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Rockies’ Julian Fernandez brings 102.4 mph heat in big-league debut

Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson stepped into the batter’s box in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon at Coors Field to face Rockies right-hander Julian Fernandez, who was making his major league debut.

First pitch: Swanson fouled off a 101.4 mph four-seam fastball. Second pitch: Swanson swung through a 100.7 four-seam fastball. Third pitch: Swanson struck out swinging on Fernandez’s 102.4 mph four-seam fastball.

Colorado lost, 9-2, but Fernandez’s fastball was impressive.

Rockies closer Carlos Estevez, who acted as the interpreter for Fernandez during the postgame Zoom call with the media, was amused by all of the questions about Fernandez’s heat. Both men are from the Dominican Republic.

“I started seeing him when I was just signed with the Rockies (in 2011),” Estevez said. “I was 18. He’s three years younger than me, and when he signed over (in the Dominican), I was already in the States. He told me, ‘When I’m 18, I want to throw 100 like you guys. And he went over that. I know he’s been throwing like that for a long time.”

Fernandez, who was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque, finished his first big-league outing giving up three earned runs on three hits, no walks, one strikeout. Austin Riley hit a solo homer off him in the seventh.

Injury update. Lefty Kyle Freeland, who departed his last start early because of a left hip impingement, is doing well and is on track to start Monday’s game against the Giants at Coors Field.

Right-hander Jon Gray (forearm tightness) is doing better each day and is on track to start Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Giants.

Footnotes. The nine runs the Rockies gave up Sunday were the most they have allowed at home since July 17 against the Dodgers. … Right-hander Jordan Sheffield pitched a perfect ninth inning in his first appearance since going on the injured list on June 5 with a right lat strain.

On Deck
Giants RHP Kevin Gausman (12-5, 2.52 ERA) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (5-6, 4.22)
2:10 p.m. Monday, Coors Field
TV: ATTRM
Radio: 630 AM/94.1 FM

Two homegrown Colorado pitchers face off Monday at Coors Field. Freeland, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, is making his 19th start of the season. His last outing was cut short by a left hip impingement that limited him to one inning against Texas. Freeland is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA over his last 12 starts since June 28. He’s 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in six starts at Coors over that span. Freeland beat the Giants at San Francisco on Aug. 14, allowing one run on five hits in six innings in Colorado’s 4-1 win. In 16 career starts vs. the Giants, Freeland is 7-3 with a 3.41 ERA, including a 5-1 record with a 3.99 ERA in nine home starts. Gausman, a 2010 graduate of Grandview High School, didn’t get a decision in his last start, but he pitched well against Milwaukee, tossing five innings of two-run ball, allowing four hits with a walk while striking out seven. Gausman has given up three or fewer runs in each of his last seven appearances. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in four starts against the Rockies, including a 1-1 record and a 4.35 ERA in two starts at Coors Field.

Trending: Raimel Tapia hit 2-for-4 with a triple Sunday, improving his Coors Field average to .304.

At issue: Braves veteran pitcher Charlie Morton threw seven innings of two-hit baseball Sunday for a quality start. When the opposing hitter throws a quality start, the Rockies’ record is 3-35.

Pitching probables
Tuesday: Giants RHP Logan Webb (8-3, 2.56) at Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 6.13), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Wednesday: Giants RHP Anthony DeSclafani (11-6, 3.24) at Rockies TBA, 1:10 p.m., ATTRM

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