DENVER -- Five games behind the red-hot Dodgers entering play Friday, the Rockies are still in contention in the NL West.
But after dropping three of four at Coors Field to the Marlins -- who have the second-worst record in the Majors -- a three-game set with the Brewers holds even greater importance for the Rockies. The Rockies must take two of three in order to come away with a .500 record on the homestand.
"We need to finish the homestand strong, no question about it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We need to play better from here on out."
Despite the team's offensive woes, Weiss said he does not want his players pressing at the plate.
Not having Carlos Gonzalez in the lineup for the series opener certainly won't help a Rockies squad that scored three or fewer runs in all of its games against Miami.
McHugh auditioning for rotation spot in Saturday debut
DENVER -- The Rockies are running out of players to fill the fifth spot in their rotation, but Collin McHugh will get his chance to round out the rotation on Saturday.
Former Met McHugh, acquired in the mid-June trade that sent Eric Young Jr. to New York, will get another chance to show he's Major League-ready after spending the better part of his year in the Minor Leagues.
"It feels great," said McHugh, who throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. "That's always nice, when you get that call from the manager, and he's like, 'Hey, they want you up there.' It's good to be able to contribute and feel like you can contribute at this level."
McHugh owns a 10.29 ERA in three appearances with the Mets, two of them in relief and one in a start where he gave up four runs in as many innings.
He's shown steady progress in the Minors, with a 2.87 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Las Vegas -- the Mets' top affiliate. Since joining Triple-A Colorado Springs, he's 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA over three starts (17 innings).
McHugh will try to become the final piece of a staff that has three starters with ERAs lower than 3.53 entering play Friday -- Tyler Chatwood, Jorge De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin. Colorado's fourth starter, Juan Nicasio, has looked like a new pitcher after making a brief stay in Triple-A, allowing just one run over his last three starts.
"Hopefully, just more of the same," McHugh said of what he hopes to bring to the club. "Consistency, hopefully a lot of strikes, do what I do well, which is command the zone, try to get outs, quick outs. Keep the ball on the ground, and give us a chance to win, give us an opportunity for the offense to take it from there."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said the right-hander will have the opportunity to become a full-time member of the rotation if he can prove he has a big league arm.
"I think he's a guy that can go out there and be efficient, throw strikes and execute a game plan," Weiss said. "I think he's got those type of skills. That's all we're looking for him to do."
CarGo expects to play with pain through season
DENVER -- Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez said he expects to play through pain for the remainder of the season after aggravating a middle finger sprain in his right hand in his first at-bat on Thursday.
Gonzalez will sit out for the series opener against the Brewers with the same injury that forced him to miss two games less than three weeks ago. He injured the hand on a swinging strikeout, the same way he suffered the initial injury.
"It's sore," he said before Friday night's game. "I hurt it again, but it's a thing that I'm going to have to deal with probably the whole year. Just something that I need to rest, and I don't think we have time for rest right now."
Manager Walt Weiss and Gonzalez said they don't anticipate it being anything that will put him on the disabled list. The star outfielder said he will continue to prepare each day as if he will play, even if that role is limited to pinch-hitting or entering as a defensive substitution.
The injury comes at an especially difficult time for the Rockies, who are still in the National League West race, but have gone a disappointing 3-4 to open 10-game homestand.
"That's the last thing I want to do, be on the DL and just miss a lot of time," said Gonzalez, who is tied for the NL lead in homers with 26. "I think we have a good opportunity to make a run and be in the postseason. We need to start playing better baseball, and I think that it's within the lineup."
Weiss said Gonzalez is day to day, and that hand injuries can be especially fickle, because one swing can bring back the pain. Trainers have tried different types of tape to minimize the pain, but Gonzalez realizes it will linger for the remainder of the year.
As badly as he wants to help Colorado's scuffling offense, Gonzalez said he will be honest with the Rockies' staff, taking a game or two off when the pain is especially disruptive.
"I knew I was having pain, but I tried to play through it," he said. "I think it's just more important for me when I have day like that, just try to talk to [Weiss] and be honest and be on the bench."
With Pomeranz on DL, Dickerson recalled
DENVER -- Just 15 days after he was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs, Corey Dickerson is back in the big leagues.
The Rockies called up the outfielder on Friday to replace left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who was moved to the 15-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. Pomeranz's stay on the DL is retroactive to Tuesday.
Dickerson swung a hot bat in the Minor Leagues, going 10-for-38 with two homers and 12 RBIs in nine games with the Sky Sox. Though Dickerson did not start Friday, the Rockies are in desperate need of someone to inject life into an offense that mustered just eight runs in four games against the Marlins.
"He always shows up, that's for sure with Corey," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He went down and picked up right where he left off ... swinging the bat really well."
Dickerson made his Major League debut on June 22 and played in 15 games, starting six. His big offensive numbers in Colorado Springs didn't immediately translate to the big leagues, as he finished 7-for-33 (.212) with two RBIs and 12 strikeouts in his first stay with the Rockies.
Pomeranz said that the tendinitis has bothered him for about two weeks, which may offer a partial explanation for his consistent struggles in four starts for the Rockies. The southpaw was not efficient, making it through fewer than five innings and allowing at least three runs in each of his starts.
But he said his confidence has not disappeared despite an 0-4 record and an 8.10 ERA.
"I'm fine," Pomeranz said. "I know what I need to do. The first step is getting rid of this [injury], and I'll work on the other things later."
Pomeranz said he plans to rest the arm for the next few days and is unsure of the rehab plan from there.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.