|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, May 21, 2017
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 23,352
Reds face tough cookie in Rockies rookie Freeland
CINCINNATI -- Colorado Rockies rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland gets more than 66 percent of his outs on the ground. That might come in handy Sunday afternoon when he faces a formidable Cincinnati Reds lineup at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.
Freeland ranks third in the major leagues with a 66.2 percent ground-ball percentage. That might partly explain his success on the road, where he's 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts away from Coors Field.
"Kyle's stuff sets up for the ground ball," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He's got great action in the hitting area, down. The sinker's going down. The changeup's going down. The slider doesn't have great depth, but it's going down.
"The life on his fastball down in the zone makes it very difficult for a hitter to dig out, therefore the ground balls."
Freeland will face Cincinnati for the first time. In his last start, he pitched six innings, allowing three runs and four hits to pick up his fourth victory against the Minnesota Twins. He has six quality starts and ranks 11th in the National League in ERA.
"What has made him successful as a young guy is to attack," Black said. "Although the walk rate is a little high on the scouting scale, his intent is to throw strikes and attack. And he's doing a great job."
Despite a tough loss on Saturday, Colorado (27-17) is off to its best start in franchise history through 44 games. The Rockies' 14 road wins lead the NL.
While the Rockies are counting on a rookie in the series finale, the Reds counter with 40-year-old veteran Bronson Arroyo, who will make his ninth start of the season and 274th for Cincinnati, which ties Joe Nuxhall for seventh on the franchise list.
Sunday marks Arroyo's 16th career appearance and 14th career start against the Rockies. In 13 career starts against Colorado, Arroyo is 5-4 with a 5.00 ERA. He has made 10 of those starts in a Reds uniform, going 4-2 with a 4.58 ERA.
Arroyo, who completed an unlikely comeback after missing more than two seasons with multiple surgeries, ranks among Reds franchise leaders in starts (eighth), strikeouts (sixth), wins (T12th), innings pitched (12th) and home runs allowed (263, first).
With several injuries in the starting rotation and a taxed bullpen, the Reds desperately need innings from Arroyo. Reds manager Bryan Price has been forced to extend his starters and relievers beyond what he would normally to protect young arms.
"You hate it for the fans, you hate it for the pitcher, but I can't throw the early lifeline to our starters," he said.
Cincinnati (20-22) halted a seven-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 12-8 win over Colorado on Saturday. The Reds' bullpen got a major assist from right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, who pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings for his first major-league win.
"We'll be better off tomorrow than were today," Price said of his bullpen.
Updated May 21, 2017