Diamondbacks-Rockies Preview

It’s no surprise that rookies Vidal Nuno and Yohan Flande are winless when taking the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies since those teams own the two worst records in the NL.

Nuno and the visiting Diamondbacks look to avoid falling into a tie with the Rockies for last place in the league when these clubs conclude their season series with a four-game set beginning Thursday night.

Arizona (62-90) acquired Nuno from the Yankees on July 6, and after going 2-5 with a 5.42 ERA in 17 appearances for New York, the left-hander is 0-6 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 starts with the Diamondbacks.

A lack of support has been the main reason why Nuno has yet to earn a victory, as Arizona has scored two or fewer runs with him on the mound in nine of those outings.

In his last start, however, the Diamondbacks broke through for five runs, but Nuno allowed six in five innings of a 6-5 loss to San Diego on Friday.

”Trying to do too much at times and overthinking,” said Nuno, who gave up two or fewer runs in each of his previous five starts. "… It is annoying that I got some run support today and that I blew it a little bit.”

The Diamondbacks may need to score a lot of runs after Colorado (61-91) scored 26 times and had 30 hits in back-to-back wins over the NL West-leading Dodgers. The Rockies opened that series Monday with an 11-3 loss, extending their skid to seven in which they totaled 11 runs.

Justin Morneau had six RBIs, five during an eight-run first inning, and Charlie Blackmon went 5 for 5 with a solo home run in Thursday’s 16-2 win. Blackmon is batting .328 (19 for 58) with four homers and four doubles against the Diamondbacks this season.

Arizona appears to have a good chance to cross the plate often considering it’s won four in a row in Colorado while scoring 37 runs and registering 62 hits. The Diamondbacks, though, have lost six straight and 14 of 16 on the road.

They enter this series after back-to-back home losses to San Francisco in which they totaled three runs.

Nuno allowed one run and two hits while striking out seven and walking none in eight innings against Colorado on Aug. 30, but Arizona went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base in a 2-0 loss.

Flande (0-5, 5.04) will be making his ninth start and first since Aug. 17 against Cincinnati, and he’s also been a victim of a lackluster offense as the left-hander has received four runs in his last four starts.

After allowing four runs over 5 1-3 innings against the Reds and being sent to Triple-A two days later, Flande has pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings in five appearances this month.

"We still haven’t given up on him as a starter," manager Walt Weiss told MLB’s official website. "We feel like he can transition easily to the bullpen, if that’s the case, like he’s shown this year.

"When we put him in the bullpen, he’s been very effective – a strike-thrower, very effective against lefties. He can keep the ball at the bottom of the zone, so there are some things that he’s done well."

Flande has never faced the Diamondbacks, who lead the season series 9-6.