After missing his scheduled start on Wednesday due to a virus, Kyle Freeland (4-8, 4.48 ERA) is healthy and will be back on the mound as the Rockies open a nine-game homestand starting with the Angels on Friday night.
The Rockies will be trying to snap an eight-game losing streak, while Freeland, who started the season with a 3-0 mark and 0.00 ERA after three starts, is also trying to right the ship. In his last four starts, Freeland is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in 22 innings with eight strikeouts, eight walks, and four homers surrendered in four Rockies losses.
Colorado is 6-9 in Inter-league play this season, but this is the team’s first game against the Angels, who are 41-35 and in the AL Wild Card hunt (even though it’s early). The Angels are 9-8 in Inter-league play and own the all-time series against the Rockies 30-12.
Lefty Patrick Sandoval (4-6, 4.08 ERA) will get the start for Los Angeles. Sandoval had lost five starts in a row with a 6.08 ERA before a solid, seven-inning shutout against the Royals put him back in the win column on June 16. Friday will mark his appearance start at Coors Field and his first against the Rockies.
With Colorado’s struggles this season, attendance has dipped this season with the Rockies ranked No. 17 with an average of 27,945 per game for a total of 978,085. Those numbers could get a significant bump Friday through Sunday with Shohei Ohtani in town. The American League’s top All-Star-vote getter is leading MLB in homers with 24 and is tied for first in RBI with 58. Ohtani has played in four games at Coors Field (two in 2018 and two in 2020) and is 1-for-6 without a homer. In two at-bats in the 2021 All-Star game, Ohtani went 0-2; however, he did hit 28 homers in the 2021 Home Run Derby in a first-round losing effort to Juan Soto. He also launched one into the party deck during batting practice before the Derby.
OHTANI ALMOST LEFT THE YARD IN BATTING PRACTICE pic.twitter.com/rcmVYlpZmy— ESPN (@espn) July 12, 2021
While Ohtani won’t be pitching against the Rockies, Colorado could see two former Rockies on the mound for the Angels this weekend. Tyler Anderson (4-1, 5.64 ERA) will get the start on Sunday against Austin Gomber, and Carlos Estévez figures to pitch at some point in relief. Estévez (1-1) is having a wonderful season with a 1.74 ERA, 19 saves, and 40 strikeouts in 32 appearances.
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain; MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
#Rockies lineup welcomes back new father Ezequiel Tovar.— Patrick Lyons (@PatrickDLyons) June 23, 2023
Pair of left-handed face off in Kyle Freeland and Patrick Sandoval.
Freeland hopes to strike out Shohei Ohtani as he did during the WBC. pic.twitter.com/b5dXWaWiq8
Elias Díaz hits a grand slam to out-do back-to-back homers from Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout to snap eight-game losing streak in Rockies 7-4 win. Check out more here.