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Colorado at Cleveland

Venue: Progressive Field

Although they soared into May behind a prolific offense, the road-weary Colorado Rockies simply haven't had the same punch at the plate recently.

It isn't likely to get any easier against one of baseball's hottest pitchers, even with Carlos Gonzalez back in the lineup.

As Cleveland's Corey Kluber looks to continue his outstanding month, the visiting Rockies will try to avoid their sixth loss in eight games while dealing the Indians a fifth straight defeat Friday night.

Colorado (28-25) led the majors with a .309 batting average and 5.0 runs per game through its first 36 contests, moving a season-high eight over .500 on May 7. The Rockies have since cooled off with a .244 average and 3.1 runs per game while dropping 11 of 17.

They've particularly struggled away from Coors Field, totaling 18 runs with a .190 average during a 2-7 stretch. Wilin Rosario (2 for 21), DJ LeMahieu (2 for 19) and Charlie Blackmon (3 for 18) are among those scuffling on the current trip.

It certainly hasn't helped that Nolan Arenado has been out since Friday with a broken finger, while Gonzalez also has missed three-plus contests due to injury.

After grounding out as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday's 6-3 loss at Philadelphia, Gonzalez is expected to start in the opener of this three-game set. He's 0 for 11 over his last five games, but 5 for 13 in his career at Cleveland.

Colorado went 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, dropping two of three in the series when the Phillies rallied with four runs in the ninth inning.

"We've been lacking the big hit lately," shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said.

Now the Rockies will have to face Kluber (5-3, 3.10 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA in five May starts for the last-place Indians (24-30). He leads the majors with 48 strikeouts over that span.

The right-hander limited Baltimore to five hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings in Saturday's 9-0 road victory.

"He's obviously very comfortable using all of his pitches, attacking hitters the right way and he's got some confidence going," pitching coach Mickey Callaway told the team's official website.

Kluber has never faced the Rockies, though Justin Morneau went 5 for 12 with a homer against him during his time with Minnesota. Morneau homered and doubled Wednesday after totaling four hits over his prior eight contests.

Colorado's Juan Nicasio (5-2, 3.61) will try to build on his last outing Saturday when he gave up two hits over six scoreless innings in a 3-1 win at Atlanta. The right-hander pitched around four walks and had five strikeouts.

He didn't fare well in his only career start in Cleveland, surrendering six runs over 4 2-3 innings in an 8-7 victory in June 2011.

Jason Kipnis will try to snap an 0-for-15 slide after going hitless in Wednesday's 3-2 road loss to the Chicago White Sox. The All-Star second baseman missed about a month due to a strained right oblique.

The Indians have totaled seven runs with one homer during their four-game skid. They'll try to get things turned around at home, where they put up 22 runs with four homers to sweep Detroit from May 19-21.

Michael Brantley, who is 2 for 3 against Nicasio, has been a bright spot with a .393 average during a 14-game hitting streak.

The Indians have dropped five of the last six meetings, including two of three at Progressive Field in June 2011.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

J. Nicasio
Colorado 2014 stats Cleveland
1-1 Wins-Losses 2-0
18.0 Innings Pitched 21.0
3.00 Earned Run Average 2.14
6 Walks 5
10 Strikeouts 26
1.22 WHIP 1.05

C. Kluber
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Colorado3rd NL West6368.481105-5 W 3
Cleveland1st AL Central7456.569-4-6 W 1

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Series Game Log
Apr 25MINMIN 4-3Jepsen McAllister 
Apr 26MINMIN 6-5Jepsen Allen 
Apr 27MINCLE 6-5Tomlin Berrios 
May 13CLECLE 7-6McAllister May 
May 14CLEMIN 6-3Santana Kluber 
May 15CLEMIN 5-1Duffey Bauer 
Jul 15MINCLE 5-2Carrasco Santana 
Jul 16MINMIN 5-4May Colon 
Jul 17MINCLE 6-1Tomlin Gibson 
Aug 1CLEMIN 12-5Berrios Salazar 
Aug 2CLEMIN 10-6Pressly Carrasco 
Aug 3CLEMIN 13-5Duffey Bauer 
Aug 4CLECLE 9-2Otero Santiago 
Aug 29CLECLE 1-0McAllister Kintzler 
Aug 30CLE 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31CLE 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 9MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 10MIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 11MIN 2:10 PM EDT