Matt Harrison was welcomed back to the big leagues in rough fashion in his first start in more than a year.
His second could be just as tough against a Colorado Rockies team currently thriving at home.
He looks to help the Texas Rangers avoid an 11th loss in 13 games Tuesday night against Colorado.
Harrison (0-1, 13.50 ERA) completed his comeback from spinal fusion surgery on July 8 against Arizona, but struggled in his first start since May 13, 2014. He surrendered six runs over four-plus innings in a 7-4 loss.
"I didn’t know if it was going to happen," he said of his return. "I’ve got to get better – a lot better than I was tonight."
Coors Field is far from an ideal spot for a pitcher to bounce back from a bad outing, especially with the Rockies hitting .335 with 16 home runs while winning eight of their last 11 there. Harrison won his two previous starts against Colorado while throwing 10 1-3 scoreless innings, but both were in Arlington.
Colorado hasn’t been overly effective against lefties with a meager .354 slugging percentage, though Troy Tulowitzki has been baseball’s best hitter off southpaws. He’s batting a major league-leading .397 against lefties with three home runs and six doubles.
Tulowitzki hit his 12th homer Monday and opened the ninth inning with a single, helping set up Ben Paulsen’s eventual walkoff base hit in an 8-7 victory. Tulowitzki has reached base in 41 consecutive games, tying Todd Helton and Andres Galarraga for the second-longest streak in club history.
Michael Cuddyer’s 46-game run in 2013 is the franchise record.
Tulowitzki, whose OPS has risen from .703 to .866 during his on-base streak, is 0 for 1 with two walks against Harrison.
Texas (43-49) continues to languish because of horrendous pitching. Nick Martinez gave up seven runs in four innings Monday, raising the team’s ERA to 6.92 during its 2-10 slide with only two quality starts in that span.
Offensively, the Rangers received a big performance Adrian Beltre, who is 13 for 33 over his last eight games after going 3 for 5 with two doubles.
The Rockies (40-51) won for just the second time in 12 interleague games, though they squandered a 7-0 lead after two innings. Tulowitzki is 16 for 43 during a 10-game hitting streak against AL foes, while DJ LeMahieu, who tripled Monday, is 19 for 44 (.432) during an 11-game hitting streak overall.
Kyle Kendrick (3-10, 5.94) has struggled at Coors Field in his first year of calling it home. He’s 1-4 with a 6.54 ERA in eight outings, surrendering 13 home runs in 42 2-3 innings.
A rain delay cut his last start short after one inning against Atlanta on July 9.
Kendrick was solid in his only matchup with the Rangers, holding them to one run over seven innings in Philadelphia’s 4-3 road loss on April 2, 2014.
Prince Fielder is 3 for 7 with a home run against Kendrick.