Coming off the best performance of his career, Hillenbrand hopes to lead the red-hot Diamondbacks to a two-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies at Bank One Ballpark.
Hillenbrand, acquired from Boston on May 29 for pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, became the sixth player to homer in three straight innings Monday, setting career highs with five hits and seven RBIs in a 14-6 rout of the Rockies.
Hillenbrand also broke a franchise record with 15 total bases. In eight games since returning from a left oblique strain, the third baseman is batting .400 (14-for-35) with four homers and eight RBIs. He is hitting .349 overall as a Diamondback.
Hillenbrand’s performance overshadowed the return of shortstop Craig Counsell, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI after missing two months with an injured right thumb.
Rookie Brandon Webb will pitch for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer while working a minimum of six innings in each of his 12 major league starts. It’s the longest stretch of “quality starts” to begin a big league career since Montreal’s Steve Rogers had 16 in a row in 1973.
“With Webb pitching, you know it’s not going to take a whole lot of runs,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said.
Webb is 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA over his last four starts. He threw a seven-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Detroit on June 28 before defeating the Rockies 8-4 on Thursday.
Webb went seven innings, allowing an earned run and eight hits while striking out six at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Colorado, which boasts an NL-best 31 wins at Coors, fell to a league-worst 15-30 away from home with Monday’s loss.
The Rockies have lost two in a row after winning four of five.
Preston Wilson hit a three-run homer for Colorado, and has three homers and nine RBIs in his last seven games. Wilson, named to the NL All-Star squad Sunday, is second in the league with 79 RBIs, one fewer than St. Louis’ Albert Pujols.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 9 GB, NL West. Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 4 1/2 GB, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Denny Neagle (2-2, 6.75 ERA). Neagle is making just his fifth start of the season after spending the first two months on the DL with a sore elbow. The left-hander turned in his worst outing of the season Thursday against Webb and the Diamondbacks, giving up season highs of seven earned runs and nine hits over a season-low three innings. He had won his previous two starts. Neagle is 4-3 with a 6.26 ERA in 14 games, including 13 starts, against Arizona.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Webb (5-2, 2.04 ERA). Webb, who hasn’t lost since June 13 at Minnesota, is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA in six home starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Todd Helton, .339 avg. and 77 runs; Wilson, 20 HRs, 79 RBIs; Wilson and Larry Walker, 6 SBs. Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .316 avg., 17 HRs, 62 RBIs and 58 runs; Tony Womack, 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 7-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - OF Walker, who vetoed an offseason deal that would have sent him to Arizona for 3B Matt Williams, is one hit shy of the franchise mark of 1,278 held by Dante Bichette. … 1B Helton is batting .386 (34-for-88) over his last 22 games with four homers, 10 doubles, three triples and 14 RBIs. … Colorado is tied with Arizona for the third-best batting average (.272) in the NL. Diamondbacks - INF Counsell took the roster spot of C Rod Barajas, who was placed on the DL because of tendinitis in his left wrist. … Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa was the previous player to homer in three straight innings, accomplishing the feat in the third, fourth and fifth innings at Colorado last Aug. 10. … Arizona has not lost a series since being swept in a two-game series at San Francisco from May 27-28.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 15-30 on the road; Diamondbacks - 25-18 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL. Diamondbacks - C Barajas (wrist), 15-day DL; 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.