DENVER -- Outfielder Brandon Nimmo will seek an encore performance after a memorable return to the region where he grew up and will try to continue his startling power surge Tuesday when the New York Mets look to win their fourth straight game and again beat the Colorado Rockies.
The Mets blasted the Rockies 12-2 on Monday with their biggest outburst since they scored 12 runs on May 15 against Toronto. Nimmo, who grew up in Cheyenne, Wyo., about 100 miles from Denver, led off the game with an inside-the-park home run and went 4-for-6 with two home runs and a career-high four RBI. The four hits tied his career-high and occurred after he hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday at Arizona.
Nimmo has hit a career-high 12 home runs this season and 10 since May 23, a 25-game stretch that also includes 19 extra-base hits and 17 RBI. Getting closer to the plate and eliminating his stride are among the suggestions Nimmo got from Mets coaches that have helped him improve his swing.
"I've been able to be more consistent when they make mistakes," Nimmo said. "That's really been the biggest things, those swing changes allowing me to be a little more consistent. I was always in my approach looking for a good pitch to hit, to try and drive. Now I'm just doing it a little more often. That's encouraging. That's really nice. That's actually a pretty dangerous player. I'm proud of that."
Left-hander Jason Vargas (2-5, 7.39 ERA) will start for the Mets on Tuesday against German Marquez (4-7, 5.13).
The Rockies will look to end an eight-game losing streak at Coors Field, during which they have been outscored 81-39. Their longest losing streak at home was nine consecutive games at Mile High Stadium from July 25 to Aug. 18, 1993.
The Rockies (34-38) have lost nine of their past 11 games and 13 of their past 17, a slide that has dropped them a season-most four games below .500
Starter Tyler Anderson gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings before relievers Harrison Musgrave, Jake McGee, Jeff Hoffman and Brooks Pounders combined to allow nine runs in 3 2/3 innings, raising the ERA for the Rockies relievers to a National League-worst 5.60.
"Is there a higher ceiling for this group? For sure," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "But it's going to take the combination of the good hitting and the good pitching, and right now we got to get the pitching turned around. And we got to get it turned around quickly."
Vargas is 2-2, 9.00 in five starts against the Rockies, the last in 2014. He's 1-2, 11.40 in three starts at Coors Field, allowing three runs in seven innings in the most recent one in 2012 while pitching for Seattle.
Marquez is 0-2, 8.44 in three starts this month and last won on May 27 against Cincinnati. He's 1-4, 7.71 in seven starts at home this season.
Marquez is 1-0, 3.75 in two starts against the Mets. He beat them this season on May 4 at Citi Field, allowing two runs in six innings in Colorado's 8-7 victory and got a no-decision Aug. 3, 2017, at Coors Field when he allowed three runs in six innings in the Rockies' 5-4 triumph.
The Mets (31-38) will be trying to win four straight games for the first time since May 18-21. They have since gone 7-19, and Monday's victory was just the sixth for the Mets in their past 19 games. Monday also marked Nimmo's second game at Coors Field. He pinc hit and grounded into a fielder's choice last season on Aug. 2.
"I remember I broke my bat," Nimmo said. "I did a little bit better today."
Nimmo's two-homer, four-hit game raised his average to .287 in 60 games with 22 RBI and a 1.013 OPS.
"It's a much different feel (than last year)," Nimmo said. "It's a different experience, but I'm glad to be here. Very, very blessed. Most people do not get to out their dream like this and wonder what it's like to play on that field and then get to experience that some day in the big leagues. So really, really blessed."