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Colorado Rockies lefty Chris Rusin to start Saturday

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The 28-year-old southpaw will make his second start of the season against Miami.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

DENVER -- Left-hander Chris Rusin will start on the mound Saturday in place of the injured Jordan Lyles, the Colorado Rockies announced today.

The addition of Rusin pushes Kyle Kendrick's turn in the rotation to Sunday and Jorge De La Rosa's start to Tuesday, with Monday's starter to be announced, though right-hander Chad Bettis would be in line to make that start and threw his scheduled bullpen Friday in preparation for it.

"With the schedule right now, the long homestand and playing 17 straight games, we thought it was a good opportunity to get everyone in the rotation an extra day or two," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

However, it wasn't just the schedule that influenced the decision to start Rusin against the Marlins.

"Rusin's done a good job," Weiss said. "I think he's earned a start, that's a factor, too."

Rusin has made two appearances, one of them a start, for the Rockies this year, allowing just one run on eight hits in 11⅔ innings, walking five and striking out seven. His ERA currently sits at 0.77 with a WHIP if 1.11 and a 3.20 FIP. Despite his early success with the Rockies, Rusin said he isn't taking anything for granted.

"I just take it day by day," Rusin said. "You never know what's going to happen, so I'll just do what I can on Saturday to give myself another start."

Rusin said he credits an ability to hit spots with his fastball and quality off-speed pitches for his success in 2015.

"I've had good fastball command and the changeup has been working for me," Rusin said.

Saturday will be Rusin's third appearance at Coors Field, he allowed six runs on seven hits in 3⅔ innings in a start with the Cubs in Denver in 2012 and four runs in two innings in a relief appearance against the Rockies last season. Rusin said the experience at Coors Field has helped him in his approach to Saturday's start.

"The ball doesn't move as much as it does other places, so you've got to keep your sights a little lower and keep it in the ballpark," Rusin said.

He also acknowledged the importance of staying in the strike zone when pitching at altitude.

"You can't nibble, you can't put people on base, got to try to throw strikes," Rusin said.

It will be Rusin's first career outing against the Marlins.