DENVER — The Colorado Rockies have gained control of their October destiny and will start German Marquez on Wednesday Dave Concepcion Jersey
, hoping the young right-hander can continue his recent dominance against the free-falling Philadelphia Phillies.The Rockies, who blasted the Phillies 10-1 on Monday, won their fifth straight game Tuesday, pounding them 10-3. That victory coupled with St. Louis’ loss enabled the Rockies to move one-half game ahead of the Cardinals in the race for the second National League wild-card spot. The Rockies also gained ground on the Los Angeles Dodgers and are a half-game behind them in the NL West.The loss was a season-high sixth in a row for the Phillies (78-79), who have dropped 17 of 23 games this month and have dipped below .500 for the first time since April 9, when they were 4-5. The Phillies were 63-48 on Aug. 5, which was the second-best record in the NL but have since gone 15-31.Article continues below ...“We have not played good baseball for quite some time,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said after Tuesday’s loss. “We have to find a way to perform better. We have to find a way to work harder, prepare better and come out and fight.”The 23-year-old Marquez (13-10, 3.91 ERA), who will start against Nick Pivetta (7-13, 4.58), has 210 strikeouts and is closing in on a single-season franchise record. Pedro Astacio also had 210 strikeouts in 1999 for the Rockies, and Ubaldo Jimenez set the franchise record with 214 strikeouts in 2010.Marquez, who is 3-1, 2.23 in his past six starts at home, last started Friday and won at Arizona, giving up two runs and six hitsin seven innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts.He has 11 or more strikeouts in four of his past five starts and has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 consecutive turns. In those 11 outings, Marquez is 5-2, 2.36 with 14 walks and 98 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings Pete Rose Jersey
, limiting opposing hitters to a .207 average and .575 OPS in that stretch.An improved slider, which Marquez has used more frequently this season, has been integral to his success. According to FanGraphs, Marquez’s slider usage has increased from 4.1 percent last year to 16 percent this season. Meanwhile, his fastball usage has decreased from 65.5 percent to 55.3 percent and his curveball usage has dipped to 22.2 percent from 25 percent. He has thrown his changeup 6.5 percent of the time, up from 5.4 percent last year.“I think he has confidence in throwing his slider for a strike,” said catcher Tony Wolters, who has been behind the plate regularly when Marquez starts. “He throws his slider probably more for a strike than his curveball.”Wolters said the slider is a pitch Marquez will use to begin an at-bat, along with his very effective curveball and that the two breaking pitches complement each other and give him a first-pitch alternative to a fastball.But Marquez has been able to finish off hitters this year with the slider, because it’s a sharp-breaking swing-and-miss pitch and so much better than a year ago.“It has a lot of depth, and it goes down,” Wolters said. “Last year, it was kind of sweepy. He had trouble with it going down and had trouble throwing strikes with it.”Marquez is 1-1, 5.25 in two starts against the Phillies, both in Philadelphia.Pivetta had a no-decision Friday at Atlanta, where he gave up four hits and one run in five innings in Philadelphia’s 6-5 loss. He has not pitched more than five innings in five consecutive starts, going 0-3, 3.47 in that stretch covering 23 1/3 innings.Pivetta is 0-2, 16.43 in two starts against the Rockies, including a 7-2 loss June 13 at Philadelphia http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-ken-griffey-jersey
, where he gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kole Calhoun and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia were surprised to find out just how long the right fielder’s hitless streak really was, considering how good a second half of the season he’s had.On Sunday, Calhoun broke out of his 0-for-25 slump in a big way.Calhoun hit a tiebreaking home run and Justin Upton homered in his third straight game as the Angels avoided a four-game sweep with a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.“There were some good swings in there. You definitely feel it,” Calhoun said of the hitless streak. “If you put a good swing on the ball you definitely feel like it should be a hit but sometimes it’s not and that’s just the game.”Calhoun’s solo drive with two out in the seventh inning off reliever Nick Vincent (3-4) was his 19th home run.“I didn’t even realize it was (25) to be honest with you,” Scioscia said. “He’s been hitting the ball hard since he came back. Little surprised to hear it was 0-for-25. It was a good time for it and it was a big hit.”Calhoun also had a stint on the disabled list with a right oblique strain in June, but after a slow start to the season, he turned things around.Upton extended his home run streak with a three-run shot in the third, giving the Angels a 3-1 lead. Upton has hit four home runs in his last three games. The homer was Upton’s 30th of the season and marked his third consecutive season of at least 30 home runs.Shohei Ohtani appeared to be limping as he jogged off the field in the eighth inning after he slid awkwardly into second base and was caught stealing.“He tweaked his ankle a little bit, but you know I don’t think there will be any issues with it,” Scioscia said. “He slid a bit late and awkward. He’ll be fine for Tuesday.”Taylor Cole (2-2) got the win, and Ty Buttrey struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his third save. The rookie is making a strong case to pitch in the back end of the bullpen next season.“That was awesome, punching out the side in the ninth,” Calhoun said. “He’s been huge for us. Going forward, he seems like he’s going to be a really, really big piece.”Seattle’s Daniel Vogelbach hit a first-pitch, two-run homer off starter Jaime Barria to tie the game at 3-all in the fourth inning.Barria allowed three runs on six hits in five innings. He was not involved in the decision.Starter Marco Gonzales, who was 5-0 in his five previous starts against the Angels this season, was not involved in the decision, either. Gonzales allowed three runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two.“Marco wasn’t quite as sharp as he was last time out Tony Perez Jersey
,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “You’ve got to give him a ton of credit. He gutted it out and got through the five innings and gave us a chance in a tie ballgame. In the starts he makes down the stretch, we’re not going to overextend him, but I think it’s important he continues to pitch and finishes the season strong.”Second baseman David Fletcher left the game with a left hamstring strain in the first inning. He hit a double to left and just before he got to first, he did a stutter step and appeared to suffer the injury before he got to the bag. He jogged to second base. Manager Mike Scioscia and a trainer went to check on him, and he was taken out of the game after a quick conversation.“He’ll be evaluated (Monday),” Scioscia said. “Naturally, any time you tweak a hamstring with two weeks to go in the season it’s not good.”Fletcher said he will not go on the team’s road trip to Oakland and Houston. He’s not sure about his status for the remainder of the season.The Angels Mike Trout was given a rare day off Sunday.Mitch Haniger hit a run-scoring double and was 2-for-4 for Seattle.HELPING HANDHailey Dawson, an 8-year-old from Las Vegas, threw out the ceremonial first pitch with her robotic hand. She had the rare opportunity to have Trout catch for her because he wasn’t in the lineup Sunday. She dabbed after Trout caught her pitch, then he gave her a hug. Dawson completed a ceremonial first pitch at all 30 MLB stadiums this season, and her ceremonial pitch at Angel Stadium was the final one.TRAINER’S ROOMMariners: LHP James Paxton (pneumonia) was to play long toss Sunday in Seattle, and if all goes well he’s expected to join the team in Houston on Monday. … RHP Felix Hernandez (hamstring) is still in Seattle, but is expected to join the team on the road trip.Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (left adductor strain) was scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Sunday in an attempt to start again before the regular season ends Sept. 30.UP NEXTMariners: LHP Wade LeBlanc (8-4, 3.56) will start Monday in Houston. The Mariners are 15-9 when he starts, but he’s 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in nine career appearances against the Astros.Angels: RHP Felix Pena (3-4, 3.75) will start Tuesday in Oakland. Pena threw six scoreless innings to earn a win against Texas. He is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two career games (one start) against Oakland.