What's new: Under first-time manager Walt Weiss, the Rockies are the surprise leaders of the NL West. They are doing so at the plate, leading the majors in April hits and ranking second in homers, with strong starts by veterans such as Mike Cuddyer, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Also, Wilin Rosario. Their pitching has been surprisingly good, and their bullpen, led by Rafael Betancourt, strong. Veteran 1B Todd Helton and ace RHP Jhoulys Chacin are on the DL; on Thursday, Colorado agreed to a minor-league deal with RHP Roy Oswalt, 35.
Key stat: Coors Field advantage aside, the Rockies have hit 22 of their 36 homers on the road.
Connections: Rockies backup INF Reid Brignac is a former Ray, and senior VP Bill Geivett is a former Rays exec. … Rays reliever Jamey Wright came up with the Rockies.
Series history: Rockies lead 7-5, including 7-2 at Coors Field. The teams last met in 2009.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer