Rockies look to continue road success at Reds
CINCINNATI -- The Colorado Rockies had to play a doubleheader on getaway day Thursday after Wednesday's game in Minnesota was rained out. The red-hot Rockies earned a split with the Twins and now head to Cincinnati where they'll begin a three-game series with the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
The weekend series features teams headed in opposite directions. Colorado (26-16) is 13-6 on the road, which was the best road record in the major leagues entering Thursday's action. Meanwhile, Cincinnati (19-21) has lost six straight after an encouraging start to the season.
In addition to taking on the rebuilding Reds, Friday also is a big day for the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story, who will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque. Story has been hitting and fielding ground balls with no issues and appears fully recovered from a shoulder strain.
"Trevor is feeling great," manager Bud Black told reporters Thursday. "His stamina is good enough for him to play. The only problem initially was whether or not he could extend his left arm enough to make plays. But he's totally ready to play."
Colorado's offense hasn't struggled much without Story, mostly due to Charlie Blackmon, who became the first leadoff man to have 30 RBIs in his team's first 40 games since Ian Kinsler had 40 for the Texas Rangers in 2009. Blackmon also is among the league leaders in hits and extra-base hits.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson (2-4, 6.43 ERA) will take the mound for the Rockies in the series opener. Facing the Reds for the first time in his career, Anderson is making his ninth start of the season. He's one of the few Colorado players not to have success away from Coors Field this season with a 7.78 ERA in four road starts.
Anderson has given up 17 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings on the road, where he's struggled throughout his career, going 1-6 with a 5.79 ERA in visiting parks.
Cincinnati (19-21) was a season-high four games over .500 and just a half-game out of first place in the National League Central before hitting the skids. The Reds returned home Thursday night after being swept by the Chicago Cubs in a three-game series at Wrigley Field in which they were outscored 24-15.
"I think it's pitching, starting pitching," Reds manager Bryan Price told MLB.com. "We score. We have, I think, a really good offensive team, and a really good defensive team. When we're pitching well, we win."
On Friday night, right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla will make his second start and third appearance for the Reds. Bonilla who was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates in February, tossed his first career complete game in a 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, allowing three earned runs with two walks and five strikeouts over eight innings.
Friday night will be Bonilla's first appearance against the Rockies, who are in the midst of a season-long 11-day, 10-game road trip.
Cincinnati has won five of its past six games versus Colorado, including a 3-1 series win at Coors Field May 30-June 2, 2016. It was the Reds' first series win against the Rockies in Denver since 2012. Cincinnati is 24-20 all-time against Colorado at Great American Ball Park.
Updated May 18, 2017