With a series against the NL West leader looming, the Rockies look to extend their winning streak to eight games when they host the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Colorado (76-64) has won a 14 of 16 and a season-high seven in a row after sweeping a four-game set from Central-leading Cincinnati. The Rockies capped the sweep with a 6-5 victory Thursday, as Chris Nelson(notes) scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning by stealing home while pitcher Nick Masset(notes) became confused before attempting a late throw.
It was the rookie third baseman’s first career stolen base in seven games.
“He was just looking right at the ground,” Nelson said. “He wasn’t paying me any attention. (Third baseman Scott) Rolen was playing back. So I just decided I should just go ahead and go. I didn’t stop.”
That decision has the Rockies in position for their first eight-game winning streak since Sept. 4-11 of last year, a surge that helped them claim the wild card.
Colorado might be in position to overtake the West-leading Padres next week, with the division rivals set to open a three-game series Monday at Coors Field.
The Rockies have won 16 of 20 at home, giving them a 47-22 record to rank second in the majors to Atlanta’s 49-20 mark at Turner Field.
Colorado has taken eight of 10 meetings with Arizona (57-83) at Denver, sweeping the last series there May 25-27.
Carlos Gonzalez(notes) has pounded the Diamondbacks in the last 10 home games, hitting .529 with six homers and 13 RBIs. The left fielder went 0 for 4 Thursday, ending his career-high 16-game hitting streak.
It was a rare quiet game for Gonzalez, who leads the NL in batting (.337) and ranks among the leaders in homers (32) and RBIs (100) as he makes a run at the Triple Crown.
Jorge De La Rosa(notes) (6-4, 4.18 ERA) will take the mound Friday looking to continue his own strong stretch. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts with all of them resulting in Rockies wins.
He was superb Sunday, allowing two runs in six innings of a 4-2 win at San Diego.
De La Rosa has a 0.90 ERA while winning three consecutive starts against the Diamondbacks.
Although Arizona has been eliminated from playoff contention, interim manager Kirk Gibson may be looking at the remaining 22 games as a chance to stake a claim to the full-time position.
“I certainly want to be back,” Gibson told the team’s official website. “And I certainly feel I can help take the organization where they need to go.”
The Diamondbacks found some success in their role as spoiler Wednesday, beating San Francisco 3-1 to end a four-game slide.
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Rockies, limiting Gonzalez to one hit in six at-bats.