DETROIT -- The Rockies scratched left fielder Carlos Gonzalez from the lineup before Sunday afternoon's 5-0 loss to the Tigers because of a strained left knee.An MRI did not reveal structural damage, and Gonzalez is considered day to day heading into a three-game series in Philadelphia starting Tuesday. Depending on how Gonzalez's knee responds to treatment, the Rockies -- reeling at 25-40, with losses in 10 of their last 11 games -- could be continuing a nine-game, 10-day road trip without their two main lineup forces. Currently on the disabled list is shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who will have his troublesome upper left leg checked by a sports hernia specialist in Philadelphia on Monday. Gonzalez (.335, 17 HRs, 51 RBIs) described his problem as soreness at the back of the inside portion of his right knee. It was originally in the Comerica Park press box as right hamstring soreness. Gonzalez said he "tweaked" the knee in the eighth inning of Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Tigers and felt the pain worsen in the ninth, when he doubled and went to third on a wild throw to second base. "I wasn't doing good after the game and last night," Gonzalez said after Sunday's game. "This morning I woke up a little better and tried to play through it. But I ran a couple of sprints before the game during stretching and I wasn't feeling right. It's prevention. "Hopefully, I can get better and play on Tuesday." It wasn't the news Rockies manager Jim Tracy needed Sunday afternoon just before turning in the lineup to the umpires. "That's a punch in the news before you even get a chance to walk the cards out there," Tracy said. Gonzalez has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .438. Additionally, Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are the only Rockies making impacts in voting for the National League squad for next month's All-Star Game in Kansas City. Tulowitzki went to the DL shortly before the last voting update, which had him with a narrow first-place lead over the Cardinals' Rafael Furcal. Gonzalez had risen from 13th place to 10th. The outfielders with the top three votes are starters. Gonzalez's team has deeper concerns than his candidacy for the Midsummer Classic. After Tuesday's day off, the Rockies will play 20 straight days before the All-Star break. "I don't want to be out of this lineup right now," Gonzalez said. "It would be even worse for the team. Having Tulo out, I just want to keep myself in there and wait for my shortstop to come back and play, and make this team better. We still have a lot of games to play."
Young gets nod in left field for finale
DETROIT -- Eric Young Jr. received his sixth outfield start of the season on Sunday, when he was in the lineup in left field against the Tigers.Young was originally in center for Dexter Fowler, but started in left because the Rockies scratched Carlos Gonzalez because of right hamstring soreness. Young, who entered the day batting .246, singled to lead off the game and stole his seventh base in eight attempts.
- 142 wins
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The speedy outfielder has been a spark plug for the Rockies off the bench, but starting assignments have been limited because of a crowded outfield. Fowler is the regular center fielder, Gonzalez is a mainstay in left, and Tyler Colvin, who played first base on Sunday, has earned an increased number of starting opportunities in the outfield.Young played second base throughout his Minor League time with the Rockies but began playing the outfield four seasons ago, and by last season he was primarily an outfielder. Manager Jim Tracy said Young has made progress in the outfield. "What I've seen of him in center field, it's as good as I've seen of him in the outfield since we moved him from the infield," Tracy said. "What jumps out is the Sunday afternoon game that we lost, 7-5. I saw a couple of routes that he took that in the past would have been very difficult." Tracy said he might revisit the idea of playing Young at second base as the season progresses.
Scutaro playing with verve in Tulo's absence
DETROIT -- The Rockies have started Marco Scutaro at shortstop for all 16 games -- including Sunday's finale against the Tigers -- that Troy Tulowitzki has missed with his left leg muscle issues.Rockies manager Jim Tracy lauded Scutaro, 36, who was the regular second baseman with Tulowitzki in the lineup, for his energy and resilience. "He's in motion a lot," Tracy said. "This isn't a guy that takes a lot of swings and just jogs around the bases. There are bursts out of the box. There's moving around at shortstop. There's more ground to cover. There's the use of his arm from the hole. "He's been one of our most consistent guys offensively, as far as the ball on the barrel of the bat. It's noteworthy, to be marveled at, that at 36 years of age he's got energy." After awful luck with line drives and hard-hit balls to infielders, Scutaro had raised his batting average to .274 on the strength of a recent surge. He singled in his second at-bat on Sunday. After wrapping up their series at Comerica Park, the Rockies' road trip will continue on to Philadelphia and Texas -- with high heat and humidity expected. That's only part of a grueling schedule, one that will require rest for Scutaro. "We're getting into the midst after the day off, we go from that point right up until the All-Star break for 20 games without a day off," Tracy said. "You can't do that. You've got to give him a break." Chris Nelson, who took the regular second base job when Scutaro moved, will likely start at short when Scutaro rests.
Rockies infielder Jonathan Herrera, who has been on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury since May 23 and has played just once on his injury rehab assignment because of leg and shoulder soreness, was scheduled to resume the stint Sunday with five innings for Double-A Tulsa.Herrera, who was slated to play second base for the Drillers, was batting .239 with two home runs and four RBIs before the injury.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.