HEADLINE

Marquez, Rockies aim for series win at Philadelphia

The Sports Xchange

June 13, 2018 at 10:46 pm.

German Marquez, like the Colorado Rockies, has been much better on the road than at home this season.

The right-hander will try to pitch the Rockies to another road series win on Thursday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies. Vince Velasquez will start for the Phillies in the rubber match of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

Marquez (4-6, 4.79 ERA) has a 7.71 ERA in seven home starts and opponents have a .989 OPS against him at hitter-friendly Coors Field. In six starts on the road, however, Marquez owns a 2.06 ERA, 1.086 WHIP and an .606 opponent on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

Marquez is coming off an especially bad home outing. He gave up three home runs in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks (one each for Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and David Peralta) last Friday and was charged with five runs in four innings of work.

“The pitches were up,” Colorado manager Bud Black told mlb.com of Marquez. “You look at the inning he gave up three homers … those are pitches that hitters can elevate. If they square them up, they’re going to go out of the park.”

Marquez, 23, has faced the Phillies once. He earned a win by allowing just one run in six innings on May 23, 2017, at Citizens Bank Park.

The Rockies improved their road record to 22-15 with an 7-2 win on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. However, Colorado (33-34) is still under .500 because the team is 11-19 at home.

The Phillies have won 21 of their 33 home games but need a win on Thursday to finish 3-3 on their six-game homestand. Gabe Kapler’s team is 3-8 in June and has not won a series in three weeks.

Velasquez (4-7, 4.95 ERA) pitched in the Phillies’ first game of the homestand, and he had one of the worst starts of his career. The 26-year-old gave up a career-high 10 runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers last Friday. Velasquez’s season ERA jumped up by more than a run in the brief outing.

“When he came out, the velocity was down a little bit,” Kapler told mlb.com after Velasquez’s last start. “The stuff didn’t quite look crisp coming out of his hand. We were talking about it on the bench and wondering if he just wasn’t going to have his stuff.”

Velasquez is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies. He has 23 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings against the team.

Velasquez will have to deal with a red-hot Trevor Story on Thursday. Colorado’s shortstop extended his hitting streak to seven games on Wednesday night with a 3-for-5 performance that featured two doubles and two RBIs.

Story has had five straight multi-hit games and is hitting .467 during the seven-game streak. The third-year major leaguer has raised his batting average by 27 points and his OPS by 68 points in the last week.