The Diamondbacks stretched their franchise-record winning streak, the longest in the majors this season, with an 8-7, 12-inning win on Monday.
“This is an awesome streak we are on,” Kata said. “It seems like someone different has contributed every night.”
Gonzalez is batting .422 (19-for-45) over his last 12 games with three homers, four doubles and 14 RBIs.
“Look at our lineup over the past three weeks, and Gonzo has been the one constant,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. “We can write his name in the four hole every day. It doesn’t matter who hits ahead of or behind him, he will do something to help us win a game every night.”
Stark will face the unenviable task of slowing down the Diamondbacks in his season debut. He had been sidelined with a strained right upper back muscle.
The 28-year-old right-hander went 11-4 with a 4.00 ERA last season as a rookie, including an 8-1 mark and 3.21 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
“I don’t want to go out there and try to do too much,” said Stark, who went 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 rehab games. “I want to stay within myself. It’ll be the first game of the year for me, so there’s bound to be a lot of excitement for me, a lot of emotion. It’s just something I’ll have to watch, have to check.”
The Rockies have lost four of five but not because of a lack of effort from Todd Helton. The slugging first baseman hit his 14th homer of the season and 200th of his career Monday, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. He is batting .397 (23-for-58) during the run with two homers, eight doubles, two triples and eight RBIs.
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 3rd place, 4 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Andrew Good (3-1, 4.67 ERA). The 23-year-old right-hander has followed a three-game win streak with two straight starts without a decision, including a June 22 outing when the Diamondbacks beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds 6-5. He gave up five earned runs and six hits over five innings. He matched a career high with seven strikeouts. Good, who is facing the Rockies for the first time, is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA on the road this season.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Stark (no record). Stark is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in his career against Arizona.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 5-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - Arizona activated RHP Matt Mantei from the DL Monday and designated RHP Ricky Bottalico for assignment. … INF Shea Hillenbrand was in the starting lineup one day after coming off the DL. He went 1-for-5. … 2B Kata, filling in for injured Junior Spivey, has two homers, three doubles and six RBIs over his last seven games, batting .452 (14-for-31) over that stretch. Rockies - 1B Helton has three homers and eight RBIs against Arizona this season despite batting just .280 (7-for-25). … CF Wilson was 0-for-6 Monday, giving him a .117 average (4-for-34) over his last eight games. … Colorado is tied with Arizona for the third-highest batting average (.271) in the NL.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 21-18 on the road; Rockies - 29-14 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - INF Spivey (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Danny Bautista (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Curt Schilling (hand), 15-day DL; LHP Randy Johnson (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Bret Prinz (groin), 60-day DL; INF Craig Counsell (thumb), 60-day DL. Rockies - OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL.