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09/07/09 11:12 PM ET

Torrealba catching on in the clutch

Cincinnati (63-74) at Colorado (78-60), 6:40 p.m. MT

DENVER -- As one of the hottest hitters sparking a hot-hitting club, it's been tough to find a day to sit Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba.

Manager Jim Tracy gave him Labor Day off, when the Rockies played a second consecutive day game, and noted that between catching Jose Contreras' forkballs and splitters Saturday and Jorge De La Rosa on Sunday, the backstop has had some taxing days behind the plate.

"He's taken a pretty good beating over there," Tracy said Monday. "He certainly took one [Sunday], I can promise you that. He walked in this morning, he looked like a grape from Martha's Vineyard, he was so bruised up."

There's no question that Torrealba has earned his playing time, as the pennant race has brought out the best in him. He is on a career-best 15-game hitting streak, hitting .375 (21-for-56) over the span. It is the longest active hitting streak in the Major Leagues, and with Sunday's 2-for-4 day at the plate, Torrealba set a franchise record for the longest hitting streak by a catcher, surpassing Joe Girardi's 14-game streak that had survived since the Blake Street Bomber days of 1995, when the Rockies reached the playoffs as the first National League Wild Card winner.

Torrealba was clutch in 2007, the last time the Rockies won a Wild Card. He helped drive Colorado to a World Series berth, starting every game in the postseason. The catcher hit .500 in the Division Series against Philadelphia, and drove in eight runs in the postseason, second only to Matt Holliday's 10.

Torrealba is heating up again in the 2009 race, with his .341 average in August the second best among all catchers, trailing only Joe Mauer. Torrealba's .285 average in 2009 would make for his best average over a season, but perhaps most noteworthy, the Rockies are 18-5 in the past 23 games he has started.

"It's just one day for Yorvit," Tracy said when he announced his off-day on Labor Day. "He deserves to be back there [Tuesday]."

Pitching matchup
COL: RHP Jason Marquis (14-10, 3.75 ERA)
Marquis has received little run support in his past three outings, and he couldn't avoid the big inning in his last two, both losses. Marquis is still looking to tie his career high in wins, 15, and he has a maximum of six starts left to try to eclipse the Rockies' record for wins in a season -- 17, shared by Kevin Ritz (1995), Pedro Astacio (1999) and Jeff Francis (2007).

CIN: LHP Matt Maloney (0-3, 6.46 ERA)
Maloney got his opportunity to start when Justin Lehr was skipped in the rotation because of a sore right groin. Maloney pitched for Double-A Carolina on Thursday, allowing three hits and a run in seven innings. The 25-year-old made four starts for the Reds earlier this year but spent most of the season with Triple-A Louisville. He was 9-9 with a 3.08 ERA in 23 starts for the Bats. Maloney had 130 strikeouts to 26 walks in 150 innings with Louisville.

Ubaldo Jimenez extended his franchise record of quality starts in a season to 22 with his six-inning, three-run performance Monday. It was the 25th consecutive game Jimenez has gone six innings or longer, the longest active streak in the Majors. It was also his 50th start in a row allowing one or no homers, also a franchise record and also the best active streak in baseball. ... Carlos Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to eight games with his third-inning infield single Monday. He has hit in every game since returning to the lineup eight days ago in San Francisco, hitting .343 (11-for-32) in the stretch. ... Ian Stewart has homered in back-to-back games and in four of six games on the homestand.

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On the Internet
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•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
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Up next
• Wednesday: Reds (Bronson Arroyo, 12-12, 4.23) at Rockies (Jason Hammel, 8-7, 4.41), 6:40 p.m. MT
• Thursday: Reds (TBD) at Rockies (Jose Contreras, 6-13, 5.19), 1:10 p.m. MT
• Friday: Rockies (TBD) at Padres (TBD), 8:05 p.m. MT

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.