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News » Rockies-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-20

Rockies-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-20

Rockies-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-20
With their next 16 games against NL West foes, the slumping Colorado Rockies have a chance to make an early-season push up the division standings.

Facing a struggling Diamondbacks club that they beat two of three to open the season could be exactly what they need to get back on track.

Colorado looks to snap a three-game slide Monday night at Chase Field as it takes on Arizona, which hopes for better results on its second nine-game homestand this season.

First-year Rockie Jason Marquis (2-0, 1.93 ERA) takes the mound Monday looking to snap his team's second three-game skid of the season. In his last start, the veteran right-hander ended Colorado's three-game slide by allowing one run and five hits in seven innings in a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

Marquis also went 1-for-3 with two RBIs against his former team.

"Jason's outing was as important as anything we got done today," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle told the team's official Web site.

Colorado (4-7), which has dropped six of seven, needs another solid start from Marquis as it makes its second visit to Phoenix this season. The Rockies lost their season opener to the Diamondbacks 9-8 but won 3-0 on April 7 to snap a seven-game losing streak at Chase Field. Colorado's 9-2 win in the finale gave it a series win over Arizona for the first time since Sept. 28-30, 2007, when it took two of three.

Marquis, who is 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA lifetime at Chase Field, makes his first start there since giving up three runs and five hits in six innings as the Cubs lost 9-2 on July 22.

While the Rockies have batted just .214 and been outscored 27-10 since Marquis' last start, Arizona is struggling even more at the plate. In Sunday's 2-0 loss to San Francisco, the Diamondbacks managed just one hit - a lead-off double by Augie Ojeda in the seventh inning.

Arizona (4-8), batting an NL-worst .211 (15-for-71) with runners in scoring position, has scored two or fewer runs eight times this season.

"We haven't swung the bat well to this point and that's why we have the record that we have," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin, whose team went 3-6 to open the season at Chase Field. "We've had some real good pitching performances and when you don't swing the bat, you put a lot of pressure on your pitching staff to have to be perfect."

Jon Garland (1-1, 8.44) was far from that in his last start. The right-hander surrendered seven runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings Wednesday in a 12-7 loss to St. Louis.

"Flat-out missed my spots, walking guys and putting them on base," Garland said. "Then when they tack on a couple of hits, it's leading to more runs."

He will make his first career appearance against Colorado.

Brad Hawpe went 2-for-3 with a home run in Sunday's loss. In the series against Arizona earlier this month, he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the opener but was hitless in seven at-bats in the final two games.

After going 0-for-8 in the first two games against the Giants, Conor Jackson had Sunday off. He is batting just .125 (3-for-24) in his last seven games. Jackson, though, is 4-for-11 with two homers lifetime against Marquis.

Chris Young has three hits in nine career at-bats versus Marquis - all home runs.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 20, 2009

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