Two teams off to winning starts collide in interleague play on Tuesday night when the Colorado Rockies visit the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a two-game series.
While the Rockies were given Monday off after two wins in three tries at Texas to open the season, the A’s took their third win in four games against the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-0 victory.
The Rockies and A’s last played in 2018, with Colorado sweeping a surprisingly low-scoring series at home to take a 16-15 lead in the all-time series.
The home team has dominated the series, going 20-11.
The teams will play twice at each site this season, with Colorado hosting its games on Sept. 15-16.
Both clubs have received strong pitching this season, a trend they hope continues Tuesday when Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela squares off with A’s righty Daniel Mengden.
Colorado allowed a total of just five runs in three games at Texas.
Senzatela (11-11, 6.71 in 2019) will be making his season debut, hoping to avoid the type of road woes that plagued him last season. The 25-year-old was just 4-7 with a 7.29 ERA away from home in 2019.
He has never pitched in Oakland, but does have a positive experience pitching against the A’s, having held them to one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 4-1 home win in 2018. He’s 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his career against Oakland.
Contributing to the Rockies’ pitching success in Texas was right-hander Daniel Bard, who hadn’t pitched in a major-league game since April 2013. The 35-year-old got the win in Saturday’s 3-2 victory, throwing 1 1/3 shutout innings.
“I’m happy for him,” Rockies manager Bud Black said to reporters afterward. “I mean, what a great story.”
Trevor Story was the hitting standout for Colorado in the opening series, going 3-for-9 with two homers and three RBIs. He also walked four times.
Story has never faced Mengden in his career, and has never had an at-bat in Oakland.
Mengden (5-2, 4.83 ERA in 2019), meanwhile, has never pitched against the Rockies. He’s 5-3 with a 2.78 ERA in nine career interleague starts.
The 27-year-old will be attempting to follow in the footsteps of Chris Bassitt, a fellow fill-in starter who worked the first four innings of the win over the Angels on Monday.
The Oakland bullpen has worked 10 consecutive scoreless innings during the club’s two-game winning streak. A’s relievers allowed just one earned run and 11 total hits in 20 1/3 innings in four games against the Angels.
“We had to use our bullpen quite a bit the last couple of days,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after Monday’s win. “But it ends up being three out of four, so that’s huge for us.”
Oakland closer Liam Hendriks, who worked a total of 2 1/3 innings over two games against the Angels, was given Monday off. He should be available for Tuesday’s game.
–Field Level Media