Pirates Vs. Rockies Preview: Bucs Look To Pile Up Runs In Colorado

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 25: Garrett Jones #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by teammates Andrew McCutchen #22 and Pedro Alvarez #24 after hitting a home run against the Colorado Rockies during the second game of a doubleheader on April 25, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

After a mediocre series in Milwaukee, the Pirates will try to bounce back in a great hitting ballpark and against a weak Rockies rotation.

After dropping two out of three in Milwaukee in their first series back after the All-Star break, the Pirates head to Colorado to take on the Rockies in a series that begins Monday night at 8:40.

On Monday, Jeff Karstens takes on Jeff Francis in a battle of the soft-tossing Jeffs. Well, maybe lumping them together that way is a little unfair -- Karstens at least hits 90 MPH fairly regularly, while Francis often fails to touch 86. Francis started the season in the Reds organization, but Francis opted out of his contract and signed with the Rockies, where he's helped stabilize a messy rotation.

In the other two games, Erik Bedard faces Christian Friedrich (Tuesday, 8:40) and James McDonald pitches on Wednesday (3:10) against a starter who hasn't yet been announced. These matchups should, at the very least, provide the Pirates with an excellent chance of piling up runs -- true to its '90s roots, Coors Field has been by far the best hitters' park in the majors this year.

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