National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, June 4th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Rockies (23-30) at Arizona Diamondbacks (25-29), 9:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Colorado - Christian Friedrich (3-1, 5.59) Arizona - Joe Saunders (3-3, 3.61)
(Sports Network) - Two middle-of-the-pack teams in the National League West try to continue recent momentum tonight when the Colorado Rockies visit Chase Field to open a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Colorado, which is fourth in the division and 9 1/2 games behind first-place Los Angeles, narrowed the gap slightly and won for the sixth time in seven games Sunday with a 3-2 decision over the Dodgers in the finale of a three- game set at Coors Field.
Starter Alex White (2-3) struck out two and walked five over 6 2/3 frames while the Rockies bullpen combined for 2 1/3 shutout innings. Rafael Betancourt tossed a perfect ninth to pick up his 10th save of the season.
"(White) jammed left-handed hitters with his four-seamer, he got the two- seamer in on right handers, broke bats, got ground balls," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "A lot of what you (saw) is what he's capable of on a regular basis once we get to that point."
Jordan Pacheco, Todd Helton and Marco Scutaro each drove in a run for Colorado.
The Diamondbacks, third in the division and 1 1/2 games up on the Rockies, took the third game of a series with the Padres with a 6-0 blanking of the hosts in San Diego.
Trevor Cahill tossed his second career shutout and Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra had two-run homers for Arizona.
Cahill (3-5) allowed six hits, walked three and struck out five to earn up his first win since May 1. He was 0-3 in his previous five starts.
Paul Goldschmidt hit his second homer in as many days for Arizona, which has won three of four.
"Our goal is to try to win every series right now," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "Of course you would like to sweep it but if you can win it that's a positive step in the right direction. That's how you pick up momentum."
The Diamondbacks send veteran lefty Joe Saunders to the mound for the 11th time this season and the eighth time in his career against Colorado.
The Virginia native, who'll turn 31 on June 16, has won five of six decisions against the Rockies while allowing just 16 earned runs and striking out 32 batters in 43 1/3 innings.
He was unbeaten in his last three starts in May, picking up a win and two no- decisions while allowing eight runs on 20 hits across 17 2/3 innings against Kansas City, the Dodgers and San Francisco.
Saunders is 2-3 in five home starts this season with a 5.97 earned run average.
Colorado counters with rookie lefty Christian Friedrich, who meets Arizona for the first time in his sixth big-league outing.
The product of Eastern Kentucky University was a first-round draft pick in 2008 and worked his way through the minors before making five starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs to begin this season.
He made his major-league debut on May 9 at San Diego and came away with a win after allowing an earned run on five hits in six innings.
Four subsequent starts - including two wins and a loss - have seen him pitch six innings or more twice while allowing a combined 17 runs in 23 innings.
He's 2-0 in three road starts with a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings.
The Rockies have won three of five over the Diamondbacks so far this season and the clubs are meeting for the first time in Arizona this year. The D-Backs won seven of nine at home over the Rockies in 2011.
06/04 10:34:28 ET