The Colorado Rockies are hoping Chad Kuhl can pick up where he left off when he takes the mound against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks in the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday.
Kuhl (5-5, 3.49 ERA) is coming off the best start of his career in a 4-0 win against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. He scattered three hits and struck out five without walking a batter for his first shutout in the majors.
He’s the first pitcher for the Rockies to blank the Dodgers since Jason Marquis on June 30, 2009, and just the fourth in team history to allow three or fewer baserunners in a shutout.
“I always want to win, that’s the top priority, but it’s been one of those personal goals for me,” Kuhl said after the performance. “Not necessarily (pitching) a complete game, but going long into a game.”
The Rockies are getting thin with their starting pitching and can use another solid outing from Kuhl.
Antonio Senzatela left the series opener after two innings because of shoulder stiffness and was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.
The Rockies avoided another injured list situation after right-hander German Marquez left Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers with a cut on his right thumb. Marquez threw a bullpen session on Saturday and appears set to make his next start on Tuesday against the Dodgers.
The Rockies can win their second straight three-game series if they can pull off another victory on Sunday. They dropped a 9-3 decision in the opener before bouncing back to win 11-7 on Saturday.
Rockies manager Bud Black said Kuhl showed good life to his fastball against the Dodgers, mixing in a deceiving slider when he was behind in the count.
“He just stayed within himself the whole game,” Black said.
Kuhl held Arizona to one run and three hits in six innings on May 6 but did not get a decision in the 4-1 loss. He’s 0-1 in four career appearances against Arizona, including three starts, and has 7.07 ERA.
Arizona plans to send right-hander Zac Gallen to the mound for the series finale.
Gallen (4-2, 3.32) is hoping to return to the form he displayed in May, when he went 4-0 in six starts with a 3.06 ERA. Gallen was 0-2 in five starts in June with a 5.26 ERA.
He did not get a decision in his past three starts. He pitched well enough in the first two to earn a victory but was stung for six runs and seven hits in five innings of his team’s 7-6 win against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
All six runs were scored off him in the fifth inning.
“Zac didn’t have his best stuff (Tuesday),” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I thought he was very effective early and then in that six-run inning, I just think he was making mistakes and just couldn’t seem to catch his breath.”
Gallen faced Colorado on May 8 and scattered five hits over seven innings in the 4-0 victory. He struck out seven with no walks.
He’s 3-1 in eight career starts against the Rockies with a 2.11 ERA.
–Field Level Media