Nick Senzel aims to continue his strong hitting display on Wednesday afternoon when the Cincinnati Reds play the rubber match of their three-game series versus the Colorado Rockies in Denver
Senzel belted a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning of the Reds' 3-1 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday night. He is 6-for-17 with three extra-base hits (two doubles, one homer), four RBIs and three runs during his five-game hitting streak
"He's playing great," Reds manager David Bell said of Senzel. "... His at-bats are just getting better. He really feels comfortable with his approach.
"I think coming to work every single day, keep on working hard and staying positive and just trust in my ability," Senzel told Bally Sports Cincinnati of his mindset. "We've talked about this all along ... being more in tune with routine and everything, it's helping me out and helping me keep level-headed and help me the best baseball player I can be."
Jake Fraley is faring pretty well at the plate, as well. He had two of his team's six hits on Tuesday to improve to 11-for-24 with three homers, 11 RBIs and six runs during his last seven games.
Right-hander Graham Ashcraft will look to benefit from the respective hot streaks of Senzel and Fraley on Wednesday afternoon.
Ashcraft (2-1, 3.95 ERA) enjoyed a sterling start to the season, allowing just eight runs in his first 36 innings before getting roughed up in his last two outings. He was rocked for eight runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings of a 17-4 shellacking by the Chicago White Sox on May 7 before allowing four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 frames five days later in a no-decision against the Miami Marlins.
Ashcraft, 25, will be facing the Rockies for the first time in his young career
He will need to keep a keen eye on Jurickson Profar and Randal Grichuk. Profar extended his on-base streak to 26 games on Tuesday, while Grichuk saw his career-high 14-game hitting streak come to a halt.
Ashcraft will be opposed by left-hander Austin Gomber (3-4, 6.30), who has reversed course from a dismal start to the season.
Gomber answered four straight losses with three consecutive victories before settling for a no-decision in his last outing. He did not allow a hit over the first 4 2/3 innings before giving up three runs on five hits in 6 2/3 frames against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
"We've got guys who are throwing the ball well that have been here all year, and the guys that have filled in have been awesome," Gomber said. "That's your job. When you get the opportunity to pitch, you've got to go out there and give your team a chance to win.
"I don't know if we were doing that much early on. We're doing a better job of late."
Gomber, 29, is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six career games (two starts) versus Cincinnati.
--Field Level Media