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(AP) — Once considered one of the more promising prospects in the game, the Colorado Rockies’ Dexter Fowler hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
If his efforts over the holiday weekend are any indication, though, the five-tool outfielder may finally be ready to put it all together.
The Rockies try for a sixth consecutive home victory over the scuffling Houston Astros as these teams continue a four-game set Wednesday night.
Colorado (19-29) lost 15 of 18 from May 4-22 but has since won four of six, including a doubleheader sweep of Houston on Memorial Day. After taking the first game 9-7, the Rockies pulled out a 7-6 victory as Fowler capped an already impressive day with a game-winning triple off Astros closer Brett Myers in the 10th inning.
“Tears of joy,” said Fowler, who has been mired in some lengthy slumps this season. “I had one walk-off hit before, but it’s nothing like this for what I’ve already battled through this year and what the team has gone through.”
Fowler finished the day 7 for 9 with a homer, five runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. He raised his batting average to .276 – the highest it’s been since April 12.
Fowler was in a 1-for-12 slump before contributing a pinch-hit homer Sunday at Cincinnati, and his seven home runs are a career high. He’s done most of his damage at Coors Field, hitting .333 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 24 home games.
“This is the player that we think he’s capable of being on a regular basis,” said manager Jim Tracy, who moved Fowler to the leadoff spot Monday for the first time this season.
Houston (22-27), meanwhile, has dropped a season worst-tying four straight since scheduled starter Lucas Harrell (4-3, 3.72 ERA) last took the hill.
The right-hander is looking to win a third straight start, having allowed one earned run in each of the last two. Six days after striking out a career-high six in a 6-5 victory over Texas, Harrell went 7 1-3 innings during Friday’s 3-1 win at Dodger Stadium. He recorded 17 groundball outs and didn’t strike anyone out in the longest outing of his career.