Jordan Lyles didn’t finish with an ERA lower than 5.09 in any of his three seasons in Houston, but he’s certainly given the Colorado Rockies a boost so far.
As Troy Tulowitzki looks to stay hot, the surprising Lyles tries to move to 4-0 Wednesday night and help the Rockies complete a three-game road sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After going a combined 14-29 with a 5.35 ERA for the Astros from 2011-13, Lyles (3-0, 2.93 ERA) was given a change of scenery that would make most hurlers cringe when he was traded to Colorado in December.
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But the right-hander’s sinker has been effective so far at hitter-friendly Coors Field, where he’s allowed one earned run over 13 2-3 innings in two starts. He’s also given up just six earned runs over 25 2-3 innings over his last four outings overall.
On Friday, Lyles gave up two runs and six hits over seven in a 5-4, 11-inning win at Dodger Stadium. Now he’ll try to lead Colorado (16-12) to its season-high fourth straight win.
Tulowitzki also could have a say in continuing the run after going 5 for 6 with two home runs and five RBIs in the first two games against the Diamondbacks (8-22). He hit his seventh homer in the sixth inning Tuesday before Drew Stubbs connected on a go-ahead shot in the ninth off closer Addison Reed for a 5-4 victory.
"You never feel hot streaks," Tulowitzki, who is 20 for 38 with four homers during an 11-game hitting streak against the Diamondbacks, told the team’s official website. "Every day is a new day."
Nolan Arenado has four hits in the series while extending his hitting streak to a baseball-best 19 and Justin Morneau is batting .396 during his own 13-game run.
”I think right now you see signs of a group that comes together and understands how important it is to win,” Tulowitzki said. ”I think you see young guys buying in to doing things right to win the game. That’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish here the last few years, but I think this group has a firm grip on that.”
They’ll try to keep those streaks alive against Josh Collmenter (1-2, 3.38), who will try to put an end to the Diamondbacks’ four-game losing streak. After giving up seven runs over 10 innings in his first two starts, he allowed four hits in six shutout innings in Friday’s 5-4 win over Philadelphia.
"It’s great to be able to give the team a chance to win," said Collmenter, who has won both his starts while posting a 2.49 ERA in seven home games against the Rockies. "It’s something as a part of the starting rotation you take pride in."
Now the right-hander will have to contend with a Colorado team that leads the majors with a .295 average and is tied for the most runs with 153. The Rockies have been particularly prolific lately, batting .308 with 21 homers while winning eight of 11.
Carlos Gonzalez, a career .297 hitter in his seventh season, went 2 for 5 Tuesday to raise his average to .240. The star outfielder has gone 4 for 10 with a homer and two doubles lifetime when facing Collmenter.
Arizona’s Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero are both 5 for 8 with two doubles lifetime when facing Lyles, who is 0-2 with a 10.43 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks. Montero, Eric Chavez and Chris Owings each had two hits Tuesday, while A.J. Pollock hit his third homer.
The Diamondbacks have scored at least four runs in six of seven games, though the rotation has given up 11 runs and 19 hits over 11 innings in the last two. Arizona starters own baseball’s worst ERA at 6.34.