The Colorado Rockies struggled at the end of their recent road trip, but they have enjoyed returning home.
The Rockies have won the first two games of their series with the Cincinnati Reds and will go for the sweep when the teams play Sunday in Denver.
Colorado won the first two games, 10-4 Friday night and 4-3 Saturday night.
The game will feature two left-handed starters looking for their first win of the season. The Rockies will send Kyle Freeland (0-3, 6.16 ERA) against Reiver Sanmartin (0-3, 10.91).
Freeland has struggled to find his stride this season. He was the team’s starter on Opening Day but hasn’t pitched like the ace. However, he can take some comfort in the fact that the other season he started 0-3 was 2018, when he won 17 games and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
Freeland’s last start was an 8-2 loss in Philadelphia in which he allowed four runs — just one earned — in five innings. His usually reliable defense committed three errors, and he was frustrated by some calls on balls and strikes.
He showed some focus when he gave up a leadoff homer in the fifth and then struck out the side.
“As a young player, you can let yourself get frustrated really quick, and let those things get to you and things start to snowball on you,” said Freeland, 28. “It shows a little bit of maturity in myself to turn the page, understand that I can’t control the things that happen behind me. They’re going to happen. They’re going to happen again. It’s baseball.”
Sunday will mark his sixth career start against Cincinnati. He is 2-2 with an 8.77 ERA in the previous five.
Sanmartin has made four starts and one relief appearance this season, and Sunday will mark his seventh career start in the majors. He has never faced Colorado and is tasked with trying to stop a five-game slide for the Reds, who have lost 18 of the last 20 since winning their opener.
Cincinnati’s 3-18 start matches the 2018 team for the worst start in franchise history.
The entire team has struggled, and there have been some changes.
Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino was designated for assignment before Saturday’s loss after hitting just .049 this season. If Aquino clears waivers, he could be assigned to Triple-A Louisville.
“It could turn out that he would end up back here in our organization, and we would welcome him back for sure,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “He did everything he could, played hard, great teammate, and he will definitely be missed.”
Aquino wasn’t the only one struggling. The Reds’ leading hitter, Jonathan India, is batting .295 but was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup. He recently was on the injured list with a strained right hamstring.
Cincinnati is averaging just 3.3 runs a game and has only 12 home runs this season. The two leading home-run hitters — Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham — have just three homers each.
–Field Level Media