The Philadelphia Phillies came to Colorado in first place and fairly healthy. They're hoping to get out of Denver without any more damage and some momentum.
Sunday is the final of a four-game set at Coors Field, and Philadelphia can salvage a split with another win. The Rockies cruised to a 6-2 win Thursday and then had a dramatic, 4-3 win in 12 innings on Friday night.
Charlie Blackmon followed his Friday walk-off homer (his first home run of the season) by going deep on the first pitch against Aaron Nola on Saturday (though the Phillies ultimately won 8-5). Blackmon is finding his stroke after slumping to start the season.
"We will look back at Chuck's home run as something that's really cool," Rockies catcher Tony Wolters told reporters after Friday's win.
The Phillies, on the other hand, put three players on the 10-day injured list before Saturday's game and are down to one shortstop.
Phil Gosselin was pressed into service at shortstop Saturday night and had a three-run double that put Philadelphia ahead 4-3 in the fourth.
"Gosselin is the only shortstop on our 25-man roster," Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler said. "We have options at any time to consider at Triple-A. When you're facing adversity and you're banged up it's a necessity that the guys that are healthy and strong step up and perform."
In addition, the Phillies placed right-handed reliever Victor Arano on the IL with right elbow inflammation that first flared up in Miami when Philadelphia had a three-game series there last weekend.
The Phillies will send right-hander Jerad Eickhoff to the mound on Sunday. He has appeared in one game this year, striking out six in four innings. He has zero wins, zero losses and zero earned runs allowed.
But he has 69 career appearances (66 starts) since 2015. He has faced Colorado four times in his career -- three of them starts -- and has been hit pretty hard. He has given up 16 runs on 29 hits in 18 total innings. He is 1-2 with an 8.00 ERA vs. the Rockies.
Eickhoff will face Colorado righty Jon Gray, who is coming off his best start of the season. Gray (1-3, 3.42) surrendered one run on three hits over seven innings against the Padres on Tuesday. After struggling much of last season he is looking for the consistency that made him Colorado's ace at one time.
Like Eickhoff, he is familiar with Sunday's opponent. He has started five games against the Phillies, and in two of his starts at Coors Field he is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA. Overall he is 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA against Philadelphia.
The Rockies should have All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado back in the lineup Sunday, as well as outfielder Ian Desmond. Manager Bud Black kept both out of the starting lineup Saturday to give them rest.
Desmond didn't start two straight games before being in the lineup for Friday because of sore legs. He has also struggled against Saturday's starter Aaron Nola, fanning seven times in eight at-bats. He pinch hit in the eighth and had a sacrifice fly.
Arenado started slowly but hit homers in three straight games to start Colorado's five-game winning streak (which the Phillies ended Saturday). He had played in all 20 games before sitting out Saturday.
The Rockies have climbed closer to respectability after losing 12 of 13 games to start the season 3-12.
--Field Level Media