Saturday marks a second chance for Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz, another opportunity to prove he's ready to be a full-time big league starter.
And Pomeranz's search for redemption in the second of a three-game series against the D-backs could not come at a more critical moment, as the two National League West rivals are separated by just 3.5 games after the D-backs took the series opener 5-0 Friday night.
Pomeranz (0-1, 8.31 ERA), a hard-throwing lefty, struggled in his 2013 debut Sunday, surrendering four earned runs off seven hits and walking four in just 4 1/3 innings. The fifth overall pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft made 22 starts with the Rockies last year, but has yet to establish himself as a reliable big league pitcher.
"His stuff is good. He got some strikeouts, some swings and misses," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after Pomeranz's first start. "It shows that he's got plenty of stuff. He's just got to be in better counts, be a little more efficient."
After managing only three hits Friday, the Rockies offense will attempt to get the wheels in motion against a pitcher who has a strong record of success against them -- Wade Miley. Miley is 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA in six career starts against the Rockies, one of just two pitchers to have at least four wins against the Rockies and not a single loss since 2011.
Fresh off from a 3-7 road trip, Friday marked the start of 17 home games in 24 days for the D-backs, who were more more than excited to return to Chase Field. Arizona just finished a grueling stretch of 22 road games in 33 days.
"To come home and play on our field for virtually all of July, that's uplifting," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Most people play better at home, you have your fans and they make a difference. It's not like we're uncomfortable on the road, but you're checking in and checking out all the time."
Arizona's recent road troubles came at an ideal time, as every team in the division other than the Dodgers was no better than two games under .500 over their last 10. The D-backs have won three in a row, while the Rockies have dropped 12 of their last 17.
Rockies: Cuddy keeps slugging
• As he continues to build a case for a spot in the upcoming All-Star Game, Michael Cuddyer's infield single in the series opener put him on base safely for the 62nd time in 66 games.
Though Cuddyer's 27-game hitting streak -- the longest in the Majors this year -- ended Tuesday, his production has not slowed. Since Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw kept him hitless, Cuddyer has four hits and four RBIs in three games.
Hitting .342 -- second-highest in the NL behind Yadier Molina-- with 15 homers and 52 RBIs, the 35-year-old Cuddyer is on pace for one of the most productive years of his career.
D-backs: Skaggs shines after call-up
• Despite boasting one of the best young rotations in the league, Arizona's starters had just one win in their last 25 games heading into Friday night's game.
Tyler Skaggs helped change that gloomy stretch with a masterful performance, holding the Rockies to three hits in eight scoreless innings for his second win of the year and the second in 26 games for D-backs starters.
The rotation finally snapped a streak of 24 outings without a win when Randall Delgado picked up a win against the Mets Wednesday. But the hitters know they need to be more consistent offensively to avoid wasting strong performances from their talent-laden staff.
"We have to score some runs early, that'll help let our pitchers settle in early," third baseman Eric Chavez said. "We're just going to try to be a little bit more productive at the plate in that way."
• Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is hitting .455 with a home run and three RBIs in 11 career plate appearances against Miley.
• Paul Goldschmidt drove in two runs Friday night to give him 71 RBIs on the year, most in the NL. Through 85 games, he is just 11 short of the 82 runs he plated in 2012.