The Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds will get a three-game series started when they clash at Coors Field in Colorado on Friday night.
Shades of Gray
The Reds are in last place in the NL Central but stand just 4.5 games back of the Cubs in the division race and the same amount behind Philadelphia for the second wild-card spot. Eugenio Suarez and Yasiel Puig both have 20 homers for Cincinnati, which has received good pitching and ranks third in the majors with a 3.77 ERA. Puig, who is 10-for-19 with three homers and six RBIs during a five-game hitting streak, is batting .314 with 12 HRs in 75 games against the Rockies.
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Right-hander Sonny Gray (5-5, 3.59 ERA) is taking the mound for Cincinnati on Friday and will face Jon Gray. Sonny was added to the NL All-Star team but didn’t pitch in the contest so he is well-rested for this series opener. The 29-year-old last pitched on July 3 when he matched his career high of 12 strikeouts and allowed just four hits while tossing eight shutout innings in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Sonny, who has won his past three decisions, has never faced the Rockies in his seven big-league seasons.
Rockies need to start rolling
The Rockies are sliding in the wrong direction as they resume play after the all-star break by hosting Cincinnati on Friday in this opener of a three-game series. They lost their final six games prior to the break and have dropped 11 of their past 15 games to fell one game below .500 at 44-45. Colorado is in fourth place in the National League West–14.5 games behind the Dodgers–and stands 2.5 games behind the Phillies for the NL’s final wild-card spot. All-stars Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, with 20 homers apiece, are trying to keep the Rockies above water as the pitching staff struggles with an NL-worst 5.16 ERA.
Jon Gray (9-6, 3.92) will oppose Sonny on Friday. Jon won four consecutive decisions before losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. The 27-year-old gave up three runs and eight hits in five frames after allowing just three earned runs over 18.2 innings in his previous three turns. Jon is 4-0 with a 4.37 ERA in four career outings against the Reds and has struggled with Puig (7-for-17), Joey Votto (7-for-12), and Derek Dietrich (7-for-14).
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 0-4 in their last four road games
- 1-5 in their last six games against teams with losing records
- 1-5 in their last six games following an off day
The Colorado Rockies are:
- 15-5 in their last 20 home games against teams with losing records
- 17-8 in their last 25 home games against teams with losing road records
- 35-17 in their last 52 home games against right-handed starters