PHILADELPHIA -- After winning two of three games in each of the first two series on a 10-game road trip, the Colorado Rockies look to close things out in style with a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Through the first three games of the series, the Rockies have outscored the Phillies 23-5. A 7-2 win on Wednesday night moved Colorado 14 games above .500 (31-17) through 48 games, setting a franchise record while maintaining the best record in the National League.
"This is a tremendous offense," said Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer in Wednesday night's win. "Everybody's contributing, that's the good thing about this lineup, it's so deep."
Thursday's outing will be Rockies starter Tyler Anderson's first time facing the Phillies this season and the third in his career. In his previous two matchups against the Phillies, he's 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA, giving up two runs in six innings in a win last July and then four runs in three innings of an August loss.
In nine starts so far this year, the left-hander is 3-4 with a 6.00 ERA, though he has had a solid May, going 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA.
Anderson has still yet to throw more than six innings, the number he hit against Cincinnati last Friday, when he gave up four hits and two runs (both earned) while striking out seven.
"I'm making a lot of good quality pitches down, whereas earlier I was leaving them up in the zone and they were getting hit," Anderson told the Denver Post after his last start. "There are still some of those, but they are just not as frequent."
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.98) has faced Colorado twice previously in his career. In 2015, he gave up seven hits and five runs (all earned) in 4 2/3 innings, avoiding a decision in an 8-5 win. Last year, he gave up eight hits but just two runs in six innings of a win.
It has been an up-and-down season for the flame-throwing righty. In his last three starts, he has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in 17 1/3 innings for a 6.75 ERA. His last time out, he took the loss, giving up seven hits and five runs (all earned) in 5 1/3 innings at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"In the game, it's just a lack of commitment, a lack of concentration, just a lack of everything," he told CSNPhilly.com after the game against the Pirates. "Even my golf game is a lack of everything. I don't know. I'm just clueless right now.
"I'm just running around like a chicken without a head. I don't know what I've got to do, but I just know there's something -- I've got to break it down little by little."
The Phillies could certainly use him to figure it out and quickly, as the club has been in a May tailspin.
Since a 3-2 win over Miami lifted Philadelphia two games above .500 (11-9) on April 27, it has lost 20 of 24 games. That has the Phillies sitting dead last in the NL East, 12 1/2 games back of first-place Washington.
"I remember when I took over in '15, the team was scuffling, really not playing well, and then something clicked and we started beating teams," Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin said after the latest loss. "Last year, we had a good first part of the season and then kind of scuffled at the end. So sometimes one little thing clicks and we get better."