's choice that plated the game-tying run.
Berkman then stole second and scored the go-ahead run on Carlos Lee's bloop single to left, one of his three hits, giving Houston its sixth victory in eight games thanks in part to three shutout innings from the bullpen.
"We got a break there, I got jammed but it seemed like the ball found the right spot," said Lee, who is hitting .343 (12-for-35) with three homers and nine RBI over a nine-game hit streak.
The Rockies, meanwhile, wasted seven innings of two-run ball from Jeff Francis, who earned a no-decision in Colorado's fourth loss in six games.
"We had four hitters up to the plate to start the game, had four hits and three runs. You look up at the board when it's all said and done and there's eight zeros that go across there from the eighth inning on," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy.
Colorado now turns to Cook, who has been solid in four starts at home this year with the right-hander going 2-0 with a 2.63 earned run average.
That second victory came over the Dodgers on May 29, but Cook earned a no- decision in Arizona on Friday after allowing three runs on four hits and two walks over five innings. Though he hasn't lost since April 30, he also only has just one win in six starts since.
Cook, who is 2-3 with a 5.00 ERA overall this season, suffered his first career loss versus the Astros the last time he faced them on June 1 of last season. The 31-year-old was tagged for four runs over six innings at Houston, falling to 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA against the club lifetime in nine games, including eight starts.
Though it took him 11 starts, Felipe Paulino comes into tonight's game for the Astros off his first victory of 2010.
The right-hander lost his first seven decisions of the season before beating the Cubs on Friday. Paulino threw eight innings for a second consecutive start and gave up just a run on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts while improving to 1-7 with a 4.01 ERA.
"He was outstanding again. This kid keeps continuing to get better," Houston manager Brad Mills said of Paulino, who has a 1.61 ERA over his last four starts and is 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA in four outings as the guest this year.
The 26-year-old is 0-1 with a 6.19 ERA in three career starts versus the Rockies, but he held them to just two runs over six innings of a no-decision at home on May 19.