Rangers look to youth as Rockies come to town

MLB Baseball

For the third time in six days, the Texas Rangers will hand the ball to a starting pitcher who is making his major-league debut.

Perhaps promising prospect A.J. Alexy can help the Rangers end their recent struggles against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Monday night at Arlington, Texas.

With seven players placed on the COVID-19 injured list over the past week, Texas has had to turn to its farm system — especially on the mound — for some needed support. On Wednesday, Jake Latz pitched into the fifth inning at Cleveland in his first big-league outing and two days later, Glenn Otto threw five shutout innings versus Houston in his MLB debut.

Now, Alexy gets his shot after going 3-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 16 appearances — 10 starts — between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this season. As of Saturday, according to the Rangers’ official website, 25 rookies have appeared in a game for the club in 2021.

“It’s exciting,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “I want to fast-forward a couple years to see where these guys are at, because a lot of these guys are gonna mature pretty quickly.”

Texas has perhaps the majors’ top rookie in All-Star Adolis Garcia, whose grand slam highlighted an eight-run fifth inning in Sunday’s 13-2 rout of Houston. Garcia leads the team with 29 homers and 77 RBIs, and is batting .349 in his last 10 contests.

Alexy, Garcia and the Rangers can win back-to-back contests for the first time since a three-game run from July 31-Aug. 2, if they’re able to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat to the Rockies. Texas was outscored 20-11 while being swept in a three-game set at Colorado to open June.

At 17-48, the Rockies are among the worst road teams in baseball. However, they just took two of three at the Los Angeles Dodgers and visit Arlington with a 3-3 mark on this nine-game trip.

C.J. Cron homered for the third time in five games during Colorado’s 5-0 win on Sunday. Cron is batting a remarkable .402 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs over his last 23 games.

“C.J. … he’s in a good spot right now,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I always feel like something is good is about to happen when he’s in the box. Especially, when he’s going through a streak like now.”

Scheduled Colorado starter German Marquez (11-9, 4.02 ERA) was an All-Star this season, but has yielded 15 runs and 19 hits while going 1-1 over his last three starts. All but three of those runs were yielded over seven innings of two road outings. The right-hander lasted only three innings against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, allowing five runs and seven hits of a 13-10 Colorado road victory.

Though Marquez is 0-2 in three starts all-time against the Rangers, he’s posted a 1.93 ERA in those outings. He yielded a run, two hits and struck out seven with two walks over seven innings of the Rockies’ 3-2, 11-inning home win over Texas on June 1.

–Field Level Media

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