Long winning streaks have been difficult to manufacture for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies this season.
Both teams hope look to get one started when they meet Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Denver.
The Rockies haven’t won more than three consecutive games since a four-game winning streak April 9-12 that spanned the first weekend of the season.
Colorado had a chance for a rare three-game sweep against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, but fell behind early 5-0 and lost 8-4.
The Diamondbacks have also won four consecutive games just once this season, and that was nearly two months ago.
Arizona was looking to sweep a two-game series at the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, but were shut out 4-0.
“You don’t get to carry over what you did yesterday into the next day,” Arizona third baseman Josh Rojas said. “You’ve got to find a way to repeat what you did. Or, if it’s a day like (Wednesday), you have to go out and flush everything. That’s why you play 162 (games). It’s a constant battle, and you don’t get to carry over what you did one day into the next.”
The Diamondbacks will try to get back into a groove against Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela, a pitcher they’ve had success against in the past.
Senzatela (3-4, 4.66 ERA) is 3-8 in 18 career appearances against Arizona, including 14 starts, with a 5.89 ERA.
Senzatela last faced Arizona in his final outing of the 2021 season and didn’t make it out of the first inning, allowing six runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning in the 11-2 loss.
He struggled during June as well, posting a 1-2 mark in five starts with a 4.76 ERA. In four of those starts, the offense provided Senzatela with one run or fewer while he was in the game.
In his most recent outing on Saturday, Senzatela allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-0 loss at the Minnesota Twins. He tied his season-high with six strikeouts and walked two.
“I felt good and my stuff was good (against the Twins), but I missed my spots too many times,” Senzatela said. “I didn’t make the good pitch when I needed it.”
Senzatela has been much better at home this season, posting a 3-1 record and 3.52 ERA in eight starts.
The Diamondbacks plan to counter with right-hander Merrill Kelly, who went 3-2 over five June starts with a 3.60 ERA.
Kelly (6-5, 3.64) faced the Rockies at home on May 6 and came within an out of his first career complete game, but was pulled after allowing back-to-back singles with two outs in the ninth. He allowed one run and seven hits in the 4-1 win.
Kelly was sharp in his most recent start as well, but gave up a grand slam to Javier Baez of the Detroit Tigers in the 5-1 loss.
“It’s like I just got beat on one pitch,” “Kelly said. “Obviously, giving up a grand slam sucks. I would have liked to not have done that, but I feel like at the end of the day, I can walk away knowing that I just missed with one pitch. The rest of the game was fine.”
Kelly is 2-3 in seven career starts against Colorado with a 5.40 ERA.
–Field Level Media