Rockies lean on Gray against Reds (Jul 05, 2017)

BY AP • July 5, 2017

DENVER -- After missing 2 1/2 months due to a stress fracture in his left foot, Jon Gray started Friday for Colorado at Arizona and was a big reason the Rockies ended a season-high, eight-game losing streak.

The Rockies, whose 8-1 loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday was their 11th defeat in 13 games, again will be leaning heavily on Gray when he starts Wednesday against the Reds.

He will oppose Cincinnati's Scott Feldman (7-5, 3.78 ERA).

Gray (1-0, 3.93 ERA) gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts against the Diamondbacks. He threw 67 of 102 pitches for strikes but failed to retire the side in order, stranding seven runners.

"It was fun," Gray said. "It was good to get back in a game and feel that game speed again."

Gray will try to do a better job of executing to left-handed hitters.

"I got to concentrate on my line (to the plate) and stay with it, don't yank the ball across," said Gray, who is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one career start against the Reds. "That's when I would get in trouble, when I would try to go down and away and yank the ball over the middle, and it would get hit for extra bases."

Feldman also enjoyed a strong outing Friday, when he allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings in the Reds' 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. He walked two walks and struck out seven.

Feldman leads the team in wins, innings (97 2/3), strikeouts (80) and quality starts (nine). He is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his past five starts, and he has made three consecutive quality starts.

What little history Feldman has with the Rockies is somewhat dated. He is 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three games, one start, against Colorado, all interleague contests when he was with Baltimore in 2013 and Texas in 2006. In two games at Coors Field, both relief appearances with the Rangers, Feldman is 0-0 with a 15.43 ERA.

The Tuesday loss dropped the Rockies (49-37) a season-high 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and kept them four games behind the second-place Diamondbacks. The Rockies still have a 6 1/2-game lead over the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.

The Reds (36-47) have won five of their past eight games following a stretch in which they lost 19 of 26. They are last in the NL Central, trailing the first-place Milwaukee Brewers by 8 1/2 games.

The state of their division and the encouraging outing they got Tuesday from Homer Bailey have the Reds hopeful. Bailey allowed one run and eight singles in six innings with no walks and three strikeouts. It was his third start since coming off the 60-day disabled list late last month.

"In this clubhouse, no one's conceding anything," Reds manager Bryan Price said, "because we can score runs and we can defend and we can shut down games (with the bullpen). ... There are a lot of things to be excited about, but we do need to get the consistency in the rotation. And as we get that, I think you'll see us start knocking down series more regularly and have longer winning streaks."

The Reds' longest winning streak this season was five games from May 3-7. They have twice won four straight -- from April 9-12 and June 5-8. However, since the early-June streak, the Reds have not won more than two consecutive games, a modest achievement they accomplished twice on their last homestand -- June 27-28 against Milwaukee and Friday and Saturday against the Cubs.



share story