Trying for their first series win over the Diamondbacks in two seasons, the Rockies hope to get similar efforts from another pair of prospects in Wednesday’s finale in Arizona.
Heralded left-hander Franklin Morales is slated to make his 14th career start, and highly touted center fielder Dexter Fowler will also likely be in the lineup for Colorado, which last won two out of three over Arizona from Sept. 28-30, 2007.
Morales, who is 4-4 with a 4.59 ERA in 13 career starts, won three of his final four starts in 2007 during the Rockies’ thrilling run to the postseason, but was 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA in April last season before being optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The 23-year-old has faced Arizona twice in his career. He threw six scoreless innings and gave up two hits on April 6, 2008, before the Rockies’ bullpen faltered in a 5-2 loss, then was tagged for seven runs in four innings in a 10-3 defeat six days later.
The switch-hitting Fowler, who played for Team USA in the Beijing Olympics, hit .335 at Double-A Tulsa last season and was called up in September, going 4-for-26 in 13 games. He was expected to start this season in Colorado Springs, but a strong spring changed that plan.
Fowler drew a walk in the eighth inning Tuesday against Arizona’s Jon Rauch.
“We’re going to give him some (No. 3, 4 and 5 starters) to hit left-handed,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle told the team’s official Web site. “Eventually we’ll see where it take us. He’s going to hit from both sides of the plate.”
In Monday’s 9-8 loss, Colorado gave up five home runs with the Diamondbacks’ Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark each connecting from both sides of the plate. The Rockies rebounded Tuesday night as Ubaldo Jimenez pitched seven scoreless innings to outduel Arizona’s Dan Haren. Jimenez entered Tuesday with a 16-16 career record and a 4.06 ERA, but made three starts in the Rockies’ run to the 2007 World Series.
“He got into a really nice rhythm,” Hurdle said. “He gave us everything we needed.”
Troy Tulowitzki homered for the second straight game and is 9-for-26 in his last seven contests against the Diamondbacks following a 4-for-65 stretch. Clint Barmes, who added two hits Tuesday, has hit .322 over the last 18 meetings with Arizona.
After snapping their six-game win streak over the Rockies, the Diamondbacks will counter with veteran left-hander Doug Davis, who is 2-3 with a 3.29 ERA in seven lifetime starts against Colorado.
Thyroid surgery limited Davis to 26 starts last season, and he finished 6-8 with a 4.32 ERA. He did not receive a decision in two games at Colorado last season and has split his two career starts in Arizona.
Eight of the Diamondbacks’ 12 hits went for extra bases Monday, but Stephen Drew’s double was one of five hits Tuesday. In his last 19 games against Colorado, Drew is hitting .401 with 10 doubles and 13 RBIs.