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Lopez's confidence unmoved by shaky debut

Lopez's confidence unmoved by shaky debut

MILWAUKEE -- The first appearance for right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez, the Rockies' primary right-handed setup man, didn't go well at all. The second wasn't as bad, but it wasn't long, either.

Lopez gave up three runs on four hits in the eighth inning of Monday's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Brewers, and was slapped with a blown save. Partly due to matchup purposes and partly because he was so taxed Monday, Lopez faced just two batters (allowing one hit) in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 8-4 victory.

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It's not a dream introduction for Lopez, 29, acquired in an offseason trade with the Astros. But he insisted his confidence hasn't taken a hit. He has the two lowest walks-per-inning-pitched seasons in Astros' history, and for all that has gone wrong, walks aren't the problem. He also comes with a reputation for forcing ground balls, and two of the three hits that came before Aramis Ramirez's game-winning double on Monday didn't leave the infield.

"I've been throwing the sinker, and it's good," Lopez said. "I feel good, and I'm ready to go tonight [Wednesday] if they need me. I'm ready to go every day."

Lopez said in retrospect, he should have thrown Ramirez a sinker rather than a changeup when Ramirez launched the game-turning double.

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.

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