Atlanta Braves (34-29) at Colorado Rockies (29-35), 8:40 p.m. (ET)
06/11/2014 10:29 AM
06/11/2014 10:34 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - In his Major League debut, Colorado hurler Tyler Matzek will not only go up against an Atlanta club that just scored 13 runs in a victory at Coors Field, but also a starter in Julio Teheran who currently leads the majors in earned run average.
Nonetheless, Matzek will become the third Rockies pitcher in six days to make his MLB debut as he toes the rubber in the third contest of a four-game series against the Braves.
The 23-year-old Matzek steps in for Eddie Butler, who made his debut last Friday against Los Angeles before getting shut down due to a right shoulder injury. The good news for the youngster is an MRI revealed no structural damage, just inflammation.
Right-hander Christian Berman then debuted for the Braves in Monday's opener, taking a tough-luck 3-1 loss.
When Matzek takes the mound tonight, it will make the Rockies the first time since the San Diego Padres in September of 1986 to have three pitchers make their debuts in a six-day span. The Padres did so over five days that year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The left-handed Matzek was the 11th overall pick of the 2009 draft and posted a 3.79 ERA in 26 starts at Double A last season. In 12 outings at Triple A this year, he has gone 5-4 with a 4.05 ERA.
"He's fought through some things (and) he's come out on the other side," Rockies manager Walt Weiss told MLB.com. "He's a guy that has never really gotten hit hard. He was able to avoid the barrel of the bat. There's some deception to him."
Teheran also has been able to miss bats as he has won his last four starts while giving up just four runs over 29 1/3 innings. The righty is now 6-3 on the year and his 1.89 ERA is currently the best in baseball.
Teheran's last two wins have come on the road, including a victory in Arizona on Friday. He yielded a pair of runs on five hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out seven.
The 23-year-old is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three career meetings with the Rockies, giving up two runs and fanning 21 to three walks in 18 innings. Teheran's current win streak began with a victory at home over the Rockies on May 25 as he logged six scoreless frames of four-hit ball, fanning seven.
After the teams combined for just four runs in Monday's opener, the Braves slugged their way to a 13-10 victory last night. Andrelton Simmons keyed Atlanta's seven-run first inning with his first career grand slam, while Evan Gattis had three hits, a homer, two RBI and four runs scored.
Freddie Freeman also went yard for the Braves, who had lost four of five coming into this series and got hits from 11 different players, including two pitchers.
One of those was starter Mike Minor, who failed to make the seven-run lead stand up during his brief four-plus-inning stint. Minor was charged with eight runs on 11 hits, finishing 1-for-3 with an RBI single.
"I just wasn't making quality pitches early on," said Minor. "Later, I felt like I was making better pitches and just couldn't get out of jams."
David Hale (2-0), who also had a hit, allowed one run in 2 1/3 relief innings.
The offensive outburst came without outfielder Justin Upton, who left in the first inning with a left hamstring strain that has him day-to-day.
Colorado starter Juan Nicasio got knocked around as well, surrendering all three homers among 11 hits and 10 runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work.
Josh Rutledge had three hits and scored three times for the Rockies, losers in 11 of 12. Wilin Rosario homered and drove in two in the setback.
"We didn't stop at all. There is a lot of fight in this team," said Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. "To give up seven runs in the first and score 10, we fought back. We definitely didn't quit. It just wasn't enough tonight."
The Braves also took two of three over the Rockies at home from May 23-25 and have won 17 of the last 20 meetings overall.
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