Clevinger brings spotless road ERA into Colorado
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies will play the Cleveland Indians in a two-game pit stop at Coors Field starting Tuesday before going back on the road. And for the Rockies, that's not bad by any means.
Pregame coverage begins at 8 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio.
The Rockies, in the midst of a 29-game stretch through June 14 that includes 22 road games, are 15-13 at home and a National League-best 21-10 on the road. They have had one winning road record in franchise history -- 41-40 in 2009.
When Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela (7-2, 3.49 ERA) opposes Cleveland's Mike Clevinger (2-2, 3.10) on Tuesday, the Rockies will be trying to improve their 13-6 record in series openers.
Colorado and the Indians haven't played since 2014 and last played at Coors Field in 2008. The Rockies are 7-2 against the Cleveland at Coors Field. The Indians hold a 9-3 advantage in Cleveland.
Both teams were off Monday after winning Sunday. The Rockies' victory came in their rubber game at San Diego, improving their series record to 13-3-3. Meanwhile, the Indians' 8-0 win at Kansas City was a tonic after their disheartening 12-5 loss Saturday. That marked a season high in runs allowed by the Indians this year, whose 3-0 lead vanished in a six-run fifth, matching the most runs Cleveland has allowed in one inning this season. The Royals blew the game open with five more in the seventh.
"It's one game, but we needed to bounce back from yesterday and we did," Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters after Sunday's win. "I thought it was important -- just the way we played ws much better."
The defending American League champion Indians (29-26) are one game behind Minnesota in the lackluster American League Central. A victory Tuesday would move the Indians a season high-tying four games above .500 for the eighth time this season.
Clevinger last started Wednesday against Oakland and lost 3-1, allowing three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He has never faced the Rockies and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 12 2/3 innings in two road starts this season at Kansas City and Houston.
Clevinger began the season at Triple-A Columbus and made his 2017 debut with the Indians on May 7. In five games (four starts) with Cleveland, right-handed hitters are batting .186 with a .612 OPS, and lefties are batting .190 with a .687 OPS against Clevinger.
The Indians are 17-12 on the road and 1-5 in interleague play -- 0-3 at Arizona, 1-1 at Cincinnati and 0-1 against Cincinnati.
The Rockies are 3-4 in interleague play -- 2-1 at Minnesota, 0-2 against Seattle and 1-1 at Seattle.
Senzatela took the loss in his first interleague start Wednesday, a 5-0 defeat at Seattle. He gave up five hits and four runs in seven innings but did notch a career-high seven strikeouts. The Rockies are 8-3 in starts by Senzatela, who has never faced the Indians. In six starts at Coors Field, Senzatela is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Colorado shortstop Trevor Story, who missed 13 games with a left shoulder strain, has hit safely in 10 of 12 games since being reinstated and is 13-for-43 (.302) with four doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and seven runs scored in that span to raise his average from .180 to .214.
Sunday's win moved the Rockies 13 games above .500, one shy of their season high, and elevated them into first place in the National League West.
"The guys had an expectation when we started in spring training about where we could be and what we could do," Rockies manager Bud Black told MLB.com. "Right now, we're realizing it. It's happening on the field. It's a good feeling. The guys are digging it. We're loose. We're playing hard. We've got to continue it. It's a long season."