Lopez's confidence grows after solid outing

Lopez's confidence grows after solid outing

DENVER -- Rockies right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez figured he'd pitch to the standards of his track record at some point.

After posting sub-3.00 ERAs each of the last three years with the Astros, Lopez began this year by giving up runs in three of his first five appearances. Sunday's perfect seventh inning at San Diego with a two-run lead, in an eventual 2-1 victory, dropped his ERA from 12.46 to 10.12.

Lopez, 29, who had a 2.17 ERA last season and spent part of the season as the Astros' closer before being sent to the Rockies for pitcher Alex Smith, said he expects to pitch better as the season goes on. Manager Walt Weiss has said repeatedly that Lopez has had some bad luck and eventually he will pitch the way the Rockies expect.

"Every time I get in, I have confidence, like [Sunday]," said Lopez, who struck out two Sunday. "I thank God that things happened the way I was looking for them to happen.

"I know everybody has confidence in me. I feel that. The only thing I want to do is do the job. I'm focused on what I need to work on. I've been watching video and seeing things, and I'm staying positive. It's not a big deal, what happened the first few outings. It's something that happens to everybody."

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.