The Colorado Rockies have been in the NL West basement for over two months and recent success at home combined with Wilin Rosario’s bat have them looking to end that dubious run.
After a walkoff homer delivered the Rockies 10th win in 12 home games, Rosario tries to continue his hot hitting Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a matchup between the teams tied for the worst record in the league.
Colorado (62-91) hasn’t been alone in fourth place in the division since July 11, when Arizona (62-91) occupied the cellar.
A return to that scenario is possible after the Rockies opened this four-game set by erasing a five-run sixth-inning deficit while Rosario completed the rally with a two-run walkoff homer in Thursday’s 7-6 win.
"It’s been a tough year for the team in general. Right now we showed us and the world we can play baseball here," Rosario said. "We come back, we fight, we do everything we have to, and for me that’s finishing strong."
Rosario has been on the disabled list twice this season, but he’s doing his part to help the Rockies avoid a third straight last-place finish. The catcher is 9 for 13 with two homers and seven RBIs in three games after matching his career high with four hits Thursday.
He’s a .394 hitter in 18 career home meetings with the Diamondbacks.
"He’s been through a challenging year but he’s worked hard and he has a great attitude," manager Walt Weiss said.
Colorado may need more than Rosario to gain sole possession of fourth in the West with Arizona turning to Chase Anderson (9-6, 3.70 ERA).
The rookie right-hander has won all three of his starts against the Rockies, yielding one run in each. He worked six innings in a 4-2 victory in his only appearance at Coors Field on June 3.
This is expected to be his final start of the season, as the Diamondbacks limit his innings. Anderson has logged a career-high 148 1-3 innings between Arizona and Double-A Mobile, and he doesn’t have a problem with being shut down early.
"I have no problem with that. I’m just out there competing. I want to be out there as long as I can but I understand they’re protecting me, and I’m just grateful that they’re caring for me and my arm," said Anderson, who improved to 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in his last three starts after allowing two runs over five innings in Saturday’s 10-4 win over San Diego.
The Rockies are countering with Jordan Lyles (6-3, 4.21), who is 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in five career starts against the Diamondbacks.
The right-hander is also facing them for the first time since breaking his left hand in a 16-8 loss June 4. He was injured trying to tag out a runner at home on a wild pitch in the first, but he didn’t leave until after the fourth – allowing four runs.
Lyles earned a 13-4 win over the Chicago Cubs in his return to the mound Aug. 6, but he’s 0-2 with a 5.13 ERA in seven starts since.
He surrendered three runs – all in the third inning – before being pulled after the sixth in a 4-1 loss at St. Louis on Sunday.
Mark Trumbo is 4 for 9 with three homers against Lyles.