May 08, 2014

DENVER -- Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss wouldn't address it after the game, but letting rookie closer Carlos Estevez regroup away from the ninth-inning spotlight seems likely after he blew his second straight save in as many outings and the Rockies lost 4-3 to the Texas Rangers.

"I'm not going to talk about roles after a game right now," Weiss said.

Like any manager, Weiss will talk to his coaches and the players involved first before discussing a move like this initially with the media.

But in his past two games, Estevez, who gave up four runs in the ninth Friday in a 5-3 loss to Miami, has retired two of the 10 batters he has faced and has allowed five hits and seven runs in two-thirds of an inning with three walks, one intentional, and no strikeouts.

Prior to his two blown saves, Estevez had allowed two runs in 12 innings since being named the closer with 18 strikeouts and six walks.

As for alternatives to Estevez, Adam Ottavino was the closer early last year when his season ended with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery May 7, 2015. Ottavino returned to the Rockies on July 5 and has made 15 straight scoreless appearances totaling 11 2/3 innings while allowing eight hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts. He pitched a scoreless inning Monday but did allow a walk and a single.

While working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Ottavino pitched in back-to-back games for the first time Thursday and Friday. So the Rockies, if they opt to give Estevez a breather, must decide whether Ottavino is ready for a closer's workload.

Another option is Scott Oberg, who has compiled 72 saves in 142 minor league games. Oberg was recalled July 23 for his third stint this season with the Rockies. In eight games since he returned, Oberg has a 2.57 ERA, having allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings with three walks and four strikeouts.

Tuesday's game with the Rangers will conclude a two-game series before the clubs travel to Texas for two games Wednesday and Thursday. The Rockies on Tuesday will also complete an eight-game homestand with a 4-4 record the best they can do. The Rockies are 28-28 at Coors Field and 27-29 on the road.

The Rangers, who are 4-3 on a trip that ends Tuesday, lead the American League with a 66-47 record. They have played a major league-leading 62 road games and are 32-30 in those contests.

Carlos Beltran is likely to be in right field for Texas on Tuesday. Had this been an American League game, manager Jeff Banister said Beltran would have been the designated hitter. Beltran left Saturday's game with a left quadriceps strain but did pinch hit Sunday and Monday.

"It was more my decision," Banister said before Monday's game. "I think he probably feels good enough to play. I just wanted another 24 hours. ... I think there's a good chance he will play tomorrow."

Since being acquired from the Yankees on Aug. 1, Beltran is 7-for-22 in seven games. In his past 25 games, Beltran is batting .340 (32-for-94) to raise his average from .294 to .305.

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