The last time the Chicago White Sox came to Denver, they were nearly victims of the first home no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history.
Kyle Freeland came within two outs of a no-no back in 2017 before it was broken up. Tuesday went better for Chicago in its first trip to Colorado in five years, and the White Sox have a chance to sweep the two-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
Chicago will send Luis Giolito (6-6, 5.12 ERA) against Antonio Senzatela (3-5, 4.98).
Giolito was the losing pitcher in his only career start against the Rockies, which came Aug. 28, 2016, when he allowed four runs in five innings. Wednesday will mark his first start at Coors Field.
Senzatela is slated to make his first career start against Chicago. He has faced the White Sox once, on July 7, 2017, when he pitched one inning of relief and allowed a run.
Despite playing just two games in Colorado, the White Sox spent three days in the area. They were in town by Monday, an off day, while the Rockies were wrapping up a four-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night.
Chicago manager Tony La Russa said it was the players’ decision to come early to Denver, which might have helped them adjust to the altitude. However, it didn’t help closer Liam Hendriks on Tuesday in the White Sox’s 2-1 win. He gave up a home run and a walk in the ninth inning before he was able to gut out the save.
Hendriks said he has struggled in high altitude since he played in the minor leagues.
“In 2014, I went to Colorado Springs and threw seven innings, and in between each inning, I was throwing up in the bathroom,” he said. “So since then I’ve been medicated.”
While the White Sox are enjoying days off before and after this series, Colorado gets no such break. The Rockies are in the midst of playing 18 games in 17 days, a stretch that started last weekend with the series against the Brewers.
It looked as if they would need reinforcements for this homestand after Kris Bryant sat out Monday with a foot injury, Connor Joe was banged up Sunday and out of the lineup Monday and Tuesday and Jose Iglesias fouled a ball off his left foot on Monday.
Bryant was cleared to play Tuesday — he went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter — and Joe and Iglesias could return Wednesday.
One Colorado player who has been consistent over the past three months has been Brendan Rodgers. After batting .078 in April, the second baseman raised his average as high as .266 and is hitting .261 following a 1-for-4 effort on Tuesday.
Rockies manager Bud Black said the organization didn’t consider sending him down at any point and believed Rodgers would turn it around.
“Our perspective as coaches was, ‘Keep him here,’ ” Black said. “He’s not going anywhere. As tough as it was for him with the bat, we know that there’s a hitter in there. This is not a light bat/little infield, this is a horse with the bat. He was showing some grit to hang in there, and he wasn’t getting beat down.”
–Field Level Media