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Rockies try to continue mastery of Giants

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Antonio Senzatela and the Colorado Rockies face the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

By Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
DENVER

The Colorado Rockies will try to sweep the San Francisco Giants and add to their misery at Coors Field when the clubs finish a three-game series Wedneday.

The Rockies beat the Giants again 6-2 on Tuesday, giving them 17 wins in their past 19 games with the Giants at Coors Field, including seven of eight this season.

Antonio Senzatela (4-5, 4.88 ERA) will start for the Rockies on Wednesday against rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez (6-9, 4.19).

Suarez is working on a scoreless streak of 14 consecutive innings, having thrown seven shutout innings in each of his past two starts. Both were at home -- against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 25 and the New York Mets on Friday. Against the Mets, Suarez allowed two hits and no walks with five strikeouts in seven innings.

Suarez, the winning pitcher in each outing, gave up five hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in the starts. They marked the first time he pitched seven innings since July 4 at Coors Field, when he held the Rockies to one run and five hits in seven innings and endured a 1-0 loss. In two starts against the Rockies, Suarez is 0-1, 3.00.

"He has good stuff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's a four-pitch guy that will throw any pitch anytime. And I think his confidence has grown. It's part of maturing as a pitcher to have the confidence to throw any pitch anytime for a strike. He's been able to do that. Has got good movement on his pitches."

The Giants drafted Suarez in the second round in 2015 out of the University of Miami. He made it to Double-A Richmond for 19 starts in 2016 and went back there the following season before finishig the year at Triple-A Sacramento. Suarez, who turns 26 on Tuesday, has given the Giants a huge lift this season after starters Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija were lost to injuries. Cueto and Samardzia are out for the season.

"He's a guy that we thought a lot of the last couple years, even going back to Richmond when he pitched there," Bochy said. "He's not really surprising us. Obviously a nice shot in the arm with what he's been doing. He's had a couple hiccups. That's where he's getting better, I think, with his pitching -- just figuring out ways to limit the damage and stay out there."

Senzatela, who is 2-4, 4.37 in eight starts this season, pitched well in his last outing Friday at San Diego, giving up one run and four hits in six innings before the Rockies' bullpen stumbled in what became a 7-0 loss to the Padres.

He is 4-0, 3.26 in six games (four starts) against the Giants, including a win this year July 3 at Coors Field when he held them to three hits in seven shutout innings in Colorado's 8-1 win.

Catcher Chris Iannetta, who was behind the plate for Senzatela's last start at San Diego, said: "It's just all command. His ability to command as many pitches as possible in the strike zone is his key to success. When he does that, when he executes his pitches, it's a tough at-bat for the opposing hitters. When he falls behind and he has to throw the fastball over the middle of the plate, it swings in the hitter's favor a little bit, so it's harder."

Iannetta said Senzatela's changeup "definitely is his second-best pitch." And against the Padres, Iannetta said Senzatela "had the slider going, had the changeup going and the fastball to both sides (of the plate)."

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Rockies try to continue mastery of Giants
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