MLB: Hot Rockies, even hotter Guardians square off in series finale

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The Cleveland Guardians merely shrugged after their nine-game winning streak ended in an 8-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday.

“We’re still dangerous,” Cleveland center fielder Tyler Freeman said. “We had a little win streak going on. Now we’re going to start a new one.”

Freeman was correct. The Guardians bounced back with a 13-7 victory Tuesday night and will go for the series win in the last of a three-game series in Denver on Wednesday night.

Cleveland will send Logan Allen (6-2, 4.89 ERA) to the mound against the Rockies’ Ty Blach (1-2, 4.55) in a matchup of lefties.

Allen will try to do something other Guardians starters haven’t been able to do this week — keep Colorado’s offense in check. The Rockies roughed up Xzavion Curry and Triston McKenzie for 11 runs (10 earned) in 8 1/3 innings.

Allen never has faced Colorado.

The Cleveland offense has enjoyed the first two games in the thin Colorado air, especially Jose Ramirez. He has produced four RBIs, a home run and three doubles to continue his early campaign for American League MVP. The home run was his 16th on the season, a two-run shot in the first inning, and he leads the majors with 56 RBIs with a realistic chance to reach 60 before June.

“One of the best players in the world,” Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said recently. “He doesn’t get enough recognition for it. He wants to play baseball and he wants to win. He plays accordingly every single night.”

The Rockies don’t have an MVP-caliber player on their roster but they do have a veteran who keeps producing at age 37. Charlie Blackmon had two doubles, a home run and four RBIs in Monday’s win and added a couple of hits on Tuesday.

He also made a diving catch in both games to show he can still cover ground in spacious Coors Field.

Blackmon, a four-time All-Star and winner of the 2017 National League batting title, has seen his playing time reduced as the team tries to give younger outfielders more opportunities. Blackmon understands his adjusted role in what could be his last season with Colorado, the only team he has played for in his 14-year career.

“The assignment has changed a little bit, I guess you could say,” Blackmon said. “That doesn’t mean it’s any less important. It just means I need to not be surprised in certain situations and be ready to go when it’s my turn to play. I also need to try and be a little bit more consistent when I do get out there.”

That is the same approach Rockies pitchers have taken of late, and it has paid off during an 11-7 stretch. Blach will try to get Colorado a 12th win since May 8 in his second career start against the Guardians.

His only appearance against the Guardians came July 18, 2017, when he was with San Francisco. Blach held Cleveland to one run in seven innings but didn’t get a decision in the Giants’ 2-1 win.

–Field Level Media

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