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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 14 (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (60-60) at Colorado Rockies (46-74), 8:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Alfredo Simon (12-7, 3.08) Colorado - Jorge De La Rosa (11-8, 4.34)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon has hit a snag and will try to get untracked Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Simon is 0-4 with a 4.78 earned run average in his last five starts -- all Cincinnati losses -- since opening the year on a roll at 12-3. Simon did not figure into the decision of a 4-3 loss to Miami on Saturday and the Marlins reached him for two runs in five innings.

The right-hander is 12-7 with a 3.08 ERA and has given up at least two runs in each of his previous five trips to the mound. Simon has pitched well on the road this season, going 7-3 in 12 starts, but is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in six career games (1 start) against Colorado.

Cincinnati will begin a seven-game road trip Thursday against the Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, and has dropped two in a row and four of five games. It was swept in a brief two-game set with the Boston Red Sox and suffered a 5-4 loss Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Mike Leake was saddled with the loss for allowing all five runs in five innings, and tried to help his own cause with a solo home run. Skip Schumaker went 3-for-4 with a homer for the Reds, who are 5 1/2 games behind in the NL Central and 3 1/2 games off the pace in the wild card.

"Guys are playing hard and the defense is showing up every day," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "We're just in that two steps forward, two steps back mode."

The Reds are 9-16 since the All-Star break and went 3-4 on their homestand.

Colorado will play its next nine games in the Rocky Mountains versus Cincinnati, Kansas City and Miami.

The Rockies were just swept in three games at San Diego and have lost six of seven and 14 of the last 17 games. In Wednesday's 5-3 setback to the Padres at Petco Park, Tyler Matzek was tagged for all five runs and eight hits in six innings with nine K's and two walks.

"I thought his stuff was good, but they got to him a couple of times," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said about Matzek.

DJ LeMahieu homered and Charlie Blackmon ended with three hits in defeat.

The Rockies announced that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will undergo season- ending surgery to repair the labrum in his left hip. Tulowitzki has been on the disabled list since July 20 because of the latest injury. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.

"I'm looking forward to getting back and playing the game I love," Tulowitzki said Wednesday. "I will do everything I can to perform at a high level for the rest of my career. This should answer a lot of the leg issues I have had in my past."

The 29-year-old All-Star was hitting a major-league best .340 while collecting 21 home runs, 18 doubles, 52 RBI and 71 runs scored in 91 games this season.

Jorge De La Rosa gets the call for the Rockies Thursday and is 11-8 with a 4.34 earned run average. De La Rosa has lost back-to-back starts after winning his previous five decisions, and gave up four runs in six innings of a 14-4 loss at Arizona on Saturday. He has given up 11 runs in the last three outings.

De La Rosa has pitched well at Coors Field this season as evidenced by a 7-2 mark and 3.23 ERA in 11 appearances. The left-hander, though, is just 2-3 with an 8.49 ERA in 10 career meetings (4 starts) with the Reds.

The Reds won two of three games at home versus Colorado in early May.

08/14 10:21:24 ET

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    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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