While going 4-1 on their just-completed homestand, the Rockies went a complete turn through their rotation, which ended up 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA -- 11 runs in 37 1/3 innings.
Jason Jennings threw a shutout Saturday against Houston. Jeff Francis held Cincinnati scoreless Wednesday for seven innings. Aaron Cook pitched into the ninth and allowed two runs Sunday. And the other notable start was Friday by Byung-Hyun Kim, who allowed four runs in seven innings, and left trailing 4-2 before the Rockies rallied to beat Houston 5-4.
"We're definitely competitive, that's for sure," Cook said of the rotation. "I saw J.J. go out there and do what he did (Saturday) night. B.K. pitched a great game, the first game against Houston. We're just going to hopefully keep rolling and keep the competitive spirit alive."
REPLAY: Todd Helton hit a three-run homer in the fifth and Aaron Cook pitched into the ninth as the Rockies beat the Astros 5-3 Sunday. The win enabled the Rockies to sweep their first series at home this season and sweep a series of three or more games from Houston for the first time since May 29-31, 2000, also at Coors Field.
Helton's homer was his second of the season, his first this year at Coors Field. It broke a 1-1 tie. He was playing his third game after missing 14 games while on the disabled list with an intestinal inflammation.
--General manager Dan O'Dowd and assistant general manager Bill Geivett will be in Colorado Springs on Monday to watch RHP Sun-Woo Kim make his third rehabilitation start for the club's Triple-A affiliate. After rain limited Kim to 46 pitches Thursday, the plan is for him to throw about 100 pitches. The team then will determine whether he's ready to rejoin the Rockies.
--2B Luis Gonzalez, who is hitting .221, could return to the lineup in St. Louis, manager Clint Hurdle said. The slumping Gonzalez has one hit in his past 13 at-bats, five hits in his past 29 and hasn't played the past three games. "This is probably the most dramatic struggle he's had since he's been here," Hurdle said. "And he's into his third season in the big leagues, which is not to be unexpected."
--SS Clint Barmes is hitting .235 and is 4 for his last 31, so manager Clint Hurdle said INF Jamey Carroll might play a game at shortstop in St. Louis. Hurdle said Barmes has been working to avoid dropping his hands as he puts his front foot down and, hence, working uphill as he swings. "It's almost like a Nike swoosh," Hurdle said. "It's very hard to get on the back side of a ball and strike it with consistency when you got a loop involved."
--RHP Mike DeJean, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis since April 8, will not accompany the team on its six-game, seven-day road trip. DeJean wasn't comfortable after throwing 30 pitches Saturday in a simulated game and will not throw again for five or six days. While initial tests revealed no structural damage. DeJean said if the problem persists in a week, he would request another magnetic resonance imaging exam.
--UT Eli Marrero could start a game at catcher on the six-game road trip that begins Monday, according to manager Clint Hurdle, as C Danny Ardoin continues to search for his swing. Marrero made seven starts at first base when Todd Helton was on the 15-day disabled list and has started once in left field and once in right field. "It seems kind of silly not to try it," Hurdle said, "as well as he's been swinging the back."
Marrero, who is hitting .308 with four homers and nine RBIs in 16 games, caught the ninth inning April 5 against Arizona. That was the first time he was behind the plate in a major league game since May 10, 2003.