Reds' Bailey looks to rebound in Colorado (Jul 04, 2017)

BY AP • July 4, 2017

DENVER -- Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey will make his third start of the season Tuesday, searching for better results after struggling in his first two outings.

Bailey (0-2, 27.00 ERA) will be opposed by Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.84).

Bailey has made just 10 starts for the Reds over the past three seasons while recovering from three surgeries -- Sept. 5, 2014, to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm; Tommy John surgery May 8, 2015, to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow; and Feb. 18, 2017, to remove bone spurs in his right elbow.

He went 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in three rehab starts last month, one each at Double-A Pensacola, Class A Dayton and Triple-A Louisville.

On June 24 at Washington, Bailey came off the 60-day disabled list to make his first start since Aug. 28. He gave up six hits and eight runs in 1 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts in a 61-pitch struggle against the Nationals.

On Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Bailey threw 71 pitches in three innings and allowed six hits, three of them homers, and six runs with two walks and two strikeouts.

Bailey is in the process of shaking off rust at the major league level, Reds manager Bryan Price said.

"He pitched very well in our player-development system," Price said. "He was sharp with good, quality pitches. However, it's really been the better part of three years since he's been a regular piece in our rotation. You get exploited way more at this level than you do at any other level.

"I thought his stuff was very good in Washington, but his command wasn't. His stuff wasn't as good his second start, and his command was maybe marginally better. I think in time he's going to get right back in the flow of things and be an impact pitcher for us. I think right now he's kind of finding his way back."

Bailey is 2-2 with a 4.43 ERA in seven career starts against the Rockies, five of which the Reds lost. In two career starts at Coors Field, Bailey is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

Freeland is 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA in one career start against the Reds, winning 6-4 at Great American Ball Park on May 21, when he allowed six hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

The Rockies are 10-6 when Freeland starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA in seven starts at Coors Field, where he has allowed three homers in 42 innings. On the road, Freeland is 4-3 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts and has allowed eight homers in 51 2/3 innings.

He has lost his past two starts, both on the road.

On June 23 at Dodger Stadium, he allowed 10 hits and five runs in six innings and lost 6-1. On Wednesday at San Francisco, he gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings and lost 5-3.

The start Tuesday will be Freeland's first at Coors Field since June 17, when he held the Giants to one run in six innings and won 5-1.

"I'm excited," said Freeland, who was born and raised in Denver. "We just got off a long road trip (Sunday). Coming back home, Fourth of July, it's going to be a packed house. It's going to be fun."

Freeland said his outing Tuesday offers "kind of a chance to start winning again, get back in the groove of things, get a good consistency going."

As a local product, Freeland is accustomed to pitching at altitude. Asked whether he feels more comfortable pitching at hitter-friendly Coors Field than on the road, Freeland said, "Maybe a little bit, just having that home-field advantage and having your crowd there and everyone's really behind you. You can kind of feed off it."

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