Rockies’ closer Daniel Bard back on track after key adjustments – The Denver Post

Velocity has never been a problem for Rockies closer Daniel Bard. Not with a fastball that averages 98.1 mph and a slider that cuts across the plate at 87.4.

But the right-hander was struggling to locate his pitches earlier this season and after a disaster on May 2 at Arizona, his ERA had soared to 9.00. In that game, the Diamondbacks torched him for four runs on four hits and a walk in just one-third inning.

On Sunday, however, he shut down Oakland for a two-inning save in Colorado’s 3-1 win at Coors Field. Bard’s ERA has shrunk to 4.09 and he’s allowed only one earned run across his last 15 innings.

“We have moved him to the middle of the rubber and I thought that helped his (pitch) angles,” manager Bud Black said. “We did some things through study and coaching and input from Daniel to keep that fastball on the plate.”

Bard also made some adjustments with his hand placement on the ball, as well as his release point, to keep his fastball from running too far away from left-handed hitters.

Lovin’ LoDo. Third baseman Joshua Fuentes was 2-for-3 Sunday, recording his 12th multi-hit game of the season and third of the homestand. He’s hitting .338 (27-for-80) with three home runs, 10 doubles, one triple and 17 RBIs through 23 games since May 12.

However, 10 of his 12 multi-hit games have come at Coors. And on the road, Fuentes is slashing .155/.211/.197 with just one RBI in 26 games.

Injury updates. Shortstop Trevor Story (right elbow inflammation) traveled with the team to Miami and is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins. … Right-handed reliever Jordan Sheffield, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with a shoulder injury, is expected to be out of action for at least two months. For now, however, he has avoided surgery and is getting treatment.

On Deck

The Rockies are off on Monday

Trending: Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-4 Sunday, extending his hitting streak to a season-high seven games. He’s one hit shy of tying Hall of Famer Larry Walker for the second-most hits in franchise history (1,361). Todd Helton (2,519) is the franchise leader.

At issue: The Rockies begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday at Miami. On the road this season, the Rockies are slashing .197/.273/.289 with only 12 home runs in 26 games while averaging 2.4 runs per game.

Pitching Probables

  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-5, 4.47 ERA) at Marlins RHP Elieser Hernandez (6-12, 4.47), 5:10 p.m., ATTRM
  • Wednesday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (4-5, 4.12) at Marlins RHP Cody Poteet (2-2, 3.75), 5:10 p.m., ATTRM
  • Thursday: Rockies RHP Chi Chi González (2-3, 4.84) at Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (6-3, 1.97), 5:10 p.m., ATTRM

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