Padres’ Lyles faces former Rockies teammates (Sep 16, 2017)

DENVER — Tyler Anderson returns to the Colorado Rockies rotation Saturday and will start against the San Diego Padres in a curious pitching matchup.

Anderson (4-5, 5.75) will oppose Jordan Lyles (1-2, 6.75), who spent just over 3 1/2 years with the Rockies before they released him Aug. 1.

Anderson will be making his first start since June 25 and is starting in place of rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland, who was removed from the rotation due to his ongoing struggles. Monday at Arizona, Freeland suffered a bruised left shoulder when he was hit with a line drive in the fourth inning and left the game. Anderson replaced Freeland and allowed one hit in four scoreless innings with no walks and four strikeouts while throwing 41 of 59 pitches for strikes.

In his past five starts, Freeland is 0-3 with a 5.73 ERA and 15 walks and 23 strikeouts in 22 innings. Opponents are batting .349 against Freeland with a .930 OPS in that stretch. He played catch and was fine the day after getting hit in the shoulder and isn’t leaving the rotation due to injury.

“From what I saw the last five starts with Kyle, I thought he needed to take a step back here and maybe take a little blow from getting a big-league start,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I think Tyler is ready to do his job.”

After his June 25 start, Anderson went on the 10-day disabled list for the second time with left knee inflammation. He underwent arthroscopic surgery July 3 to have the knee cleaned out. After Anderson made three rehab appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque, the Rockies reinstated him from the 60-day disabled list Sept. 10. Anderson is 0-0 with a 1.42 ERA against the Padres in one 2016 start.

Black said he had “a lot of faith in Tyler. He threw four really good innings in relief at Arizona. Starting is a natural occurrence for him, so him starting a game should be no issue. Little bit of a pitch count issue, but we got plenty of reinforcements out there in the bullpen.”

Lyles is 7-6 (5.48) in 56 games (19 starts) at Coors Field. This year, he went 0-2 (6.94) in 33 relief appearances with the Rockies before they released him. One week later, he signed with the Padres and went 1-1 (4.50) in five starts with their Triple-A El Paso affiliate before joining the Padres.

Given his familiarity with his former teammates, Lyles said, “I don’t need to spend a couple hours in the video room. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be fun. Looking forward to it.”

Padres manager Andy Green said he had “seen positives in the way he’s been throwing the ball” in Lyles’ second start compared with his first for the Padres and said Lyles will be primed for this outing.

“I’m sure he’s got extra motivation,” Green said. “First time you go against your old team, it always gets your juices flowing. So I know he’s going to be ready to go.”

Lyles said he will not have any I’ll-show-you feelings when he takes the Coors Field mound against his former team.

“I will not be trying to throw a fastball harder or faster tomorrow than I normally do just to prove a point,” Lyles said. “I’m just going to go out there competing and trying to get outs, trying to get through their lineup three times, trying to give our team the best opportunity to win. I made two starts. This is my third one. I want to make this my best one.”