By MATT BECKER
(AP) -- While sending an opening day starter to the mound might sound like a good thing, that isn't necessarily the case for the Colorado Rockies.
After being demoted to the bullpen, Jeremy Guthrie is set to make his first start in 2 1/2 weeks Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Guthrie (3-7, 6.56 ERA) was removed from the rotation after allowing four runs over three innings in a loss to Detroit on June 17. Rather than finding a replacement, manager Jim Tracy decided to go with a four-man rotation while limiting his starters to 75 pitches.
The right-hander allowed three runs in two innings in the last of four relief appearances Saturday against San Diego after starter Christian Friedrich exited with a calf injury. With Friedrich having his start pushed back a day, Guthrie is getting another start for Colorado (31-49), although Tracy pointed out it isn't necessarily a permanent move.
"It's another opportunity, and I know in baseball nothing is guaranteed, no matter how much experience you have, what you may or may not have accomplished," Guthrie told the Rockies' official website. "I've taken every outing, whether they've been good outings or bad outings, and been grateful for them. I continue to feel the same way. I have a chance to start again, and hopefully that will lead to many, many, many more starts."
This will be Guthrie's first career appearance against the Cardinals (42-39), one of three teams he has never faced, and pitching to Matt Holliday will be one of his primary concerns.
Holliday hit his 14th homer in Tuesday's 3-2 loss and has hit safely in 10 of 11 contests, batting .512 with two homers, five doubles and 10 RBIs.
Colorado's Tyler Colvin has also been swinging a hot bat lately, hitting .364 with seven homers, six doubles and 22 RBIs in his last 18 games. Colvin, who has started at all three outfield spots plus first base and batted everywhere in the lineup, hit a three-run homer Tuesday to help the Rockies snap a three-game skid.
"He's a terrific find for us," Tracy said of Colvin, who hit .150 in 206 at-bats last season for the Cubs. "He's rediscovered himself."
Colvin is 2 for 4 against scheduled starter Adam Wainwright (6-8, 4.75), who is looking to bounce back from a subpar performance.
Wainwright was knocked around for seven runs and a season-worst 11 hits in five innings of Friday's 14-5 loss to Pittsburgh. He served up two homers after surrendering one in his previous 10 starts.
Despite the rough outing, he wasn't overly disappointed with his stuff.
"Really, I didn't have a whole lot of trouble with anything," said Wainwright, who had a 2.70 ERA in his previous four games. "But the times I missed, they hit them."
Wainwright hasn't missed often against the Rockies, going 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts, though he hasn't faced them since 2009.
Updated July 4, 2012