Frankie Montas and German Marquez were their clubs' respective opening day starters for 2020, and while neither came away with a win, they both pitched well enough to justify getting the nod to start the season.
Both will try to build on their solid starts when they face off in the final game of a two-game series when the Colorado Rockies visit the Oakland A's on Wednesday afternoon.
Colorado took the first game, 8-3, on Tuesday night for its third straight victory and ended Oakland's two-game winning streak.
It will be the second time the starters will face each other, and it comes exactly two years to the day of their only other matchup. Marquez prevailed in that battle at Coors Field that day when he went 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out eight for the victory.
Montas allowed one earned run in four innings in Oakland's win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. The 27-year-old right-hander had a strong start to 2019 before being suspended for 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drugs policy, and Thursday was a positive step.
"He throws close to 100 mph. He has two really good breaking pitches. He really came into his own last year," A's manager Bob Melvin said last week. "We saw early in this camp that he was conditioned for it and he's a good guy to lead off with."
Montas (0-0) will look to go deeper in his second start of the year after 81 pitches limited him to just four innings in the win over the Angels. This will be his second career start against the Rockies, and he hopes it goes better than the first one.
In Montas' previous outing against Colorado, he allowed eight hits and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings at Coors Field and was tagged with the loss. In seven games -- four starts -- in interleague play Montas is 2-1 with a 4.62 ERA in 25 1/3 innings.
Montas has pitched well at home since making his major league debut in 2015. In 26 games -- 13 starts -- at Oakland Coliseum Montas is 7-4 with a 4.12 ERA and has fanned 95 batters in 94 innings.
Like Montas, Marquez made the first opening day start of his career when he got the ball at the Texas Rangers on Friday, and he didn't disappoint despite the Rockies' 1-0 loss. Marquez (0-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and gave up just two hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings.
"For me, it wasn't surprising," Colorado manager Bud Black said after Friday's game. "You've got a guy I believe is entering the prime of his career, who threw a great ballgame as well."
Despite being 25 years old, Marquez has plenty of experience in interleague play. The righty is 7-1 with a 3.20 ERA (101 1/3 IP, 36 ER), 24 walks and 89 strikeouts in 16 games against the American League.
--Field Level Media