Diamondbacks look to rebound, win series against Rockies

MLB

The Arizona Diamondbacks will attempt to win a third straight series that has included at least three games when they host the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Arizona won the first two games of the four-game clash against the Rockies before Colorado’s bats awakened in a 14-6 win on Saturday.

Still, Arizona has won nine of its past 12 games, including a three-game sweep at the Cincinnati Reds and wins in two of three games at the Atlanta Braves. The Diamondbacks split two games with the visiting San Diego Padres heading into the series with the Rockies.

Colorado, 2-10 on the road, had 18 hits in Saturday’s game with the first three batters in the lineup — Raimel Tapia, Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon — producing nine hits, seven runs and seven RBIs.

A seven-run eighth inning, highlighted by Dom Nunez’s grand slam, was the knockout blow.

“This is one of those games you spit it out and come out ready to play our type of game (Sunday),” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “The game obviously got out of control late and it threw us off.”

Colorado will start right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 3.60 ERA) against Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly (2-2, 6.33) on Sunday.

Gonzalez has one career start against Arizona, a no-decision in 2019 won by the Diamondbacks 5-3. After not allowing a hit through five innings, Gonzalez lasted six innings and allowed three hits and two runs with two strikeouts and a walk.

Kelly is 1-3 with a 7.99 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies. He has allowed 33 hits and 21 earned runs in 23 2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts and three walks.

Colorado’s lineup will try to build off its performance from Saturday.

Entering the game, the Rockies were outscored 65-26 in their previous 11 road games and batted only .209 with runners in scoring position.

The Rockies finished with their second-worst mark through April in franchise history this season at 7-19.

“April showers bring May flowers,” Colorado manager Bud Black joked.

Nunez said leaving the month of April behind “is like a breath of fresh air for us.”

“Obviously being in a lot of close games, you can breathe a little bit and get some fresh arms and hopefully we can build off of this,” he added.

Arizona continued its solid hitting against the Rockies with 10 hits on Saturday. The Diamondbacks have 33 hits in the series first three games.

Josh Rojas has hit a home run in each of the first three games of the series. Arizona has hit 38 home runs this season, tied for second in the majors with the Reds and two behind the Braves.

“Our hitting right now is something we can build on to make sure we are ready to go (on Sunday),” Lovullo said.

Lovullo added that he will insert outfielder Daulton Varsho in the starting lineup Sunday after Varsho has produced two hits as a pinch-hitter and reserve in the series.

Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela suffered a mild groin strain in Thursday’s loss to Arizona and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Senzatela sustained the injury while warming up in the bullpen, Black said.

–Field Level Media

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