The Colorado Rockies are working on another late-season rally. With Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) headed to the mound for their next game, they have a good chance to further cut into their dwindling NL West deficit.
Jimenez goes for his NL-leading 19th win when he takes the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday as the Rockies try for their ninth straight victory.
Colorado (77-64) was 11 games out of first place Aug. 21, but has now won eight straight and 15 of 19. The Rockies are now within 2 1/2 games of co-leaders San Diego and San Francisco, which are facing each other at Petco Park this weekend.
Jorge De Le Rosa struck out 10 in six innings of Friday’s 13-4 victory over Arizona (57-84). Troy Tulowitzki(notes) homered twice, giving him eight in his last eight contests. He’s batting .444 with 17 RBIs over his last nine.
“Right now we’re going out there every single game expecting to win,” Tulowitzki told the Rockies’ official website. “No matter if the starter has a bad outing, no matter if we score more than two runs, we think we’re going to win.”
Late-season rallies are nothing new for Tulowitzki and the Rockies, who famously won 14 of their final 15 games in 2007 to capture the NL wild card and eventually reach the World Series.
“We’re doing something we’ve done before,” Tulowitzki said. “It’s not like it’s the first time we’ve ever done it. We play well late, we know how to finish, and we believe that any time we get hot like this, we can ride out a streak as long as anybody.”
Trying to move closer to the division lead, Colorado will send its ace to the mound Saturday.
Jimenez (18-6, 2.79 ERA) snapped a five-game winless streak Monday despite not having his best stuff. He gave up four runs and walked six in six innings of a 10-5 win over Cincinnati.
Jimenez had a 3.00 ERA during his winless drought, when Colorado provided eight runs of support over the 36 innings he pitched.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against Arizona this season, with the loss coming in the most recent outing. He gave up three runs over six innings of a 3-1 defeat Aug. 21, surrendering a two-run homer to Justin Upton(notes) in the sixth.
Lopez, who is 0-6 with a 6.96 ERA in 10 starts since, did pitch respectably against Houston on Sunday, allowing three runs in six innings, but the Diamondbacks lost 3-2.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts against the Rockies this season. Tulowitzki is 4 for 6 with a double and a home run off Lopez.
The Diamondbacks have lost five of six overall and four straight at Coors Field, where they’ve been outscored 57-29 in seven games this season.