Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story (L). File photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo
This weekend's series in Arlington, Texas, is a homecoming for Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who grew up coming to Texas Rangers games and is playing in the stadium for the first time with the goal of doing some damage to the team he used to root for.
Story had two hits and two RBIs in Colorado's 9-5 win over Texas on Friday at Globe Life Park in his first big-league appearance in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
The Rockies will send left-hander Kyle Freeland (6-6, 3.68 ERA) to the mound to try to clinch the series and Texas will counter with left-hander Mike Minor (4-4, 5.65).
Story, 25, is a graduate of nearby Irving High School. He entered Friday night's game against the Rangers leading the National League with 50 RBIs, and was tied for fourth in the NL with 14 home runs and in total bases with 135.
After struggling with the bat and with strikeouts in the early part of the year, Story is hitting .388 (21-for-54) in June.
Story was injured in 2016 when the Rockies last played in Arlington and had to watch from the dugout during that series. He had about 200 friends and family in attendance Friday and they were very vocal.
"This is special -- I grew up watching the Rangers here," Story told mlb.com before Friday's game. "They were my team when I was younger - this was my Yankee Stadium growing up. Very exciting, lots of emotions for sure. It was tough I couldn't play in '16, but I'm looking forward to this."
Friday's win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Rockies, and the Rangers lost their seventh in a row.
Texas played without catcher Robinson Chirinos, who was suspended for a game after a pushing and shoving altercation at home plate on Wednesday with the Dodgers' Matt Kemp.
Kemp decided to appeal his suspension, and Chirinos sat out the first game of the series against Colorado.
"I didn't expect there would be suspensions," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "I thought in the scrum it was pretty benign, and it was over pretty quickly. The shoving match looked a little worse than it was. But Major League Baseball doesn't want that environment in a game. That was taken into account."
The Rangers' backup catcher, Carlos Perez, had to leave Friday's game in the second inning after sustaining a sprained ankle on a play at the plate. X-rays on Perez's ankle later Friday were negative.
He was replaced by rookie catcher Jose Trevino, who played in his first major league game after being called up from Double-A Frisco on Friday afternoon.
Texas also played Friday's game without right fielder Nomar Mazara because of a sore left wrist.
Freeland has been the Rockies' best pitcher of late; in his last nine starts, he is 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA. He took the loss in an 8-3 defeat at home against Colorado on June 10 in his most recent start, working six innings while allowing four runs and four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
Freeland will be making his first career start against the Rangers.
Minor will make his 13th start of the season on Saturday. His four wins are tied for team lead and the most among Texas starters, He had a quality start in last outing, but has gone 1-3 with a 6.96 ERA in his past six starts to raise his season ERA from 4.36 to its current 5.65.
Minor will be working on extended six days' rest because of off days Monday and Thursday. He last worked and took no decision in the Rangers' 4-3 loss on June 9 at home against Houston. He is 3-2 with a 5.73 ERA in eight career appearance, six of them starts, against Colorado.