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Apr 9, 2024 8:17 am

D-backs determined to halt slide in rematch vs. Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona and Colorado might be tired of seeing each other already. Less than two weeks into the 2024 season, the National League West rivals have met five times, with the Diamondbacks winning three of those games.

They will play for a sixth time Tuesday night in the second contest of a three-game series in Denver. The Rockies held on to win 7-5 in the opener Monday night.

Although Arizona has lost five games in a row, manager Torey Lovullo feels his team is on the cusp of breaking out.

“These guys are fighting and doing all they can, and I’m proud of them,” said Lovullo, who is sitting on 499 career wins. “Things aren’t going our way, but they will. It’s going to turn around for us at some point. The storm is coming, the storm is hovering, and when it comes, it’s going to be fun for all of us to watch.”

On Tuesday, the Diamondbacks will send Merrill Kelly (1-0, 1.98 ERA) to the mound against Cal Quantrill (0-1, 9.00) in a matchup of right-handers. It will be the second time the pitchers will oppose each other, with Kelly and the Diamondbacks pocketing the win on March 29.

Kelly was sharp that night, allowing just one run and striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings while Quantrill was tagged for five runs on nine hits in five innings in his Rockies debut.

Kelly has pitched well against Colorado in his career, going 6-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts.

He isn’t the only one with success against Colorado. Christian Walker has reached base in 22 straight games against the Rockies dating to Aug. 14, 2022, and he his batting .402 against them during that span.

He also has hit safely in 20 of his last 22 games vs. Colorado and owns a 13-game hitting streak against the club after his single in the fourth inning off of Kyle Freeland on Monday night.

Quantrill will face the Diamondbacks for the seventh time in his career and will make his sixth start. He is 1-2 with a 6.58 ERA in his previous six outings (five starts).

The Rockies have split their first four home games this season and can guarantee at least a .500 record on this six-game homestand with a win Tuesday night. A victory also would give them their first series win of the season and a chance to sweep Arizona.

The Diamondbacks nearly rallied Monday night, but Charlie Blackmon’s solo home run in the eighth inning provided a Colorado cushion that Jake Bird was able to save with two pitches.

Blackmon, at 37, is the elder spokesman of the Colorado clubhouse and is showing he can still do his part at the plate. He had two hits Monday, including an eighth-inning homer, to lift his batting average to .325.

“He dug out a breaking ball and hit it into the seats. That was a good swing,” manager Bud Black said after Monday night’s win.

–Field Level Media

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