Jose Iglesias was considered a defensive whiz with little offense when he broke in with the Boston Red Sox a decade ago.
The glove is still there, but Iglesias has shown he can produce at the plate, too.
Iglesias has knocked in eight runs over the past two games, including six on Wednesday night to tie a Colorado Rockies record for a shortstop in one game.
He will try to keep his offensive surge going when Colorado faces the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series in Denver starting Friday night.
The Rockies will start right-hander German Marquez (5-7, 5.66 ERA) on the mound against Pittsburgh left-hander Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.59).
Quintana has plenty of experience against the Rockies, going 2-2 with a 4.80 ERA in six career appearances (five starts). His one relief appearance against them came last season.
Colorado has won three in a row and would finish 6-1 on its homestand ahead of the All-Star break with a sweep of the Pirates.
Pittsburgh is finishing a 12-game, 11-day trip through four cities and is 5-4 on the trip after losing 3-2 in 11 innings at Miami on Thursday. The Pirates have gone 7-9 on the road since June 15, and 14 of the games have been decided by two or fewer runs.
Pittsburgh has lost two straight after winning four in a row. In Thursday’s loss, two hitters — Daniel Vogelbach and designated hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo — struck out with a chance to drive in a run.
Tsutsugo is hitting just .182, and manager Derek Shelton said he might consider moving him down in the lineup.
“As we continue to run out our lineup, we’ll have to make that decision,” he said. “We need to get it going.”
Iglesias, 32, is doing well in his first year with the Rockies, hitting .304 and reaching a milestone on Monday when he became the 19th Cuban-born player to have 1,000 hits in the majors.
“Jose has been consistent all year with the bat, but within that time frame there have been [three] homers and some big RBI nights,” manager Bud Black said after Wednesday’s win. “He’s been steady and had a couple really big swings with the homer the last couple of weeks.”
Colorado has found some traction since losing three in a row at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies took three of the four games at Arizona and just won three of four at home against San Diego.
“I still don’t think we’re playing our best. I think there’s another level we can get to,” Colorado’s C.J. Cron said. “Obviously this was a great series. We have a chance to make this a really good homestand for us during the break, and hopefully we can just keep it rolling (Friday).”
Marquez got one of the wins against the Diamondbacks with seven strong innings on Sunday. He has had success against Pittsburgh in his career, going 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA in six career starts.
–Field Level Media