Rockies' Lyles puts unbeaten mark on line vs. Reds
(SportsNetwork.com) - Young right-hander Jordan Lyles can remain unbeaten with his new team on Saturday night when the Colorado Rockies visit the Cincinnati Reds for the second contest of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Now 23, Lyles was only 22-50 and carried a bloated 5.35 earned run average through three seasons with the Houston Astros, but he's been a far different pitcher since arriving in Colorado as part of a trade that sent Dexter Fowler to Houston.
His 2.62 ERA this season is lowest among Rockies pitchers and he's thrown a staff-high 44 2/3 innings.
He gave up just two runs in eight-plus innings of his last start, an 8-2 defeat of Texas on Monday.
"The biggest thing is making better pitches when guys are in scoring position. I don't know the numbers but I can figure I wasn't too good in the past," Lyles said.
He's 2-1 with a 5.79 ERA in five meetings with the Reds.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon continues what's been a surprising transition from reliever to starter.
A full-time reliever with the Reds since arriving in 2012, Simon has been exclusively a starter in 2014 and has improved on the 3-9 record and 5.15 ERA he posted during 19 starts with the Baltimore Orioles from 2008-2011.
His ERA of 1.99 is second-best on the Reds behind Johnny Cueto, who leads the majors in the category.
He gave up three runs in seven innings of Cincinnati's 4-3 defeat of Milwaukee on Sunday.
In five relief outings against the Rockies, he's allowed three runs.
On Friday, Joey Votto smacked a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Reds defeated the Rockies, 4-3, in the series opener.
Votto worked a 3-0 count against Boone Logan (1-1) to lead off the inning before launching his fifth blast of the season -- all against left-handed pitchers -- a towering shot off the luxury suites in straightaway center field. It was his fourth career walk-off homer.
Colorado's Nolan Arenado, who went 0-for-3, had his franchise-record 28-game hitting streak broken. He worked an eight-pitch, one-out walk after being down 0-2 in his final at-bat in the top of the ninth and then scored when Justin Morneau sliced a double into the gap in left-center to tie the game at 3-3.
Morneau, though, was stranded at second following Jordan Pacheco's fly out to left and DJ LeMahieu's groundout to second.
Jonathan Broxton (1-0) was credited with the win despite suffering his first blown save of the year.
Starter Cueto struck out eight and surrendered a pair of runs on five hits and a walk over eight innings.
Todd Frazier cracked a 485-foot solo homer for the Reds, who broke a two-game skid.
Troy Tulowitzki belted a solo shot for Colorado, which has dropped two straight on the heels of a 6-1 stretch.
05/10 10:56:23 ET