Left-hander Jordan Montgomery will try to extend his scoreless stretch with the St. Louis Cardinals when they host the Colorado Rockies again Wednesday night.
The Cardinals won the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday for the 11th victory in their past 12 home games.
Montgomery (5-3, 3.37 ERA) has won his first two starts for the Cardinals after arriving in a trade with the New York Yankees this month. He has thrown 11 scoreless innings in those victories, striking out nine, walking three and allowing just six hits.
“If you’re in the Yankees’ rotation, you’re probably pretty good,” Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “So I knew he was solid. It’s been a lot of fun to play defense behind him.”
In his most recent start, Montgomery blanked the Milwaukee Brewers for six innings while striking out eight and allowing four hits on Friday. He worked out of a fifth-inning jam by striking out two to strand two runners.
“That was an impressive outing, for sure,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s a guy who’s been there before on a big stage, which we knew about him coming in. That is a perfect example of him knowing that if he just keeps his composure, he’ll be fine, and he did just that.”
At the suggestion of catcher Yadier Molina, Montgomery has become more aggressive throwing his fastball.
“My glove-side ‘heater,’ I really haven’t used my whole career,” Montgomery said. “Him calling it and me using it so often has given me some confidence.”
This will be his first career appearance against the Rockies, who have lost three consecutive games.
The Rockies took a 4-3 lead over the Cardinals on Tuesday but lost 5-4 when reliever Dinelson Lamet hit Tyler O’Neill with a pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Lamet had thrown five scoreless innings in his first three appearances for the Rockies after they claimed him on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Wednesday, Rockies right-hander German Marquez (6-9, 5.08 ERA) will try to duplicate the success he enjoyed against the Cardinals last week. He held them to two runs and a walk over six innings in a game the Rockies won 8-6. Marquez gave up eight hits.
He is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals, with 44 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. Marquez has struggled against Paul Goldschmidt (15-for-37, four homers, eight RBIs) and Yadier Molina (4-for-10, two doubles, RBI).
Meanwhile, Marquez has enjoyed success against O’Neill (0-for-6), Arenado (1-for-9) and Paul DeJong (2-for-12).
Marquez is aiming to finish on a high note and draw an invitation to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next March.
“From when I was a kid, I wanted to have the ‘Venezuela’ letters on my chest,” Marquez told MLB.com. “It’s going to be a dream, and I have to be ready. It’s during spring training, so I think I’m going to play winter ball.”
–Field Level Media