HomeOther Philly SportsPhillies' Ranger Suarez aims for 10th win in showdown against Rockies

Phillies’ Ranger Suarez aims for 10th win in showdown against Rockies

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Having Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation gives the Philadelphia Phillies an edge against almost any team. Therefore, Ranger Suarez serving as the No. 3 starter seems almost unfair.

Suarez (9-0, 1.36 ERA), after all, leads the majors in wins and is second in ERA. The left-hander will take the mound against right-hander Cal Quantrill (3-3, 3.59) and the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game series in Denver.

The teams split the first two games of the series following spirited ninth-inning rallies. The Rockies won 3-2 in 11 innings on Friday after Jacob Stallings had tied the score with a two-out homer in the ninth inning.

Bryce Harper, who was ejected from that loss after his first at-bat, led the charge Saturday night with a three-run homer. His blast highlighted a six-run ninth for the Phillies, who posted an 8-4 win.

After Saturday’s game, Colorado manager Bud Black said rookie Jordan Beck sustained a broken left hand while making a diving catch in left field to end the top of the first inning.

Suarez, meanwhile, will try to continue his sterling start to the season for the Phillies. There was little indication that he would begin 2024 this well after going 4-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 22 starts last year.

This season has been much different. He received a no-decision in his first start of the year before pitching at least six innings in eight of his past nine outings. He has one complete game and four other starts in which he didn’t allow an earned run.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson told MLB.com recently. “The historic run that he’s been on, he’s just been pitching great. Knock on wood, he keeps it going.”

Suarez has enjoyed success against the Rockies throughout his career. He is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in five appearances (four starts) vs. them, highlighted by a shutout on April 16. He surrendered seven hits and struck out eight in the 5-0 victory.

Quantrill hasn’t been as hot as Suarez but is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in four starts this month. He has seven quality starts in his last eight outings.

Quantrill has two career outings against Philadelphia but has not recorded a decision despite posting a 2.45 ERA. He last faced the Phillies in Philadelphia on April 15 and allowed just one run over six innings.

Quantrill has not been intimidated by pitching in the thin air of Colorado. In three starts at Coors Field this season, he is 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA. He kickstarted the Rockies’ recent seven-game winning streak with a victory over San Francisco on May 9.

“Pitching here, there’s some unique challenges. Certain things that I would like to do aren’t quite as effective here,” Quantrill said. “Right now I have a splitter; before I didn’t. Before, I was throwing the cutter a lot, and at sea level it was a better pitch than it is here.”

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