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Game 9 Preview: Rockies try to climb over .500

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Franklin Morales may be pitching to keep his spot in the rotation tonight.

Doug Pensinger

In his first start of the season in Miami, Franklin Morales went 5.1 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four. Not terrible, but not great either.

After Jordan Lyles made an excellent start last night however, the pressure is now on Morales not to implode in this game and risk putting his spot in the rotation in jeopardy with Tyler Chatwood likely coming back next week. Morales can't be sent to AAA Colorado Springs without his consent as he's out of options, but he could be moved to the bullpen with someone like Chad Bettis or Wilton Lopez getting sent down. That's the game within tonight's game.

With Morales faring much better in his career against lefties, the White Sox have limited their lineup to only two hitters batting from that side of the plate (Adam Eaton and Conor Gillaspie). Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn for instance are not starting this game.

The Rockies have employed a similar strategy against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana. They also only have two lefties in the starting lineup but one of them is Morales. Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez will both begin this game from the bench leaving Justin Morneau as the only regular batting from the left side to begin this game for the the home team.

Also sitting to start this game will be DJ LeMahieu for Charlie Culberson. This is the right night to do this as Morales is not as much of a ground ball pitcher; so on paper anyway, DJ's defense is less important.

This leaves Nolan Arenado and Michael Cuddyer as the only Rockies to start every game this season. Cargo was on this list before tonight, and Blackmon and LeMahieu have appeared (not started) every game despite not being in all the original lineups.

Lineups

White Sox

1. Adam Eaton (L) CF

2. Marcus Semien (R) 2B

3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B

4. Dayan Viciedo (R) LF

5. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B

6. Avisail Garcia (R) RF

7. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS

8. Tyler Flowers (R) C

9. Jose Quintana (R) P

Rockies

1. Drew Stubbs (R) CF

2. Brandon Barnes (R) LF

3. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS

4. Michael Cuddyer (R) RF

5. Wilin Rosario (R) C

6. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B

7. Justin Morneau (L) 1B

8. Charlie Culberson (R) 2B

9. Franklin Morales (L) P