MLB: With winning streak over, Guardians look to rebound vs. Rockies

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It might be the end of May but the Cleveland Guardians are looking like a team that can make an October run.

As long as they don’t face the Colorado Rockies.

Cleveland saw its nine-game winning streak snapped in an 8-6 loss at the Rockies in Denver on Monday. Still, the Guardians have the second-best record in the American League. The Guardians will try to start another streak in the second of a three-game series at Colorado on Tuesday night.

Cleveland will send Triston McKenzie (2-3, 3.44 ERA) against the Rockies’ Ryan Feltner (1-4, 5.07) in a battle of right-handers.

The Guardians’ winning streak was its longest since winning an AL-record 22 in a row nearly seven years ago. Cleveland forged this recent run with a combination of good pitching and an explosive offense that has scored 269 runs this season, first in the AL.

Another factor is the even-keeled approach the team has taken this season.

“This group has been the same from day one of spring training until now, whether we had a tough three-game stretch or during this run right now,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “We’ve been the same people. The work hasn’t slowed down, the effort, nothing. Everybody’s excited to get to the ballpark. This group believes, and that’s what I’m learning through this good stretch right now. There’s a true belief we can do this.”

Even in defeat, Vogt was pleased with how his team battled after falling behind 8-4 on Monday.

“We’ve got our two best hitters up to be the tying runs, even in our first loss,” he said. “It was a really fun nine-day stretch and we hope to start another one (Tuesday).”

McKenzie is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his only start against Colorado. That occurred in Denver two years ago, when he allowed just one run on seven hits in six innings.

Feltner will try to start another streak for the Rockies’ rotation. The starters had thrown six straight quality starts before emergency starter Anthony Molina was chased in the second inning on Monday.

Colorado recovered for its 11th win in the past 17 games, a run which began after an 8-28 start to the season.

“Baseball’s one of those things where there’s different parts — starting pitching, relief pitching, defense, timely hitting,” said Charlie Blackmon, who had a home run, two doubles and four RBIs in Monday’s win. “When the Rockies are good and we do all those things together, we can beat good teams.”

Feltner can advance that narrative with another good outing against Cleveland on Tuesday. He tossed six shutout innings at Oakland on Thursday but was denied a win by a late A’s rally. He’s 0-2 with a 4.98 ERA in four May starts.

Feltner is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one start against the Guardians after giving up one unearned run in six innings on the road last season.

–Field Level Media

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