Cleveland manager Terry Francona hopes his team takes an improved approach at the plate when the Guardians look to avoid getting swept in a three-game series with the visiting Colorado Rockies on Wednesday
The Guardians were held to six hits in a 5-1 loss on Tuesday, and they have dropped seven of their past nine games. Cleveland has scored a total of four runs in its past five defeats
"You get in modes when you're trying to get yourself going and you start swinging at everything. We're gonna have to be more disciplined," Francona said. "We're swinging at fastballs, we're swinging at all speeds, and it's easier said than done, but we're going to have to do better."
Cleveland ended a 14-inning scoreless streak in the sixth inning on Tuesday, but the team again struggled to generate any consistent offense. Josh Naylor is mired in a 7-for-55 (.127) slump, while Myles Straw has three hits in his past 28 at-bats (.107).
"I think there's a combination of things," Francona said. "You're seeing some good pitching, you're not feeling great at the plate, collectively we've kind of been in it together. The only thing I know, and we were talking about this before the game, you got to battle because nobody's gonna feel sorry for us."
Cleveland had not named a starter for the series finale as of Tuesday night, but could turn to top prospect Tanner Bibee. The 24-year-old right-hander was scratched from his scheduled start with Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday.
Bibee has made a case for promotion by posting a 1.76 ERA with 19 strikeouts and eight walks over 15 1/3 innings through his first three starts for Columbus this season.
Right-hander German Marquez (2-1, 4.41 ERA) will be activated from the 15-day injured list to start for Colorado. He last pitched on April 10, when he exited his start with right forearm inflammation.
Marquez, 28, will be on a pitch count and is not expected to throw more than five innings. Right-hander Jose Urena was designated for assignment to make room for Marquez. Urena went 0-4 with a 9.82 ERA in five starts this year.
Marquez will be making his second career appearance against Cleveland, a team he limited to two hits over six shutout innings on Aug. 8, 2017.
The Rockies received a boost on Tuesday from rookie outfielder Brenton Doyle, who singled in the second inning for his first major league hit and finished with three hits, including an RBI double, and two stolen bases
"It was nice to get the hit out of the way on my first at-bat," said Doyle, who was playing in his second game. "I always feel comfortable running because that's the way I play, 100 percent all the time."
Doyle has started in center field in place of Yonathan Daza, who has missed the past two games with a bruised left hand and is listed as day-to-day.
Colorado jumped to a quick lead on Tuesday thanks to Charlie Blackmon, who hit his 40th first-inning leadoff homer on the second pitch of the game. He ranks ninth on the major leagues' career leadoff homer list.
Blackmon finished with two RBIs and two runs in the win. He has scored 892 career runs, tying Larry Walker for the second most in Rockies franchise history
"Being in the top 10 all-time leading off, that is sweet," Blackmon said. "It always feels great to be part of lists like that. And for the Rockies, Larry is a very, very good player to be mentioned with.
--Field Level Media