Denny Neagle is making up for lost time.
Out for the season’s first 2 1/2 months with an elbow injury, the left-hander will be bidding for his third win in as many starts when the Colorado Rockies complete a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field.
Neagle, projected as the Rockies’ opening day starter, was sidelined at the end of spring training with a sore left elbow. He returned to action June 17 against San Diego, yielding four runs and eight hits over six innings in a 4-3 loss.
Neagle has not been beaten since, allowing five runs and 12 hits over 12 1-3 innings in his last two starts, including Saturday’s 5-4 win at Pittsburgh.
The veteran southpaw limited the Pirates to two runs and six hits over six innings, while striking out five and walking one. He worked his way in and out of a first-inning jam, throwing 33 pitches in the process.
“Sometimes there’s a turning point in the game,” Neagle said. “Usually it’s the fourth or fifth inning for a starter. A lot of times in the first inning, you just try to limit the damage a little bit. But there’s no question about it, I can’t let that game get out of hand right there.”
Jason Jennings limited the Diamondbacks to two hits over 6 2-3 scoreless innings Wednesday as the Rockies rolled to a 6-2 win.
Todd Helton singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games as Colorado continued its torrid play at Coors. The Rockies, who boast a major league-leading 31 wins at home, have won four of their last five in Colorado.
The Diamondbacks have dropped consecutive games since a franchise-record 12-game winning streak. Arizona has not lost three straight since May 15-17.
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 3rd place, 6 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Brandon Webb (4-2, 2.10 ERA). With staff aces Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson on the disabled list, Webb has helped the Diamondbacks climb back into contention in the NL West. He is 3-1 over his last eight starts, with Arizona winning all but one of those games. On Saturday, Webb tossed his first career shutout, blanking the hapless Detroit Tigers 7-0. He is making his first career appearance against Colorado.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Neagle (2-1, 4.42 ERA). Neagle is 4-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 13 career appearances, including 12 starts, against Arizona.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 7-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - OF Steve Finley is riding a 13-game hitting streak. … LHP Johnson’s rehab start, scheduled for Thursday in Tucson, was postponed indefinitely. The Diamondbacks want Johnson, who has been on the DL since April 28 following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, to spend more time doing agility work before he returns to the mound. … OF Gonzalez is hitting .340 (16-for-47) with two homers and 13 RBIs in his career against LHP Neagle. Rockies - The Rockies recalled RHP Jason Young from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday and optioned OF Ben Petrick to Colorado Springs. … Arizona’s current roster is batting .335 (92-for-275) against LHP Neagle. … Colorado swept a three-game set from Arizona at Coors from April 4-6.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 21-20 on the road; Rockies - 31-14 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - INF Junior Spivey (ankle), 15-day DL; INF Tony Womack (knee), 15-day DL; OF Danny Bautista (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Schilling (hand), 15-day DL; LHP Johnson (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Bret Prinz (groin), 60-day DL; INF Craig Counsell (thumb), 60-day DL. Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL.