After missing Saturday night’s victory over the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field, DJ LeMahieu is expected to be back in the Colorado Rockies lineup for the final game before the All-Star break on Sunday afternoon.
LeMahieu was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup with what was termed as “lower back tightness.” Pat Valaika took his place at second base and went 0-for-3 with a walk in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Mariners.
LeMahieu turned 30 years old on Friday night and celebrated his birthday in grand style, making several big defensive plays. He also went 2-for-5 at the plate, continuing a July where he is hitting .300, a stretch that has helped raise his overall average to .279. Switching to leadoff hitter this season from his usual spot in the two-hole, the former batting champion has eight homers and 34 RBI while putting together a .279/.324/.434 slash line.
This season against Seattle, LeMahieu is 3-for-18 after struggling against the Mariners in three games in the Pacific Northwest, going 1-for-13.
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Colorado manager Bud Black indicated at the end of his press conference on Saturday night that LeMahieu would likely be back in the Rockies lineup on Sunday, a good sign for a team that has won five consecutive series for the first time since 2014 and the first-ever time that they have won five straight series over teams with winning records.
LeMahieu is expected to test his back to see how it reacts before Sunday’s game but all indications are that he should be on the field and in the leadoff spot.
The Rockies enter Sunday play with a 50-45 mark and sit just two games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the race for the National League West lead. They are also two games out of the second National League Wild Card spot. Colorado’s 50 wins mark just the third time in franchise history the team has hit that number before the All-Star break, joining last season’s team and the 2003 squad.
After the All-Star break, Colorado will jump right back into National League West play with a critical three-game weekend series in Arizona starting on Friday.