The Colorado Rockies have alternated wins and losses in every game this month. A road series against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks appears to be a good opportunity to break that cycle.
The Rockies begin a three-game set Friday night against a Diamondbacks club that has dropped four in a row at Chase Field.
Colorado lost 2-0 to Los Angeles on Thursday to fall to 7-8 in August. A win over Chicago on Aug. 1 was the Rockies' fourth in a row, but they've been alternating defeats and victories since.
Colorado (62-58) was shut out for the fourth time in nine games Thursday, with the club's only two hits coming on a double by Dexter Fowler and a single from Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies have batted .187 over the last seven contests.
Facing the Diamondbacks, losers of six of seven overall and 10 of 14 at home, would seem to give Colorado an excellent chance to bounce back and start stringing wins together. Arizona (47-75) was swept in three home games by Cincinnati, losing the finale 9-5 on Thursday, and has dropped four straight and six of seven since a 6-1 stretch.
"Sometimes it seems like we are far away but really not," manager Kirk Gibson said. "When you play a team like this and they are on a roll like this, it can be disappointing."
The Diamondbacks, though, took two of three from the Rockies at Chase Field from June 4-6, with each game being decided by one run. The Rockies have batted .217 while dropping 16 of 22 on the road.
Colorado may have a tough time raising that average if Carlos Gonzalez can't play in this series.
The outfielder, who leads the team with a .325 average, 18 homers and 79 RBIs, sat out Thursday with a right knee contusion. He was injured the previous night when he crashed into the wall at Dodger Stadium while making a catch.
"They're just waiting," he told Colorado's official website about the team's medical staff. "I don't know what they're going to do."
Manager Jim Tracy said Gonzalez isn't expected to be placed on the disabled list, but the slugger was limping around the clubhouse Thursday and said the pain hadn't lessened.
Colorado will send Esmil Rogers (2-2, 5.01 ERA) to the mound Friday. The right-hander was called up Aug. 8 to replace the injured Aaron Cook in the rotation and has gone 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts since.
Rogers allowed four runs over 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4, 10-inning loss to Milwaukee on Saturday.
He has never started versus the Diamondbacks, pitching a scoreless inning of relief in an 8-2 win May 27 in his only appearance against them.
Arizona will give the ball to Ian Kennedy (7-9, 4.38), who has gone 4-2 with a 4.95 ERA in seven outings since a four-start losing streak.
The right-hander allowed two runs over seven innings to beat Washington 9-2 on Saturday. He had given up at least four runs in four consecutive outings.
Kennedy has gone 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts against the Rockies this season. He pitched six innings and gave up six runs - three earned - in a 7-6 home win over Colorado on June 4.
Colorado leads the season series 5-4.