Jorge De La Rosa makes his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery as the Colorado Rockies open up a three-game series on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.
De La Rosa was limited to just 10 starts a season before his injury, with his last outing coming on May 24. He made his 2012 debut on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants and struggled a bit in a loss.
The lefty was charged with six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings. De La Rosa also fanned just one, but it was enough for manager Jim Tracy that the 31-year-old was just out there.
"The bright spot is that obviously, a very important left-handed starting pitcher for us was coming out there and showing signs that he is going to get himself back to be being the guy that we know he is capable of being, and hopefully then some," Tracy said on Colorado's website. "I thought his fastball command, for the most part, was good, and he threw some terrific change-ups. He threw a couple of real good curveballs."
De La Rosa has never lost in his career versus the Cubs, going 4-0 with a 1.63 earned run average in seven meetings, three of those starts.
Tracy's club will try to build some momentum after snapping a nine-game slide on Monday with a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Andrew Brown homered and drove in two runs, while Tyler Colvin added a pair of hits and an RBI.
Tyler Chatwood allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win.
"Chatwood did a great job tonight," Colorado second baseman D.J. LeMahieu said. "We had some tough outs, got the hits when we needed to and it's good to get that win."
Chris Rusin is hoping to taste victory over just the second time in the majors in what will be his sixth big league start for the Cubs.
The 25-year-old won that first game on Sept. 14 by holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to a pair of runs on four hits with six strikeouts over five innings. However, he did not factor into a 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday after giving up five runs on 10 hits and two walks in five frames.
The left-handed Rusin is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his five starts and faces the Rockies for the first time.
Chicago has lost six of its last seven, including Sunday's 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Alfonso Soriano homered and Justin Germano took the loss, getting charged with four runs over 5 2/3 innings.
"He's done a nice job for us, especially lately," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said about Germano. "He's going five or six innings and keeping the game within grasp."
The Cubs took two of three over the Rockies at home from Aug. 24-26.