On June 7 [url=http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com]Lions Authentic Jerseys[/url] , the Colorado Rockies were tied for first place in the National League West and riding high. In the week since, the Rockies have lost five straight games and come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Friday with as many questions as answers about themselves as the season heads into the dog days of summer.
Colorado begins a three-game interleague series with the Texas Rangers, a team also in search of answers, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
The Rockies will send right-hander Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.40 ERA) to the mound for the opening game and the Rangers will counter with Yohander Mendez (0-0, 0.00).
Colorado activated right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the disabled list Thursday, and manager Bud Black said Ottavino would go right back into his late-game role.
Ottavino had a 0.95 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings before going to the disabled with a left oblique injury. The team went 5-9 without him in the lineup.
“Otto feels that he wants to jump right back into the mix of pitching deep in the game,” Black told mlb.com. “He’s ready for that. He doesn’t necessarily want to ease back in. Physically, he made it a point of emphasis to get his body in the best shape possible in the offseason. The year before, it wasn’t the case.”
Ottavino did not see action in the Rockies’ 9-3 loss at Philadelphia but will be ready when Colorado takes on hapless Texas.
The Rangers will attempt to end a six-game losing streak that included a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 11 innings in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
With one out and the bases loaded, the Dodgers‘ Austin Barnes dribbled what appeared to be a sure out at home in front of Rangers reliever Matt Bush. However, Bush’s throw to home for the force pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate [url=http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com]Packers Authentic Jerseys[/url] , allowing Enrique Hernandez to score the deciding run.
Texas is now a season-worst 18 games back of the first-place Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros in the American League West after suffering a two-game sweep by the Dodgers.
Bettis gave up three home runs and lasted just four innings in his last start, a home loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The good news is his velocity returned after a dip for three starts. He is a Lubbock, Texas, native who pitched at Texas Tech University.
Bettis will make his 14th start of the season and his eighth on the road. He has no-decisions and a 7.67 ERA in his past six starts since May 11.
Bettis has pitched against Texas only once, getting a no-decision on Aug. 11, 2016, in Arlington, a 12-9 Rockies win.
Mendez will make his first big league start Friday. In 10 minor league starts this season, he has an 0-6 record with a 5.26 ERA. In one relief appearance with the Rangers this year, he didn’t allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers’ seventh-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, has joined the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock. He has been a September call-up for Texas each of the past two seasons, and featured with the Rangers earlier this season when he was called up May 3.
In 10 career major league appearances — all in relief — Mendez has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.31 ERA (13 earned runs in 16 innings).
“It’s going to be multiple starts [url=http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com]Texans Authentic Jerseys[/url] ,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said Wednesday about Mendez’s upcoming major league stint. “He’s going to have the opportunity to show us what he can do as a starter.
“We’re still in the business of winning baseball games,” Banister added. “It’s about development, but it is the big leagues, and you still develop and still give yourself the opportunity to win baseball games.”
The Chicago White Sox have a chance to complete their first three-game sweep of the season when they face the Minnesota Twins in the series finale Thursday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chicago (28-51) is coming off back-to-back wins by margins of 8-4 and 6-1 over the Twins in the series’ first two games. The White Sox have won three straight, including a 10-3 decision over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
A win Thursday would give the White Sox their longest win streak of the season.
Minnesota (34-42) is hoping to salvage a win in the series and turn around a tough week for the club. The Twins have dropped two in a row and five of their past six to fall eight games below .500, which is tied with their low-water mark for the season.
White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (5-7, 7.01 ERA) will try to build upon his recent improvement in his 16th start of the season. The highly touted 23-year-old has struggled badly with command this year, but has 14 strikeouts and only four walks in his past two outings.
Giolito is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota. Two of those starts took place this season, with the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder posting a 1-1 record with a 3.65 ERA.
Lately, Giolito has found success by not thinking so much about his pitching mechanics.
“It’s been kind of a long road to figure that out,” Giolito said to his team’s official website. “But I’m definitely in a much better place right now with that, just letting it flow. The key words are let it flow. Just go out there and be athletic. …
“It’s like the desire to be as good as I can be to the point where I’ve overanalyzed things and been like [url=http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com]Colts Authentic Jerseys[/url] , ‘What am I doing wrong? What should I fix? What can I fix?’
“I’m doing that instead of being like, ‘Hey, I’m here, I’m going to compete and let it all happen and just be athletic and let what I’ve been doing for years take over.'”
The Twins will counter with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 4.97 ERA) for his 17th start of the season. The Illinois native has 80 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings this season, but his walk rate (4.1 per nine innings) is the highest since his rookie campaign in 2012 with the Kansas City Royals.
Odorizzi is 1-2 with a 4.13 ERA in five career starts against the White Sox. He has an 0-1 record with a 5.23 ERA (six earned runs in 10 1/3 innings) in two starts against Chicago this season.
Avisail Garcia has homered in back-to-back games for the White Sox and could pose a challenge for Odorizzi, who has given up 14 long balls this year. Jose Abreu also is coming off a much better day at the plate in which he slammed his 12th home run and showed signs of breaking out of a slump.
For the Twins, Ehire Adrianza carries a hot bat into the series finale. He went 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Wednesday night, elevating his season average to .264 with four homers and 17 RBIs.
Chicago is 16-26 at home; Minnesota is 14-22 on the road.
After the game, the Twins will stay in Chicago and head about 8 miles north to take on the Cubs in a weekend series. Minnesota is 6-6 in interleague action compared with a 28-36 record against AL teams.