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SF@ARI: Corbin tosses seven innings of one-run ball

To date, the race in the National League West has been a one-team affair while the pursuing teams jockey for position. Two of those clubs -- the D-backs and Rockies -- will meet for the first time Wednesday as Arizona travels to Coors Field for a battle of generational southpaws when Patrick Corbin and Jamie Moyer square off. Though the two sides will meet for a brief two-game series, the matchup may prove to be a good early-season measuring stick.

Both teams, separated by only one game, have struggled so far this month. The D-backs have lost eight of 10 games, while the Rockies have dropped four of their last five games and nine of their last 11.

Corbin, a rookie left-hander, will make his fourth career start, coming off the best outing of his young career. The 22-year-old, who is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA this season, earned the victory over the Giants with a seven-inning, one-run, four-strikeout effort.

Another strong effort could be in need for the D-backs given their recent offensive struggles. Arizona has scored three runs or fewer in five of its last seven games. Manager Kirk Gibson hopes that Tuesday night's five-run effort is a sign his lineup is breaking out of a recent funk.

"A normal at-bat, you go up there, you see the situation, you've got a game plan, you see the ball in the zone and you take an aggressive swing at it," Gibson said. "What you're seeing with us, you're seeing our minds are occupied and we're not having good at-bats in those situations. What changes that? Some success, a couple hits."

Countering Corbin will be Jamie Moyer -- 27 years older than his opponent -- who is in search of his first victory since April 17. Moyer comes off a loss to the Dodgers on May 11 in which he allowed five earned runs over five innings. The veteran southpaw has lasted only five innings in each of his previous three starts. However, his 15-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio offers a glimpse at a starter still showing his effectiveness.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy is waiting for his struggling team to put both the pitching and offense to start clicking simultaneously.

"When we put starting pitching and offense together, we are a pretty damn good baseball team," Tracy said. "We haven't done that enough.

"Our mettle is and will be tested over the next several days. This isn't something that you're going to dig yourself out of in 24 or 48 hours. But the opportunity is there -- with as early as it is -- to recognize what it is I'm talking about and get busy and do something about it."

D-backs: Breslow, Ziegler a formidable duo
Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler have developed into a dynamic duo in Gibson's bullpen. The pair is a combined 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA (five earned runs in 34 1/3 innings) and a .195 opponents' average in 33 appearances. Breslow has not surrendered a run in his last 7 1/3 innings (six appearances) and has held the opposition scoreless in 14 of his 16 games. Likewise, Ziegler has shut out opponents in 15 of his 17 appearances, including scoreless appearances in each of his last seven. The pair has allowed just one home run this season.

Rockies: Rosario finding his comfort zone
Wilin Rosario's 2012 season got off to a slow start, but the young catcher appears to have turned a corner in May. Rosario is hitting .292 (7-for-24) with four home runs and seven RBIs in 10 games in May, including his first career multi-homer game on May 5. Rosario's surge comes after he hit just .194 with one home run and four RBIs in 10 games in April.

• Troy Tulowitzki was back in the lineup Tuesday, following his exit Monday after being struck just below the knee by a foul ball off the bat of Dexter Fowler. Tulowitzki's X-ray was negative. The scare came at a time when the shortstop is struggling. Tulowitzki is hitting just .244 (11-for-45) in May and did not collect his first RBI of the month until Tuesday.

"We dodged a serious bullet," Tracy acknowledged.

Worth noting
• The D-backs are 20-10 when they hit at least one home run in a game and 3-12 when they are held homerless, including Tuesday's win.

• Rookie left-hander Christian Friedrich set a Rockies franchise record by striking out 17 batters in his first two games with the club. Jeff Francis held the previous mark by striking out 13 in his first two starts with Colorado from Aug. 25-31, 2004. Comments