A strong start from their newest addition helped the Colorado Rockies maintain their lead in the NL wild-card race. Now, they’ll turn to one of their hottest pitchers to conclude an already successful weekend.
The victory kept the Rockies - winners of four of their last five since losing a season-high five in a row - one game ahead of San Francisco for the wild card.
Colorado outfielder Seth Smith(notes) went 3 for 4 with a homer Saturday. He is 7 for 9 with four doubles and four RBIs in this series, and batting .316 against the Diamondbacks in 2009, helping Colorado go 8-6 in the season series.
Trying to sweep the Diamondbacks (61-76) for the first time since Sept. 22-23, 2004, the Rockies hope De La Rosa (13-9, 4.60 ERA) can continue his recent success both overall and against Arizona.
The left-hander opened the season 0-6, but is 11-2 with a 3.43 ERA as a starter since June 21. De La Rosa allowed one earned run in six innings to earn the victory in an 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday.
“He didn’t have his real good stuff, he fought his command and he held in there and gave us six real good innings,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official Web site. “We would not have seen that, or at least I wouldn’t have seen it, over the first couple of months of the season.”
De La Rosa is 2-1 against Arizona this season, allowing three runs and striking out 18 in 21 2-3 innings.
Arizona rookie Brandon Allen(notes) has never faced De La Rosa, but hit his third home run in 14 games Saturday. Struggling outfielder Chris Young is batting .191 on the season, but had two hits Saturday and is 3 for 8 in the series.
Petit is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last three starts. He allowed three runs in five innings Tuesday, when he didn’t earn a decision in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The right-hander has a 4.15 ERA but no record in three career starts against Colorado.
“He’ll get his fair share of at-bats to get back in form,” manager A.J. Hinch told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site of Byrnes, who’s batting .221 in 63 games this season.