LOS ANGELES — The Colorado Rockies will look to close out June by heading in the opposite direction from when the month started and build off the momentum from a wild victory Thursday.
The first weekend of June was one to forget when the Rockies were swept in a three-game series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In full revival after a slow start to the season [url=http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/customized]Customized Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys[/url] , the Dodgers scored 33 runs in their three victories.
Now the Rockies head to L.A. with a full head of steam. They lost a heartbreaker Wednesday on a Giants game-ending home run and coughed up a late lead Thursday before DJ LeMahieu’s ninth-inning home run was the difference in a victory.
With the month set to close this weekend, the Rockies have some confidence on their side as they open a three-game series against the Dodgers. The Rockies will send left-hander Tyler Anderson (4-3, 4.62 ERA) to the mound Friday night against Dodgers lefty Rich Hill (1-2, 5.30).
Even after the Rockies were swept by the Dodgers to open the month they still sat in second place in the National League West, 31/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers were in third place, 4 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks.
Heading into this weekend series, though, the Rockies are in fourth place eight games back, while the Dodgers are in second, 31/2 back. The Rockies have gone 9-16 in June.
The Rockies victory Thursday appears to be motivated by a talk-is-cheap statement from Nolan Arenado, who then went out and hit a first-inning home run in a win that ended a four-game losing streak.
“We can talk about it all we want; we’ve been talking about this since April,” Arenado said, according to The Athletic. “How are we going to turn it around? Blah blah. We haven’t yet.”
The Dodgers have turned around their season by going 17-7 in June. But their turnaround goes back even further. They are 27-11 since May 17 and have the long ball to thank for it.
With two home runs Thursday [url=http://www.thebengalsfootballauthentic.com/cordy-glenn-jersey-authentic]Youth Cordy Glenn Jersey[/url] , the Dodgers now have 53 in the month to tie a franchise record. They will spend the next two games chasing the major league record of 58 for a single month.
But the Dodgers are coming off an 11-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday and went 3-4 against the Cubs over the past 10 days. The Dodgers have called the Cubs a measuring stick and they ended up losing the season series to the team they have faced in each of the last two National League Championship Series.
Now the Dodgers return to division play, after just six games against NL West opponents this month. The Dodgers are 5-1 against the Rockies this season.
If there is anything the Cubs might have exposed when it comes to the Dodgers it is a bullpen that appears to be in something of a lull. Dodgers’ relievers gave up eight runs in a defeat Tuesday and 10 in Thursday’s loss.
“I’m not concerned about it,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters after Thursday’s game. “We match up very well with (the Cubs) and they match up well with us. I think we are very comparable clubs. You give away outs, walks, we both can slug. You have to play good baseball. You look at a couple of games where they broke it open against our (bullpen) but by and large, our bullpen has been pretty good for some time.”
Anderson is 2-3 with a 4.85 ERA in eight starts versus the Dodgers. Hill is 0-3, 7.52 in four starts against the Rockies.
NEW YORK — The New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays will experience what it’s like to look across the field and feel as if they’re staring into a mirror for the last time this season on Sunday afternoon when the teams play the rubber game of a three-game series at Citi Field.
The Mets’ Chris Flexen (0-1, 10.80 ERA) is scheduled to face the Rays’ Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 3.92) in a battle of right-handers.
The Rays posted a 3-0 win Saturday afternoon when ace left-hander Blake Snell tossed 7 1/3 strong innings and Wilson Ramos collected two RBIs.
The Mets and Rays have combined for just nine runs in the first two games, four of which were registered when New York’s Jose Bautista hit a walk-off grand slam to lift the Mets to a 5-1 win on Friday night. The teams had just eight hits in 77 plate appearances with runners on base on Friday and Saturday.
Such struggles have become routine for the Rays and Mets, who ranked 26th and 27th in the majors in runs scored after Saturday’s game — during which Tampa Bay moved past New York.
The offensive woes have threatened to negate the strong work of both pitching staffs. The Rays (44-44) have a 2.77 ERA since May 19, when they began infusing their rotation with the “opener” in select games.
“I think that with the way we’ve pitched, we find ourselves being in a lot of ballgames [url=http://www.arizonacardinalsteamonline.com/customized]Customized Arizona Cardinals Jerseys[/url] ,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Saturday’s game. “But when the bats are quiet, it just becomes really, really tough to find ways to win ballgames.”
Starting pitchers for the Mets (35-50), meanwhile, have a 2.25 ERA in the last six games and a 3.94 ERA this year. New York’s three most utilized starters — Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz — are 11-16 despite a 3.06 ERA in 51 games.
“If we win just five games of deGrom’s and Matz’s and Wheeler’s — and that’s being conservative — we’re right where we want to be,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said after Saturday’s game. “And it just hasn’t happened.”
Flexen will make his first start of the season and his first appearance since June 24, when he took the loss after giving up one run in one inning as the Mets fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 in 11 innings. He hasn’t started in the majors since last Oct 1, when Flexen allowed six runs (five earned) in 1 1/3 innings as New York fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 11-0 in the season finale.
Eovaldi didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start Monday, when he gave up two runs in six innings as the Rays fell to the Miami Marlins 3-2 in 10 innings. He has allowed two runs or fewer three times in seven starts this season but has surrendered at least four runs three other times.
Flexen has never faced the Rays. Eovaldi is 1-4 with a 5.01 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets.
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