Jorge De La Rosa’s(notes) season debut against Arizona was cut short by a blister problem. That’s one of the few obstacles the Colorado Rockies starter has experienced when facing the Diamondbacks of late.
De La Rosa looks to remain unbeaten this season by continuing his recent success versus Arizona on Tuesday night at Chase Field.
The left-hander allowed three hits through 5 1-3 innings April 2, but couldn’t continue because of a blood blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Despite the early exit, he earned the win in a 3-1 victory and has gone 5-1 with a 1.64 ERA in his last six games against Arizona.
De La Rosa (4-0, 2.61 ERA) continued his outstanding start to the season Tuesday, allowing two runs over seven innings while striking out a season-high nine and walking none in a 4-3 victory at Chicago. He has won three straight outings.
He gave up both runs - one earned - and three of his six hits in the first inning before settling down.
“What I’m seeing with Jorge that is very, very good to see is that we get down early, then get a couple back … all of a sudden it just seems like there is a different gear that shows up,” manager Jim Tracy said. “To me, that’s the sign of a guy that is really starting to understand how to be a winning pitcher on a regular basis.”
De La Rosa has won his past two road starts to help his team to a major league-best 10-3 record away from home. The division-leading Rockies (17-9) may be looking forward to this six-game trip after suffering their fifth loss in eight home games Sunday, 8-4 to Pittsburgh.
While Colorado has been outstanding on the road this season, it struggled last year to win at Chase Field - a problem De La Rosa has had throughout his career.
The Rockies dropped seven of nine road matchups in 2010, and De La Rosa has gone 0-3 in four starts at Arizona despite a 3.70 ERA. He has received one run of support over his last three outings there.
Colorado, 9-9 against the Diamondbacks last season, batted .224 in the games at Chase Field and scored three or fewer runs in six of them.
This time, they’ll face a Diamondbacks team that has one of the worst home ERAs in the major leagues at 5.27. Arizona has an overall ERA of 4.82.
Joe Saunders(notes) (0-3, 5.93) hasn’t helped matters. The left-hander is coming off his worst outing of the season, giving up a season-high six runs over 5 2-3 innings of an 8-4 home loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
“You have to keep your head up, turn the page and get ready for next time because I don’t think I am pitching that bad,” said Saunders, who had a major league-high 17 losses in 2010. “It is just the results aren’t there yet. I am going to go home, sacrifice a live chicken and turn this thing around.”
Saunders has gone 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in four starts against the Rockies. He allowed one run over eight innings to beat De La Rosa, who gave up three runs in seven innings, in a 3-1 win at Chase Field on Sept. 21.