Juan Uribe helped the Rockies win their major league-leading 22nd home game this season, hitting a pair of two-run homers in his season debut in a 7-3 win over Cleveland on Tuesday night.
He was supposed to be the team’s opening day shortstop, but fractured a foot on March 1. Surgery placed him on the 60-day disabled list, and he was activated early Tuesday to play second base for the first time in the majors
“We need to get a handle on this (situation) if we are going to take that next step as a ballclub,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “There’s a heightened sense of urgency (for every game) that creates more frustration.”
The Indians had their five-game winning streak snapped, but are still 16-13 after a 7-20 start.
Rookie southpaw Bill Traber, acquired from the New York Mets in the Roberto Alomar trade just before the 2002 season, will make the start for injured Jason Bere on Wednesday, becoming the third rookie to enter Cleveland’s rotation this season.
“We envisioned (Traber) him at some point in time getting to start,” Indians’ manager Eric Wedge said. “But you can never make promises, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Traber has made 16 appearances in his inaugural major league campaign, including one start, and Wedge says the former Mets prospect—he was New York’s first round pick and 17th player taken overall in the 2000 amateur draft—will be treated carefully as he tried to stay in the rotation for good.
“We’ll have to be careful with his pitch count for a while,” Wedge said. ”(He’ll) be limited to about 65 to 70 pitches.”
STANDINGS: Indians - 4th place, 8 GB, AL Central. Rockies - 3rd place, 8 GB, NL West.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Traber (2-2, 3.95 ERA). The rookie left-hander hasn’t allowed a home run yet, but has walked 14 batters in his 15 1-3 innings of work this season.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Oliver (2-4, 4.96 ERA). The left-hander has dropped two of his last three starts, including a 6-2 defeat at San Francisco on Friday night. He allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings. Oliver is 5-1 with a 3.59 ERA in 14 career appearances—eight starts—against the Indians.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Milton Bradley, .344 avg.; Matt Lawton, 7 HRs; Ellis Burks, 27 RBIs; Omar Vizquel, 33 runs and 6 SBs. Rockies - Helton, .325 avg. and 50 runs; Wilson, 13 HRs and 50 RBIs; Wilson and Larry Walker, 5 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Indians - 0-1. Rockies - 1-0.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - OF Shane Spencer is 2-for-10 in his career against LHP Oliver. … Left-handed batters are hitting .188 against LHP Traber this season. … SS Omar Vizquel is 0-for-10 in his career against Oliver. Rockies - Colorado put INF Ronnie Belliard on the 15-day DL before activating SS Uribe. … 1B Helton is hitting .380 with four HRs and 25 RBIs against LHPs this season. … LHP Oliver is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA in four starts at Coors Field this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 9-19 on the road; Rockies - 22-8 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - OF Karim Garcia (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Ricky Gutierrez (neck), 60-day DL. Rockies - RHP Nelson Cruz (biceps), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (back), 15-day DL; RHP Denny Stark (side), 60-day DL; INF Pablo Ozuna (knee), 60-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Belliard (ankle), 15-day DL.