Rockies hope to ride another strong start vs. Phillies

( - Despite winning five of their last six games, the Colorado Rockies are still in last place in the National League West. Their pitching has certainly improved of late. Case in point was the performance of Chad Bettis Friday night in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now it's Jorge De La Rosa's turn, as the 34-year-old left-hander makes his seventh start of the season in the second contest of this three-game series. He was pushed back to Saturday after being scratched Tuesday in Cincinnati due to a cut on his left middle finger.

De La Rosa is 2-0 over his last three starts. In his most recent appearance, May 21 against the Phillies, he allowed five hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings of a no-decision. In his career, he's 2-4 with a 5.73 ERA in 10 games (8 starts) versus Philadelphia. He's also 2-0 in his last three starts against the Phillies.

Aaron Harang counters for the Phillies. He's pitched six frames in each of his last two starts, but is 0-1 in that span. Harang is 6-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 starts against the Rockies. That includes a no-decision May 19 at Coors Field when he gave up three unearned runs, but piled up seven strikeouts.

Bettis lost a perfect game in the seventh inning and a no-hitter in the eighth, but ended up tossing eight shutout frames. Troy Tulowitzki belted two solo homers off Phillies ace Cole Hamels, but he made an error that ended Bettis' perfect game.

Cody Asche, called up from the minors by Philadelphia prior to the game, put a stop to the no-hit bid with a one-out single that went into left field. The grounder would have been to the shortstop spot, but the placement was vacated due to the shift put on for Asche.

"It was just a shame," Bettis said of not getting the no-hitter.

Although Bettis (2-0) carried a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning against San Francisco on Sunday, he would have been an unlikely candidate to throw Colorado's second no-hitter.

The 26-year-old right-hander was making his 12th career start and entered the game with a 6.29 career ERA in 88 2/3 innings. He allowed two hits, no walks and struck out seven.

The Rockies have won all four of his starts since he was called up from the minors on May 14. That includes a 6-5 win over Philadelphia on May 19 in which he gave up three runs in six innings but did not factor in the decision.

Ben Paulsen hit a two-run homer off Luis Garcia in the ninth inning after the Phillies had turned a double play, accounting for Colorado's final runs.

The Phillies scored their first run in two games against John Axford in the ninth when Brandon Barnes dropped Chase Utley's fly ball at the wall in left.

They have lost five in a row to fall 12 games under .500 (19-31) for the second time this season.

Hamels (5-4) pitched well but had a four-start winning streak snapped. He gave up five hits, three to Tulowitzki, but struck out nine and walked just one.

The Phillies are 99-71 all-time against the Rockies. With one more win, the Phillies will become just the second team outside of the NL West to collect 100 wins against the Rockies, joining the Atlanta Braves. The Rockies and Phillies split a four-game set May 18-21 at Coors Field. Despite Friday's win, the Rockies have lost 21 of their past 27 games in Philadelphia.