The Colorado Rockies haven't had much to cheer about since the All-Star break. They had slumped into last place in the National League West and lost 13 of their past 18 games until routing the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
One of the bright spots, however, has been left-hander Kyle Freeland.
Freeland (7-7, 4.56 ERA) will look to win his fourth straight start on Wednesday in the second contest of a three-game series against the Cardinals in Denver. St. Louis will counter with left-hander Jose Quintana (3-5, 3.39).
The Rockies snapped the Cardinals' seven-game winning streak with a 16-5 romp on Tuesday. C.J. Cron homered and drove in five runs and former Cardinal Randal Grichuk had a career-high five of Colorado's 22 hits in the victory.
"It was a special night, obviously, and having my first five-hit night is incredible," Grichuk said, per the Denver Post. "But also doing it against the team that gave me the opportunity and then eventually traded me.
"So obviously in the first game playing against them was special. You get up for it a little. I mean, they traded you and they didn't see you in their future, so you want to go out there and play well against them."
Freeland is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his three starts since the All-Star break. He has outpitched Clayton Kershaw and Joe Musgrove in his past two starts and now takes on a Cardinals team that has been surging of late.
Freeland is 0-2 with a 3.12 ERA in three career starts against St. Louis.
Another Rockies player that is playing well is rookie Elehuris Montero, who is making the most of his chance for playing time with outfielder Kris Bryant on the injured list.
"I feel confident at the plate right now, and hopefully I can continue to keep doing the same thing as we go," Montero said on Saturday. "I feel great, I'm having fun. I'm just trying to take advantage of this opportunity they've given me."
Montero will be challenged if he is in the lineup against Quintana on Wednesday night.
Quintana has a low ERA despite only having three wins, but some of that hard luck could be contributed to his time in Pittsburgh. St. Louis acquired him from the Pirates on Aug. 1, and he pitched well in his debut with his new team on Thursday.
Quintana allowed just one run on one hit over six innings in a no-decision over the Chicago Cubs. He joined a team that has surged into first place in the NL Central and now he has a chance to pitch in a pennant race.
"You look into the eyes of the Quintanas of the world before that game starts and it will give you goosebumps how bad he wants it," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after Quintana's debut. "You look at anybody on the club right now. There's a really good feeling going around. The guys are determined."
Quintana is slated to make his second start of the season at Coors Field. He allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings of a 13-2 setback on July 15.
He has faced Colorado seven times in his career -- six of them starts -- and is 2-3 with a 5.66 ERA.
--Field Level Media