Preview: Brewers at Rockies
DENVER — Freddy Peralta will make his major league debut Sunday for the Milwaukee Brewers, and Jon Gray will try to win his fourth successive start for the Colorado Rockies when the teams complete a four-game series.
The Rockies will be trying to gain a split of the series after beating the Brewers 4-0 on Saturday night.
Peralta, 21, who is from the Dominican Republic, was scheduled to start Saturday night for Triple-A Colorado Springs. But he was scratched from that assignment and made the 60-mile trip to Denver, instead.
“His family was in Colorado Springs, had never seen him pitch professionally,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They were there to watch him pitch tonight, so they got a good gift.”
Chase Anderson was scheduled to start Saturday night for the Brewers but was scratched because of a stomach illness. After the game, Counsell announced that Anderson was being placed on the 10-day disabled list.
“We did not believe Chase was going to be able to pitch tomorrow,” Counsell said. “And once we got past tomorrow, we’re essentially skipping a start.”
Peralta is 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts for Colorado Springs. In 34 2/3 innings, he allowed 30 hits — including only one home run — with 17 walks with 46 strikeouts.
“He’s been outstanding,” Counsell said. “He’s done his job in a tough place to pitch. He’s earned it.”
The altitude at Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet, higher than Denver’s 5,280 feet. In four home starts this season, Peralta is 2-1, 5.95. Those home stats were skewed by a poor start April 26 when Peralta allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 3 2/3 innings. In his other three home starts, Peralta had a 2.81 ERA. He’s 3-0, 0.60 in three road starts.
Gray (4-4, 4.24 ERA) has followed a career-long three-start losing streak by going 3-0, 0.45 in his past three outings, allowing 10 hits, one run and three walks with 25 strikeouts in 20 innings.
He beat the Angels on Tuesday at Coors Field, holding them to four hits in seven scoreless innings as the Rockies won 4-2.
Gray has not allowed a run in his past two starts at Coors Field, pitching 13 scoreless innings in those games with two walks and 19 strikeouts.
Gray is 0-0, 6.30 in two career starts against the Brewers.
Gray, Colorado’s Opening Day starter for the second straight season, went 1-4, 7.09 in his first five starts before winning his past three outings.
Before his last start against the Angels, Gray moved slightly toward the first-base side of the rubber to improve the depth on his slider. He also altered his grip on that pitch, putting his index finger on the ball to attain more spin. The result has been a much more effective slider, a strikeout pitch for Gray.
“I hadn’t seen the good slider,” Gray said. “I hadn’t seen good command. I feel if I did throw a good slider, it was kind of (in the) middle and it got hit. Or it was up and away. It wasn’t, so it was kind of hard to trust and believe in what I could do. But the more times you do it, it’s easier to believe. I think that’s kind of what I needed was a little kick-start.”
Rockies shortstop Trevor Story drove in all four runs in Colorado’s victory Saturday as he went 3-for-3 with two homers — giving him 10 for the season — a double and a walk. Story also had four RBIs on Friday night when the Rockies lost 11-10 in 10 innings.
In his past five games, Story has raised his average from .214 to .239 by going 7-for-16 with three homers, two triples, two doubles and 11 RBIs against only four strikeouts. The strikeout-prone Story has 50 in 142 at-bats this season.
“It’s really controlling myself and just being balanced and trusting my swing, having a game plan and trying to execute that,” Story said. “It’s not always easy, but when you can execute and get the pitches where you want, it just kind of pans out after that.”