Published April 21, 2013
| Sports Network
The Colorado Rockies will try to keep their home record perfect with a ninth straight victory overall as they go for a three-game sweep of the rival Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon.
The Rockies have won each of their first eight home games, the longest home winning streak to begin a season in club history. Their current run of eight consecutive victories overall has pushed the Rockies' record on the season to 13-4, the best 17-game start in franchise history.
Colorado got six scoreless innings of two-hit ball from starter Jorge De La Rosa in Saturday's 4-3 win, while Michael Cuddyer hit a solo homer in the sixth inning that proved to be the difference. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki also drove in runs to extend the Rockies' longest winning streak since taking 10 in a row from Sept. 3-12, 2010.
"We're not going to hit the longball sometimes, so sometimes we have to play small ball. We just have to play smart," Gonzalez said.
Arizona's Eric Chavez hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the ninth inning on Colorado's Rafael Betancourt, who then got pinch-hitter Miguel Montero to hit into a ground out that scored a run.
Betancourt escaped with his seventh save of the season after Wil Nieves hit into a game-ending fly out.
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill was tagged for all four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and three walks over seven innings of work.
"We didn't play a very good game. We made a couple errors and gave them an unearned run. We had a shaky start," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, who was ejected in the seventh inning along with Cody Ross after his outfielder threw his bat following a called third strike.
Looking to sweep Arizona for the first time since Sept. 10-12, 2010 in Colorado, the Rockies turn to Juan Nicasio, who looks to win his third straight decision to open the season despite a 5.62 earned run average through three starts.
Nicasio beat the New York Mets on Tuesday, giving up four runs on six hits, two homers and two walks over five innings.
"He gave us a chance," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Nicasio. "Even though it wasn't his sharpest game, but he kept us in the game and gave us a shot."
The 26-year-old has walked nine batters and struck out nine in 16 innings this season, close to his career split numbers versus the Diamondbacks. Nicasio does not have a decision in two lifetime meetings with Arizona, but the righty has posted an 8.59 ERA while allowing seven runs, seven hits, 10 walks and 10 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
Brandon McCarthy takes another crack at getting his first victory with the Diamondbacks as he starts today's finale.
Signed as a free agent this past offseason, McCarthy is 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA through three starts. He labored versus the New York Yankees on Tuesday, needing 102 pitches to get through four innings of a 4-2 setback. All three runs he allowed came on a home run by Robinson Cano in the fourth frame.
"I felt (McCarthy) had a good feeling for the change-up and I just called it and I never second guessed myself," Montero said of the pitch Cano clubbed over the wall. "It was just a bad pitch. That's it."
The 29-year-old righty spent the first seven seasons of his career in the AL and will face the Rockies for the first time.