Colorado Rockies working DJ LeMahieu back into lineup slowly

DENVER, CO - APRIL 21: D.J. LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies hits a RBI double in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field on April 21, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 21: D.J. LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies hits a RBI double in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field on April 21, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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One day after coming off the 10-day disabled list after suffering a right hamstring strain, Colorado Rockies All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu was not in the starting lineup with a Wednesday matinee matchup with the Los Angeles Angels.

LeMahieu was activated on Tuesday in time to face the Angels in the opener of a two-game homestand against the Angels. The 29-year-old went 1-for-4 in his return with an RBI as the Rockies won their sixth consecutive game with a 4-2 victory. Colorado enters Wednesday’s game with the longest current winning streak in the National League.

When asked about LeMahieu not being in the Wednesday lineup, Colorado manager Bud Black said it was a matter of the team taking things slow with LeMahieu’s return.

"“No particular reason except he’s coming off a hamstring injury,” Black told Rox Pile and other reporters in the Rockies dugout about LeMahieu’s absence. “We had planned that he was going to play one of these two games. We decided last night to activate him and play him and be off today. He’ll be in there tomorrow.”"

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The Rockies open a four-game homestand on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, a team Colorado battled until the next-to-last game of the season in 2017 for the second and final National League Wild Card spot.

LeMahieu’s performance on Monday night sent his slash line to .288/.363/.495. He also batted leadoff in a game for the 18th time in 28 appearances this season.

LeMahieu is hitting .278 as a leadoff hitter and .308 in his more traditional spot in the lineup, batting second. Either way, he has made a habit of making opposing starting pitchers pay early this season, hitting .435 in the first inning with two of his five homers (both solo shots).

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Taking LeMahieu’s spot in the lineup on Wednesday was Daniel Castro, who enters the game hitting .188 after being called up when LeMahieu went on the disabled list. Castro was kept with the team on Tuesday when LeMahieu was activated while utility infielder Pat Valaika was sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque.

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