Rockies visit D'backs hoping to climb NL West ladder

The Colorado Rockies look to make up some ground in the NL West standings when they start a 10-game road trip Friday with the first of three straight games against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rockies sit just 2 1/2 games behind the D'backs in the NL West and haven't been playing their best baseball of late with just three wins in the past nine tries. They were able to halt a three-game slide with Thursday's 9-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a three-game set at Coors Field.

Michael Cuddyer homered, dove in three runs and scored three times, while DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Wilin Rosario added a pair of RBI. Cuddyer recently had his career-high 27-game hitting streak halted. Carlos Gonzalez finished with a hit, an RBI and a run scored before a back strain ended his day in the fifth inning.

Gonzalez expects to be in the lineup Friday and said he felt "something" when he swung and missed on a slider. He leads the National League with 23 home runs.

"He said he's done it before," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "So we're not too concerned. But it was enough of an issue to get him out of there. So there is some concern."

Jhoulys Chacin picked up his eighth win of the season even though he allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Colorado has lost seven of its last nine road games and turns to Jorge De La Rosa in the opener with the D'backs. De La Rosa did not receive a decision in last Saturday's 2-1 win over San Francisco and held the Giants to a run in six innings. The Rockies are 9-2 in De La Rosa's last 11 outings and he owns an 8-4 mark in 17 starts to go along with a 3.09 ERA.

The left-hander, who has given up just three runs in his last three appearances, is 2-1 in three starts against Arizona this season and 8-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 19 career meetings (15 starts) with the Diamondbacks.

Arizona won the last two installments of a four-game series with the New York Mets and had lost five straight and eight of nine contests prior to the modest win streak.

In Thursday's 5-4 win in 15 innings at Citi Field, Cliff Pennington delivered an RBI single in the top of the 15th and Brad Ziegler worked around two walks in the bottom half for his first save. Ian Kennedy started for the visiting D'backs and struck out eight batters over seven innings, allowing two runs. Chaz Roe earned the win for Arizona, which went 3-7 on the trip against teams from the NL East (Washington, Atlanta, New York).

"It feels good to win the game. It wasn't a walk off, (Ziegler) had to go out there and toss a zero. It was big for us," Pennington said.

Wil Nieves finished with four hits and two RBI, while Martin Prado and Cody Ross added a run driven in for the Diamondbacks. Prado and Tony Campana had three hits apiece in the win.

The D'backs will also host Los Angeles and Milwaukee on the upcoming homestand and hope touted prospect Tyler Skaggs kicks off the residency in positive fashion. Skaggs gets the nod Friday and he is 1-1 in three starts with a 5.40 ERA. He previously was in action on June 9 in a 6-2 loss to San Francisco and suffered the loss for surrendering five runs in five innings.

Skaggs, a left-hander, has never faced Colorado. He was 6-6 with a 4.26 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) for Triple-A Reno.

Colorado and Arizona have split 10 games this season.