Tracy shifts Rockies' lineup for series finale

Tracy shifts Rockies' lineup for series finale

DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy put together an unusual lineup for Thursday night's series finale against the Cardinals, with usual leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler hitting third, Tyler Colvin hitting first, usual No. 5 hitter Todd Helton hitting sixth and backup catcher Ramon Hernandez hitting behind Helton.

"Ramon had three hits last night and I hate to take that away from him," Tracy said Thursday. "His bat looked as good as it did before his injury."

Hernandez had missed 42 games due to a left hand strain.

More importantly, Tracy didn't want to get caught in a web of bad matchups toward the end of the game.

"They have three lefties in their bullpen," he said.

Through the first eight hitters, the Rockies' lineup read: lefty-righty-switch-lefty-righty-lefty-righty-righty.

Fowler did not start the last two games because of flu-like symptoms. He struck out in a pinch-hit appearance in Wednesday night's 9-6 loss to St. Louis. Helton missed all of Wednesday's game with a stomach bug.