The Arizona Diamondbacks have enjoyed the friendly confines of Chase Field so far on their 10-game homestand and shoot for a three-game sweep of the NL West-rival Colorado Rockies Sunday.
The Diamondbacks have won four in a row since losing five straight and eight of nine games. They opened this set with Friday's 5-0 victory behind a solid pitching performance from Tyler Skaggs and followed that with an 11-1 outburst in the middle portion of the series.
Wade Miley limited the Rockies to a run in eight innings and was aided by three home runs from Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero and Martin Prado. Miley helped his own cause, too, with three RBI and Cody Ross went 5-for-5 with three runs scored.
"Obviously it feels good to get some consecutive hits in a row, even feels better with a win," said Ross. "That's the main thing."
Arizona is 4 1/2 games ahead of Colorado and Los Angeles for the NL West lead and is 2-0 in stretch of playing 17 of 22 games at Chase Field. The club is 6-1 in the past seven home games and D'backs starting pitchers have three wins in the last four starts following a 24-game winless streak (June 6-July 2).
The D'backs have scored five or more runs during the win streak (26 total) and are averaging 6.5 runs per game in that stretch.
Goldschmidt and Sunday's starter Patrick Corbin were named to the All-Star Game and the latter gets the ball versus the Rockies. Corbin had plenty of chances to become the first Diamondbacks pitcher to start a season 10-0, but came up short in six attempts. He hopes to bounce back and was tagged for five runs in six innings of Tuesday's 9-1 loss to the New York Mets.
Corbin is now 9-1 in 17 starts with a 2.49 earned run average and hopes to start a new streak against the Rockies, a club he has beaten twice already this season (2-0, 1.72 ERA). The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA in five career starts against Colorado.
Corbin has pitched brilliantly at home this season as evidenced by a 5-0 mark and 1.63 ERA in eight chances.
The Rockies have stumbled in the last few weeks with losses in 13 of their last 18 games and are now 0-2 on a 10-day, 10-game road trip.
In Saturday's 10-run defeat, Drew Pomeranz pitched the first four innings and gave up five runs and five hits. Manny Corpas and Wilton Lopez permitted three runs apiece in relief.
"I need to put my team in a better spot to win the game," said Pomeranz. "You can't do that, being down 5-0 after three innings."
The Rockies have lost four straight and nine of their last 11 on the road.
Carlos Gonzalez missed Friday's loss with a back issue, but returned in the recent loss to finish 4-for-4 with a home run, his 24th on the season. Michael Cuddyer doubled to extend his road hitting streak to 15 games. Both Gonzalez and Cuddyer, and injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (rib) were named to the All-Star Game. Tulowitzki is nearing a return from the disabled list with a broken rib and could begin a rehab assignment soon.
Tulowitzki has been taking batting practice in order to get back.
"Today was real good, my best day so far. I was able to let it go," he told the club's website Saturday. "If I come out tomorrow and do the same thing, we'll huddle up and see where it takes us. It was real encouraging. I'm just excited to be getting close."
So far the Roy Oswalt experiment in Colorado has been a flop. The veteran Oswalt looks to change all that Sunday against the D'backs. Oswalt is 0-3 with a 7.88 earned run average in all three of his outings with Colorado and has given up at least four runs in each.
Oswalt has been touched for five runs in his recent starts, a loss at Boston on June 26 and a setback to Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Dodgers posted nine hits and five runs in five innings off Oswalt, who has kept his walks down to two despite his struggles.
The right-hander has made 13 career starts against Arizona and is 9-3 with a 2.35 ERA in that span.
Arizona is 7-5 against the Rockies this season.