Key players return to lineup for Rockies, Angels in time for series

MLB

Key players return to lineup for Rockies, Angels in time for series

The Colorado Rockies will host the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series at Coors Field, hoping they can get a key player back in the lineup for their playoff run.

Outfielder David Dahl, an All-Star in 2019, has been out since Aug. 17 because of a sore back, but could return to the lineup as soon as Friday’s game against the Angels (18-27).

Dahl hit .302 with 15 homers in 100 games last year, but has struggled this season, batting .189 with no homers and seven RBI in 19 games. Before he went to the injured list, he was hitless in 17 at-bats with nine strikeouts.

Still, the Rockies (20-23) entered play Thursday just 1 1/2 games behind the Miami Marlins for the eighth and final National League playoff spot, and believe Dahl can help their playoff push.

“Hopefully, he can make a contribution in some way,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Dahl. “It looks as though he’s healthy, he’s ready to go, he’s in a good frame of mind. We’ll try to get him in there as we get to the weekend and as we get to this homestand. But we need David to be ready.”

German Marquez, 2-5 with a 4.58 ERA in nine starts, will be on the mound for Colorado. He hasn’t won in his past six starts, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t pitched well enough to win.

In his most recent start, Marquez held the Los Angeles Dodgers to two runs over seven innings but got a no-decision on Sept. 5. In fact, Marquez has held opposing teams to two earned runs or fewer in six of his nine starts but got a victory in only two of them. Marquez has never faced the Angels.

Angels DH Shohei Ohtani could be back in the lineup Friday against the Rockies after sitting out Thursday’s game against the Texas Rangers. Ohtani has struggled all season, hitting just .195 with five homers and a .654 OPS, marking a continued decline from his Rookie of the Year season in 2018.

Ohtani hit .285 with 22 homers and a .925 OPS in 2018, then hit .286 with 18 homers and an .848 OPS last season.

“There’s no question he’s struggling,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “His work’s been great. I talked to (hitting coach) Paul Sorrento — he works with him a lot, they all do — but I talked to him and they love his work and (batting practice) pregame had been really good. Just hasn’t been able to take it into the game yet, but he will. And I just don’t want to keep piling it on him.”

Maddon is hoping that Coors Field’s hitter-friendly conditions will allow Ohtani to turn things around.

“Maybe that’d be a nice place for him to kind of get that stroke back a little bit,” Maddon said. “Just looking for him to get his better swing off on a more consistent basis.”

Griffin Canning, 0-3 with a 4.54 ERA in eight starts, will be on the mound for Los Angeles. He has never faced the Rockies.

–Field Level Media

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