|Rockies should be comfortable on road against Marlins|
MIAMI -- The Colorado Rockies have been surprisingly comfortable on the road this season, going 5-7 at home but 9-5 when they venture outside their stadium.
Colorado is hoping the second half of that trend continues Friday when the Rockies open a three-game series at Marlins Park against the Miami Marlins.
The Rockies (14-12) are set to get a boost from right fielder Gerardo Parra, who is set to return from a four-game suspension for his role in a brawl against the San Diego Padres.
Another Rockies outfielder, Carlos Gonzalez, is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. This has cleared the way for outfielder David Dahl, 24, to make his return to the Rockies.
Dahl, Colorado's first-round pick -- and 10th overall in 2012 -- made his major-league debut in 2016 and had success, boasting an OPS of .859. But he did not play in the majors at all last season because of a ribcage injury and was only recalled April 22 due to the Parra and Gonzalez absences.
But in Dahl's brief time with the Rockies this year, he has at least one hit in each of his four games, including triples in his past two games. He has three RBIs and a .915 OPS so far.
Dahl has been so impressive that Rockies manager Bud Black put him in the cleanup spot for Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Padres.
"It makes me confident," Dahl told the media when asked about his spot in the batting order. "It's a good feeling batting cleanup. I just have to cut down on my strikeouts."
The Rockies, who are in second place in the National League West, will throw left-hander Tyler Anderson (1-0, 4.32) against the Marlins, who are 7-17 and in last place in the NL East.
Miami has won two straight games but still has the fourth-worst record in the majors. The Marlins will start ace Jose Urena, who went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA last season.
This year, however, Urena is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. He has just one quality start this season, which was his second outing, going seven innings and allowing one run against the Boston Red Sox.
Since then, he has allowed 11 earned runs in 15 innings. Scouts, though, have noticed that Urena, whose fastball topped out at 97 mph in his most recent start, has mixed his pitches more of late.
On Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Urena threw 23 changeups and 22 sliders.
"I am getting more and more comfortable with my off-speed pitches," Urena said. "That's going to make my fastball better."
Marlins hitters, meanwhile, could have a tough time with Anderson, who has allowed two earned runs or less in his past four starts.
An interesting matchup to follow on Friday will be Anderson against Marlins catcher and right-handed hitter JT Realmuto, who started the year on the disabled list but has been hot since his return.
In seven games, Realmuto has eight RBIs and is hitting .385 with an impressive 1.294 OPS.
As for Colorado's road prowess, the Rockies were just 41-40 away from home last season and plus-nine at Coors Field. Friday marks the start of a nine-game Colorado road trip, and it will be a good test to see whether the team is for real on the road.
After the Marlins, the Rockies will visit the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.
Miami, by the way, is just 3-9 at home this season.