Two years ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks endured one of the worst seasons in franchise history, finishing with 110 losses.
The Diamondbacks have bounced back impressively. They are just a half-game out of first in the National League West after beating the Colorado Rockies 6-0 on Wednesday night,and they are riding a four-game winning streak.
Arizona goes for a four-game sweep of Colorado when the teams meet on Thursday afternoon. The Diamondbacks will send Zach Davies (0-1, 5.68 ERA) to the mound, and the Rockies will counter with Connor Seabold (1-2, 5.94) in a battle of right-handers.
The Diamondbacks prevailed on Tuesday behind seven innings of two-hit ball by Tommy Henry.
Davies is set to make his second start since being activated from the 15-day injured list after recovering from an oblique injury. He missed seven weeks, then returned to pitch against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Davies is 4-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 career starts against the Rockies. He last faced them on Sept. 9, when he was tagged for six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. In four starts vs. Colorado last year, Davies had no decisions and a 4.05 ERA.
If he can come close to doing what Henry did, Arizona will have a good chance for the sweep. It also would help if Corbin Carroll stays hot. The 22-year-old rookie is 5-for-10 with a homer and two stolen bases in the series.
Manager Torey Lovullo said Carroll has made big improvements on his approach at the plate.
"I think Corbin is a perfect example of one person that has done that very, very well," Lovullo said.
The Rockies haven't done much well in the first three games of the series. They managed just three hits Wednesday night and got one baserunner beyond second base.
They should get a boost for the final game if, as expected, veteran Charlie Blackmon returns from a stint on the bereavement list. Blackmon, normally a spark at the top of the order, has not played since Sunday.
Blackmon, the longest tenured player on the roster, is hitting .287 with five home runs and 23 RBIs.
Seabold was thrust into the rotation after injuries took their toll, and he will be starting against the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career. In his only appearance against them, he yielded two runs in 3 1/3 innings on April 29.
The Rockies hope Seabold can pitch deeper into the game than Dinelson Lamet, who lasted just three innings in the Wednesday loss.
"We need the length from the starters," Colorado manager Bud Black said postgame. "That's been an issue. We've got to build these guys up. Connor was out of the bullpen to start the year in April. Lamet is just getting started as well. Chase Anderson started in Triple-A with the Rays.
"They've got to be really efficient to give us innings. That's something we've got to work through in the next few weeks to build their pitch counts."
--Field Level Media