Rockies aim for another win over Marlins

DENVER — Nolan Arenado has come roaring out of the longest drought of his career and will try to continue his offensive surge Saturday when the Colorado Rockies play host to the Miami Marlins.

A six-run fourth inning on Friday night helped the Rockies (38-38) get back to .500 for the first time since June 9 as Colorado beat the Marlins, 11-3. It was their fourth straight win during a 4-1 homestand. The Rockies have clinched their first winning homestand of the season and improved to 15-20 at Coors Field.

The Marlins (29-47) fell to 3-4 on their current road trip that ends in Colorado. They yielded at least 10 runs for the 10th time this season and for the eighth time on the road, where their record is a National League-worst 15-26,

Arenado, an All-Star third baseman, went 3-for-4, hitting a two-run homer to cap the fourth inning outburst. It was his 17th homer and gave him home runs in four consecutive games, the second-longest streak of his career. He homered in a franchise-record six consecutive games from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5, 2015.

Arenado has gone 10-for-17 (.588) in his past four games with multiple hits in each one. Last Friday at Texas, he broke a 0-for-19 drought, the longest of his career, during his second at-bat.

Since ending that slide, Arenado is 15-for-33 (.455) with five doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs. Overall this season, Arenado is hitting .323 with 53 RBI and a 1.008 OPS.

“Nolan, over the course of his career, is becoming a better hitter for me,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s taking what the pitchers are giving him, especially this year. You’ve seen over the course of May into June, Nolan being pitched really tough. And his ability to take the ball on the outside part of the plate and drive it to right field or get a single the other way is pure hitting.

“He has the power to pull the ball out of the park. What I like is the all-field hitting we’re seeing from Nolan. You’re talking about one of the best players in the game, so it’s not surprising that he adjusts and adapts to what’s going on. And that’s the sign of a talented player.”

Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson (4-2, 4.52 ERA) will oppose the Marlins. He lasted 1 1/3 scoreless innings on April 29 at Miami before being forced to leave because he was feeling light-headed. He’s 1-1, 1.29 in three starts against Miami.

After working seven innings in consecutive starts and allowing three runs, Anderson gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings Monday against the New York Mets and took the loss as the Rockies were trampled, 12-2. He allowed two homers in that game and has yielded 14 homers this season in 79 2/3 innings.

Marlins rookie Trevor Richards (1-4, 5.45), who is in his second stint with the team this season, lost his last start Sunday at Baltimore, giving up nine hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings as the Marlins fell, 10-4. He has made eight starts, five of which the Marlins have lost. In five starts on the road, Richards is 0-3 with a 7.40 ERA.

Richards has never faced the Rockies and will be making his Coors Field debut. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who gave up nine hits and seven runs in Friday’s loss, said he received some advice about pitching at Coors Field from former Orioles teammate Ubaldo Jimenez, who went 56-45 with a 3.66 ERA with the Rockies and was 19-8 with a 2.98 ERA in 2010, the best season by a Rockies starter in franchise history.

“Ubaldo Jimenez once told me, ‘if you pitch here your off-speed pitch will have a different angle or different movement,'” Chen said. “I heard that, so I think I need to make some adjustment to it, but actually it’s kind of hard to make the adjustment on the field while you’re pitching.”

Richards undoubtedly will receive advice about coping with Coors Field. The daunting challenge is implementing that advice, particularly when pitching there the first time.