FreePlays.com Account Login | Need an account?
FreePlays.com

Rockies look to gain more ground on Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- The Colorado Rockies will turn to another rookie pitcher when they look to extend their winning streak to seven games Wednesday at Chase Field.

More often than not, the club's rookies are producing.

The Rockies are the first team in 11 years to have three rookie pitchers with double-digit victories. One of them, right-hander German Marquez, will get the ball in the third game of a four-game series matching Colorado and the Arizona Diamondbacks, the two top National League wild-card contenders. Colorado has won the first two.

Marquez (10-6), left-hander Kyle Freeland (11-10) and right-hander Antonio Senzatela (10-5) are the first rookie trio to win at least 10 games apiece since Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Scott Olsen did so with the Florida Marlins in 2006.

"We wouldn't be where we are without the young starters," Colorado manager Bud Black said. "They are fearless. They don't scare off. They are appreciative of where they are being in the big leagues, and they are very respectful of the big leagues and tradition and veteran players, but they are not scared. They are not in awe."

Marquez will oppose Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (13-12) as the Diamondbacks attempt to get back on track.

The Diamondbacks (83-62) have lost four of five after a franchise-record 13-game winning streak, and their lead in the NL wild-card race has shrunk to three over the Rockies (80-65). The St. Louis Cardinals are 3 1/2 games behind Colorado.

Arizona has scored six runs in the first two games of the series. J.D Martinez has scored three times and driven in two, but his teammates have not chipped in.

"Just a little slow offensively," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "Our guys are very well aware of what is at stake, and we just have to get after it."

Marquez, 22, leads NL rookie pitches with 136 strikeouts. Freeland is second with 149 2/3 innings and Marquez is third with 141 1/3. Freeland leads rookies in victories, and his 4.03 ERA leads rookie qualifiers.

Marquez has made eight quality starts since the first week of July. He is 5-2 in his past 12 starts, with 74 strikeouts in 72 innings.

"Marquez has gotten stronger. If these guys continue to grow, which they should, it gives us a good group of starting pitchers in our system," said Black, also naming right-handers Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman and Chad Bettis and left-hander Tyler Anderson. "It's a group we feel good about.

"Like anything, it is a continued work in progress. Players always want to get better. Most players want to learn. Most players are good listeners and want to apply teachings, and that's what I've found with this group. They have been very open and are very receptive to what we are teaching."

Corbin beat the Rockies when he faced them in Coors Field on Sept. 2, giving up two hits and two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings. That victory extended his winning streak to five consecutive starts, during which he gave up three runs (two earned) and 20 hits in 35 2/3 innings.

The Padres broke Corbin's streak in a 10-6 victory Friday, touching him for 11 hits and eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Corbin is 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA against the Rockies this season, and he is 6-3 with a 5.02 ERA in 16 appearances, 15 starts, against them in his career. He is 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA at Chase Field this season.

Marquez has faced the Diamondbacks in every series the two have played this year. He is 0-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 29 2/3 innings in those starts. He has given up three runs in 11 innings at Chase Field.