A recent torrid stretch has captivated Kansas City and has the Royals thinking playoffs for the first time in 29 years. They'll send one of that hot streak's catalysts to the mound inside Coors Field on Wednesday.
Danny Duffy is 8-10, but he has an outstanding 2.60 ERA. In his last seven starts, the lefty has gone 3-2 with a 2.13 ERA.
That run of success will be put to the test at Coors Field, a hitter's heaven. In one career start there, Duffy was tagged for five earned runs on nine hits in five innings.
He'll be opposed by fellow lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who pitched through pain after tweaking his Achilles in the first at-bat of his last outing. De La Rosa has gone at least six innings in 10 straight.
He was 11-16 with a 5.64 ERA in 36 appearances (33 starts) with the Royals in 2005 and 2006.
Cuddyer dealing with left hamstring soreness:
The Rockies' Michael Cuddyer said the hamstring soreness that kept him out of the lineup Tuesday night against the Marlins had its roots in his Minor League rehab assignment, when he played five games for Rookie-level Grand Junction and three for Double-A Tulsa.
Cuddyer had missed 60 Major League games with a fractured left shoulder. On Sunday, his first day back, he played both games of a doubleheader sweep of the Reds and hit for the cycle in the nightcap.
"I did it in the rehab stint, then it would get better and I would play through it, and then playing 18 innings, being on base quite a bit, and running and scoring kind of taxed it out a little bit," Cuddyer said. "I didn't pull it. It's not like it's torn."
Cuddyer said was available Tuesday. He doesn't expect to start Wednesday, but with the Rockies off Thursday he expects to be in the lineup Friday against the Marlins.
Royals: Perez healthy again
Royals catcher Salvador Perez was "one hundred percent" certain he'd be ready for Tuesday one day after being removed from Kansas City's 6-4 victory over the Twins with a sore right knee.
Turns out Perez is a man of his word as he was back and batting third for the Royals' series opener against the Rockies.
Perez's injury occurred while running the bases in the fifth inning Monday. According the Royals manager Ned Yost, Perez felt a pinch in his right patella tendon when he stopped on his turn around second.
He ended up staying in the game and catching two more innings before being removed for Erik Kratz in the seventh. Before eventually deciding he was too sore to continue, Perez was in constant communication with the trainers and Yost about the injury.
In the midst of one the most important pennant chases in Royals' history, Yost couldn't be happier with that type of dialogue.
"It's paramount this time of the year for all of our players," Yost said of Perez's honesty. "We pride ourselves on communication. We don't look down on anybody because we trust them. If they say that it's going to be a struggle for them to go, we trust them. If they say they're OK, we trust them."
• Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez had the middle third of the left patella tendon repaired and a bursa sac removed in a surgery on Monday. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger cautioned that it won't be known for months if Gonzalez will be healthy enough to begin Spring Training on time.
• Perez has played in 115 games this season, second-most among catchers behind Jonathan Lucroy (117).
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.