SAN FRANCISCO — Two teams limping to the All-Star break hope to get good news on the injury front Monday when the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants open a three-game series at AT&T Park.
Rookie shortstop Trevor Story could be back in the starting lineup for the Rockies, while the Giants expect to welcome back reliever Sergio Romo — and possible other mainstays, too.
The Rockies (37-44, third place in the National League West) are looking forward to the return of Story, who sustained a bruised right middle finger when hit by a pitch last June 26 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The All-Star candidate sat out one day, then returned to the lineup Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays and went 0-for-4. He was shelved for the next four days before entering the Sunday game at Dodger Stadium in the seventh inning on a double switch. He eventually struck out in his only at-bat.
“(He's) much, much better,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before Sunday's game. “He's swinging in the cage and looks really good. It's just a matter of if he gets jammed or hits a ball off the end of the bat, how is it going to affect him.”
Story was quite a story when he belted six home runs in his first four games. He finished April with 10 homers, but he added just four in May and five in June.
On the eve of All-Star selections, he still leads NL shortstops with 19 homers. However, Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager has 17 home runs to go with a .303 batting average (Story is at .266), and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford has passed Story in RBIs (53-50).
And then there is Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs, who appeared well on his way to getting the fan vote as the starting shortstop in the latest tabulations.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson (0-2, 2.66 ERA) will get the call on the mound Monday for the Rockies, who were swept in their series with the Dodgers that ended Sunday.
Anderson, the Rockies' first-round pick in 2011, has been impressive in his first four big-league starts despite going winless. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in any game, and he has more strikeouts (24) than innings pitched (23 2/3).
He has never faced the Giants.
The Rockies won't have left fielder Gerardo Parra (sprained left ankle) in the series, meaning both teams will be short-handed in the outfield.
The Giants won their series finale at Arizona on Sunday with Jarrett Parker, a corner outfielder, playing center field, and Brandon Belt, a first baseman, manning left field.
They were forced into desperation mode with right fielder Hunter Pence (strained right hamstring) on the disabled list and center fielder Denard Span (sore neck) and super-sub Gregor Blanco (sore left knee) unable to go.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy flew home Sunday night not knowing who would be available in his outfield for Monday's game. His infield, with third baseman Matt Duffy (strained right Achilles) and second baseman Joe Panik (concussion) currently out of action as well, also is hurting.
Bochy was hoping, on the other hand, to have invaluable setup man Romo available.
Romo, who hasn't pitched for the Giants since April 10 because of a strained flexor in his right arm, completed an extensive rehab stint in the minors over the weekend and was told to meet the team in San Francisco for an examination.
The Giants (52-32, first place in NL West) struggled with Romo's usual role — the eighth inning — in each of the past two games at Arizona.
Hunter Strickland gave up a lead-losing home run to Welington Castillo in the eighth inning Saturday in a 6-5 loss. The Giants were able to overcome a game-tying shot by Jake Lamb off Cory Gearrin in the eighth Sunday to win 5-4 in 11 innings.
“We've got to tighten it up,” Bochy said about his bullpen before Sunday's game. “We're banged up, and (opponents) are finding ways to score runs. We've just got to start holding those leads a little better.”
Right-hander Jake Peavy (4-7, 5.33) will get the start for the Giants on Monday. He has a 7-8 record with a 4.17 ERA in 23 career starts against Colorado.