Rockies like having Scutaro follow Fowler

Rockies like having Scutaro follow Fowler

DENVER -- Returning the rejuvenated Dexter Fowler to the leadoff spot in the Rockies' batting order has allowed second baseman Marco Scutaro to use his patience and bat-handling skills in the No. 2 spot in the order.

Scutaro, hitting .247 with a .305 on-base percentage, doesn't care where he hits, since he has swung from various slots during an 11-year career. But he sees where it makes sense to hit behind Fowler.

"Hopefully it works out better," Scutaro said. "If Fowler keeps swinging the bat the way he has lately and uses his speed, it could make a difference.

"Overall we've been swinging the bat OK. It's hard to get everybody hot at the same time, but the main thing is getting everyone consistent. We have a good lineup. Hitting is a feeling that can change real quick, good and bad, but what I like the best is we've got guys here who give good at-bats."

Fowler first and Scutaro second was the Rockies' original plan when they acquired Scutaro, 36, from the Red Sox for pitcher Clayton Mortensen during the offseason. But Fowler struggled in Spring Training and found himself hitting second and eighth until he found his stroke.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Fowler could be a key to a lineup that already is productive. The Rockies entered Wednesday night's game against the Astros second in the National League with a team .755 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) and third in runs with 239.

"We're a different team with him doing that," Tracy said. "Can he be that consistent guy? Sure he can. I've said that to the point of criticism a number of times."