Flores could play pivotal role; Stewart returns

Rockies left-handed reliever Randy Flores went 0-0 with a 5.63 ERA in 16 games with the Rockies from May 16 to July 4, before the club sent him down to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Flores, remember, ended last season with shoulder surgery while with the Cardinals. But he said he had no idea how far he was from top form when he was.

“I don’t know how everyone else is wired, but each day that I was throwing, I was telling myself that I was ready, and I’d work and do the best I can that day,” Flores said. “In hindsight, you could see the steps and the gradual progress. It’s been a bunch of baby steps that have allowed me to progress to where I am now.”

Flores posted a 2.35 ERA after being sent down. By August, he was back to top form.

“Part of it is the muscle memory of removing bad habits leading up to injury, and afterward,” he said. “There was progress made over this last month.”

Now he’s a needed piece of the Rockies’ puzzle.

Flores has pitched big games before. He appeared in the postseason with the Cardinals in 2005 and 2006, and posted a 1.00 ERA in 12 relief outings. With Franklin Morales being the only other lefty in the bullpen, it figures that Flores will be called upon at crucial times.

“I do have some history of pitching in some of those situations, and I look forward to getting one out or pitching four innings, whatever this club needs,” Flores said.


— Third baseman Ian Stewart missed Tuesday night’s 8-3 victory over the Mets to be with his wife, Susan, for the birth of the couple’s first child, a girl, Ellsi Gray Stewart. She was born Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. and measured 7.5 pounds and 20 inches. Stewart was back in teh Rockies’ lineup Wednesday.

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