Dylan Axelrod thinks a change of scenery might do him some good.
The 29-year-old right-hander got that change of scenery when the Reds purchased his contract from the White Sox on July 17, and he will make his first start for his new club Saturday against the Rockies at Coors Field.
When right-hander Homer Bailey was diagnosed with a strained flexor mass tendon in his right forearm on Wednesday, Cincinnati needed a starter for Bailey's next turn. Since being acquired by the Reds, Axelrod has pitched well for the club's Triple-A affiliate in Louisville, going 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA over five starts.
He was named the International League Pitcher of the Week after shutting out Rochester on Aug. 5, allowing two hits while walking one and fanning five.
"I'm throwing the ball well," Axelrod said after arriving at Coors Field on Friday. "Everything feels like it's coming together mechanically and mentally. I have a lot of confidence right now."
Axelrod made 48 appearances (30 starts) for the White Sox from 2011-13, posting a 5.36 ERA.
"He has some fairly considerable Major League experience, which will allow him to be a lot more comfortable here," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's probably the most ready to come and help us. And he's throwing the ball well. It's a nice combination."
Cincinnati hopes that combination leads to a second consecutive victory over Colorado, as the Reds are clinging to playoff hopes despite playing inconsistent baseball since the All-Star break.
The Rockies will give the ball to right-hander Jordan Lyles, who will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list with a left hand fracture. He gave up four runs on six hits over six innings in a win against the Cubs on Aug. 6, and allowed two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 frames in a no-decision against the Padres on Monday.
Despite allowing just two runs in his last outing, Lyles was unhappy with his command after walking four.
"I had too many 3-1 and 3-2 counts, and the pitch count was too high," Lyles said. "I battled fastball command, too much run, too much sink. It's not acceptable. I've got to do a better job of pounding the strike zone."
Reds: Frazier day-to-day with lower back soreness
Third baseman Todd Frazier wasn't in the lineup for Friday's 3-2 win over the Rockies due to lower back soreness. He was listed as day to day.
"In the second at-bat [on Thursday], on a changeup, I kind of swung and hit it off the end. A pain shot up the right side of my back," explained Frazier, who grounded out to first base on that play. "I was never the same since that at-bat. Running was probably the biggest problem. I could swing but if I had to leg one out, there was no way. Jogging really hurt. That's why I wasn't really running to first, because I couldn't."
Frazier said before Friday's game that he was hoping to be back in the lineup Saturday. He is batting .279 with 20 home runs and 64 RBIs.
Rockies: Tulo, Anderson surgeries successful
The Rockies announced Friday that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and left-hander Brett Anderson each underwent successful surgeries.
Tulowitzki's season-ending procedure was on his left hip and was done by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo. on Friday.
"It sounds like things went well," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's recovering and the doctor felt like he took care of whatever he had to take care of in there."
Tulowitzki sustained a left hip flexor strain on July 19. He had posted a .340/.432/.603 line with 21 homers and 52 RBIs.
Anderson's surgery was to repair a disk in his lower back, and was performed successfully by Dr. Chris Yeung on Thursday in Phoenix.
In eight starts this season prior to his injury, Anderson was 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA.
Both players will need five months for recovery and are expected to be ready for Spring Training.
• Zack Cozart is 5-for-9 (.556) with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs in his career against Lyles.
• Justin Morneau, who along with Corey Dickerson has a 10-game hitting streak, is 5-for-8 (.625) with two doubles in his career against Axelrod.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.