DENVER — The Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros begin a two-game interleague series Tuesday with each team looking to rebound from a Sunday road loss that denied them a series sweep.
Gerrit Cole (10-2, 2.52 ERA) of the Astros will oppose left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.72 ERA). Both will be trying to add to their recent success.
The Rockies (53-46) had their season-high seven-game winning streak end Sunday when Arizona ace Zack Greinke overmatched them for eight innings, piling up 13 strikeouts in the Diamondbacks’ 6-1 win. Nonetheless, the Rockies have won six straight series, all against clubs above .500, part of a surge that has seen them win 12 of their past 15 games.
They have also won five straight games at Coors Field and eight of their past nine to improve their home record to 23-23. The Rockies are beginning a five-game homestand that will conclude with three games against Oakland.
The Rockies, who are 7-4 in interleague games, began play after the All-Star break by winning two of three at Arizona, despite getting no more than five innings apiece from starters German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela. They went a combined 0-1 with a 7.63 ERA, eight walks, 15 strikeouts and 18 hits allowed in 15 1/3 innings.
“The starting pitching wasn’t our best, but we won two out of three without our best starting pitching,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It says something about our bullpen, too.”
Anderson, who has never faced the Astros, would appear well-suited for the challenge of righting the rotation. He’s 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his past four starts, allowing 14 hits, eight walks and three runs in 28 innings with 31 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .147 with a .403 OPS against Anderson during that stretch.
Anderson will be pitching for the first time since July 15 when he held the visiting Seattle Mariners to five hits and two runs in six innings, ending up with a no-decision in a game the Rockies won 4-3 on Trevor Story’s walk-off homer.
Cole gave up one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings July 14 against Detroit while winning his last start 9-1. The Astros are 16-4 in starts by Cole, who is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in his past five starts with 15 walks and 39 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.
He has a 1.95 ERA in the 10 starts he has won and a 3.11 ERA in the other 10 outings. Cole has not allowed more than four runs in any start this season and has done that three times. He’s 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four starts against the Rockies and 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one start at Coors Field. It came in 2016 while pitching for Pittsburgh.
Cole’s 177 strikeouts are the most by an Astros pitcher before the All-Star Game. Cole has also allowed 81 hits and 45 walks in 128 1/3 innings and has a 0.98 WHIP.
Winners of their first World Series last year, the Astros (66-36) are 11-6 this month and have the best road record (34-15) in the majors. They are 5-3 in interleague play, and their stop at Colorado will conclude a five-game road trip to begin play after the All-Star break that saw the Astros win two of three at the Los Angeles Angels.
Monday’s off day in Denver came after a 14-5 loss Sunday, the Astros’ most lopsided defeat of the season. It was the most runs they allowed since they yielded 14 runs at Detroit on July 29, 2016.
The Astros gave up 15 hits, including four home runs and two doubles, on Sunday. When the carnage was over, Astros manager A.J. Hinch bemoaned the inability to control damage and said, “You’re not going to have a game like this and not have everybody have a little bit of a bad day. It’s time to get to the next city.”