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Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray rounding into regular season form

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Rockies news, notes, and links for Monday, March 20.

Gray strikes out 7, Blackmon stays hot | MLB.com

The Colorado Rockies defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-2 behind some encouraging pitching performances and some power bats. The Rockies’ potential ace is starting to round into regular season form. Jon Gray allowed only one run on two hits while striking out seven through five solid innings on the mound. Gray showed off his full repertoire, striking out batters using his slider, curve, and changeup.

Scott Oberg, Adam Ottavino, Mike Dunn, and James Farris finished off the game, not allowing another hit through the final four innings. An unearned run scored during the seventh inning with Ottavino on the mound, but he struck out two in the frame. Dunn also completed his seventh inning in March and still hasn’t allowed a run. I know spring training stats mean virtually nothing, but I’m just sayin’.

Charlie Blackmon also continued his hot Spring, smacking a home run and a triple along with three RBI. Tony Wolters, Gerardo Parra, and Pat Valaika continued their impressive springs as well, contributing to the scoring.

Milwaukee Brewers name Junior Guerra Opening Day starter | Brew Crew Ball

The Rockies and the Milwaukee Brewers are opening the 2017 season against each other on April 3, and new we know who will take the mound for the Brew Crew. Junior Guerra, the catcher-turned-starting pitcher will make his first Opening Day start of his young career. Guerra debuted in 2015 as a 30-year-old reliever for the Chicago White Sox, pitching in only three games before being claimed by the Brewers. Guerra was the best pitcher on the Brewers roster last year, posting a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts. The Rockies have yet to announce who will be facing Guerra.

Did you know, Rockies fans? Coors doesn't have to pay for 'Coors Field' naming rights anymore | 9News

There’s an interesting tidbit to the whole naming rights deal that the Rockies have with Coors; the rights were given to Coors for life back when the stadium was built. Naming rights deals are usually used to provide upkeep to the stadiums, a source of income that the Rockies don’t—nor will—have as long as Coors wants the rights to the ballpark.

Saunders: “Lost Ballparks” provides magic ride through baseball’s past | The Denver Post

The Post’s Patrick Saunders provides his take on a new book coming out called Lost Ballparks, written by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos. The book reflects on all of the iconic baseball stadiums that have fallen due to innovation, disrepair, or lack of use, and takes Saunders down memory lane.

Antonio Senzatela is on the verge of the Rockies rotation. But his mom will never see him in the majors. | The Denver Post

Antonio Senzatela is one of the four young pitchers competing for the two vacant rotation spots, but is doing so for the first season without his mother. His mother, Nidya, passed away in the middle of last season from stomach cancer, but the loss hasn’t stopped Senzatela’s impressive performance this Spring.