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Rockies Retro: Rox vs. (Devil) Rays - June 2007

Kaz Matsui slugged one of his few home runs of the 2007 season against the Rays at Coors Field.
Kaz Matsui slugged one of his few home runs of the 2007 season against the Rays at Coors Field.

The last time Colorado and Tampa Bay (who are the last two World Series losers) met was in June of 2007, when they squared off in a three game series at Coors Field. The Rockies (who began the series at 33-33) were coming off a 4-2 road trip in which they claimed series victories over Baltimore and Boston in their home parks. The (Devil) Rays, on the other hand, hadn't quite reached bandwagon status yet, and were struggling through another rough season (despite holding a 29-35 record, which wasn't too bad for them at the time). Let's take a closer look at the series:

Game 1 - James Shields vs. Rodrigo Lopez

Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe hit back-to-back home runs off of the emerging James Shields during a four-run first inning and the Rox never looked back. Rodrigo Lopez pitched six strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out three, as the Rockies cruised to a 12-2 victory. Willy Taveras and Matt Holliday each pounded out three hits in the ball game, while Todd Helton and Jeff Baker picked up two hits apiece. Holliday (4) and Helton (3) combined for 7 RBIs.

Game 2 - Andy Sonnanstine vs. Jason Hirsh

Brad Hawpe hit a grand slam in the first inning on a fly ball that was judged as a shallow pop up by Tampa Bay right fielder Jonny Gomes to get the Rockies on the board. The Rockies also got deep flies from Garrett Atkins and Willy Taveras on their way to a 10-5 victory - their fourth straight win. Jason Hirsh didn't fare too well, as he allowed five runs on six hits (including two homers) in 4.1 innings, but the bullpen picked him up. Taylor Buchholz, LaTroy Hawkins, Jorge Julio, and Brian Fuentes combined for 4.2 innings of three-hit ball to seal the deal for the Rox.

Game 3 - Scott Kazmir vs. Aaron Cook

The Rays were finally able to break through against the Rockies, at the expense of Aaron Cook. Cook was roughed up for six runs on ten hits in six innings, and gave up three long balls (two of which were to Jonny Gomes). Though the Rockies (specifically Kazuo Matsui, Matt Holliday, and Brad Hawpe) countered with three homers of their own, it was not enough to catch up with the Rays, as they handled the Rox 7-4 in the series finale.

Let's hope this year's series turns out like the one that these two teams played exactly two years ago...GO ROCKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!