Major League Baseball
Preview
Colorado at Minnesota
When: 1:10 PM ET, Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Colorado Rockies finally found a spark on offense.

Now, they hope that spark can develop into a series victory and the beginning of a hot streak.

Colorado will try to secure its first series win since late May when it faces the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.

The Rockies are coming off a 5-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night, which evened the three-game series at one win apiece to set up a rubber match in the finale.

Ezequiel Tovar hit a three-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning on Tuesday. It was the 11th homer of the season for Tovar, who has gone deep three times in his past four games.

Teammates praised Tovar for providing the big hit that helped spur the Rockies to victory. Tovar will look to stay hot on Wednesday before Colorado enjoys a day off on Thursday.

"The last couple of games our offense has been struggling," Rockies veteran Ryan McMahon said after the Tuesday game. "But 'Tovie' is our guy. He's our best player, and he came up with a big hit."

Colorado manager Bud Black took his praise of Tovar a step further.

"We're watching a young talent emerge into one of the, I think, potential stars of the game," Black said of his 22-year-old shortstop. "It's a premium position and there's a lot of good ones. But I think in time, you'll see that he'll be right there with them all."

Twins right-hander Pablo Lopez (5-6, 5.45 ERA) will try to subdue Tovar and the Rockies when he takes the mound in the series finale. Lopez has been hit hard over his past four outings, going 1-3 with a 9.15 ERA.

Lopez, 28, has enjoyed success against the Rockies in his career, though. In four starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

Colorado will counter with Austin Gomber (1-3, 3.38 ERA). The 30-year-old left-hander is also looking to rebound from a disappointing performance after he gave up four runs on six hits in five innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Still, Gomber escaped with a no-decision.

Gomber has made two career appearances against the Twins, though Wednesday will be his first start against them. In 4 1/3 innings of relief vs. Minnesota, Gomber has given up one run and two hits.

The Twins figure to have a new arm with the pitching staff on Wednesday, as Tuesday's spot starter, Louie Varland, was optioned to Triple-A Saint Paul after Minnesota's 5-4 loss on Tuesday. Varland made his case to stay, though, allowing just one hit and one walk in five shutout innings.

"When you pitch really well like that, you put yourself in a spot where you earn more opportunities," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Every time you pitch good, you're doing yourself a lot of favors, and he did it at the big-league level tonight, and he did it in a fashion that really looked good."

Rockies catcher Elias Diaz is expected to be sidelined for a second consecutive game on Wednesday because of a strained left calf. Diaz left the series opener on Monday because of the injury, but Black reiterated that Diaz is not expected to miss significant time and likely will not need to be placed on the injured list.

Jacob Stallings started behind the plate for Colorado on Tuesday and finished 1-for-3. He is hitting .289 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 32 games this season.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Colorado 24-43 W1 13-17 11-26 2-7 3-10 9-14 10-12
Minnesota 35-32 L1 17-14 18-18 4-11 15-11 10-3 6-7
Last Meeting
Colorado Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/11/24 COL 5 MIN 4 .219 2 .695 .242 2 .779
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Colorado J. Stallings .400 2 .900
Minnesota C. Correa .429 3 1.071
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Colorado R. McMahon 1 2 1
Minnesota R. Lewis 1 2 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Colorado 4.24 .206 10
Minnesota 2.50 .246 16
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Colorado E. Diaz .303 60 .791
Minnesota W. Castro .252 56 .749
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Colorado E. Tovar 11 36 31
Minnesota R. Jeffers 12 27 36
Pitching ERA Avg K
Colorado 5.30 .245 433
Minnesota 4.19 .231 598