Austin Gomber, Rockies eye two-game sweep of Astros

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Field Level Media
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Jul 14, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber (26) pitches in fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Coors Field.
Jul 14, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber (26) pitches in fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Coors Field.
Image: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As the Colorado rotation has been hit hard by injuries, Austin Gomber has stepped up for the Rockies

The left-hander is the only healthy starter left from Opening Day, and the effects are showing. Colorado went with a bullpen game on Tuesday night but now turns to its most reliable arm, Gomber, to wrap up a two-game series against the Houston Astros on Wednesday in Denver

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Gomber (8-7, 6.19 ERA) will be opposed by Astros right-hander Brandon Bielak (4-5, 3.79) in the matinee game

The Rockies got a rare win over Houston on Tuesday night, 4-3, just their sixth victory in 27 games between the teams dating back to the start of the 2013 season

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Gomber can make it two straight if he pitches as he has over his past four starts. He posted a 3.00 ERA and got the win in all of them, the first time in his career he has won four straight starts.

Since a rough start to the season (0-4 with a 12.12 ERA through four outings), Gomber has been the best pitcher on the staff.

"Right now, I have a lot more confidence," he said. "It's one thing to kind of fake the confidence. When things aren't going well, you try to tell yourself positive thoughts.

"When you see success and you have good games and when you start stacking them and have a couple of good ones in a row, and you give up a (bloop) double to start the sixth, and it's just like, 'OK, next guy up.' There are no negative thoughts like, 'This is going to go bad.' I'm in a place where I trust what I'm doing."

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He has faced the Astros just once in his career, getting the win in six innings of two-run ball on April 21, 2021

Bielak will be making his fourth career appearance (third start) against the Rockies, his second against them this month. He faced Colorado on July 4 in Houston and tossed a career-high seven innings without giving up a run. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA overall vs. Colorado

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Bielak has made just one start since Independence Day, against the Seattle Mariners on July 9. He gave up three runs, two earned, in five-plus innings and took the loss.

Houston is trying to stay close to the Texas Rangers in the American League West, but injuries have hurt its drive to win a second straight World Series. The Astros are without Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley in the lineup, and pitcher Framber Valdez is unlikely to make his next scheduled start after leaving his Saturday outing due to a left calf injury

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The team hopes to get a bit of good news on Wednesday, when Alvarez (oblique) is due to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land.

"Everything went as planned," Houston manager Dusty Baker said of Alvarez's latest training efforts. "He's still progressing. We don't know when we'll get him back, but hopefully soon."

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The Astros have lost five of their past eight games. The Rockies are 3-1 since the All-Star break

--Field Level Media