(Sports Network) - TheArizona Diamondbacks would generally prefer to have Dan Haren on the mound to try to avoid a sweep, but with the way he has been struggling as of late, theColorado Rockiesmight not be too worried.
Colorado will look to extend Haren's struggles and record its first sweep of the season this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set versus Arizona at Coors Field.
A three-time All-Star, Haren has pitched to a 6.75 earned run average over his last three starts, losing the first two against theDodgersandBravesbefore beating theBlue Jayson Friday. The right-hander earned the 8-6 victory despite allowing four solo homers over eight innings, while striking out eight without a walk,
Haren also drove in three runs at the plate and is hitting .414 on the season to go along with a 5-3 mark and 4.79 ERA on the mound.
The 29-year-old, who is 6-4 with a 3.08 ERA lifetime against Colorado, bested the Rockies at Coors Field back on April 26 with one of his better outings this year, tossing eight innings of two-run ball while striking out 10. He gotClint Barmes,Miguel OlivoandSeth Smithto all strike out twice, whileTodd Heltonalso went down on strikes.
Arizona didn't have as much luck containing Smith in Wednesday's contest, as the outfielder homered twice to back eight shutout frames from aceUbaldo Jimenezin a 7-3 victory. Jimenez won his major league-leading ninth game, lowered his ERA to 0.88 -- which leads all of baseball -- and ran his scoreless-innings streak to 17.
"I'm learning how to pitch. Every outing I'm getting better and better," said Jimenez. "I didn't have my fastball at first, but I came back and used it again -- down in the strike zone to try and get ground balls."
Carlos Gonzalezalso homered in his return to the Colorado lineup after missing three straight games due to a sore left wrist.Brad Hawpehad a two- run triple for the Rockies, who have won a season-high four straight games and will try to sweep the Diamondbacks for the first time since taking all three games at home from Sept. 4-6 of last year.
Troy Tulowitzkiwent 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and three runs scored to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. The Rockies shortstop is batting .342 (13-for-38) with four homers and seven RBI over the run. He is just 7-for-31 lifetime versus Haren, a .226 average, with two homers and 13 strikeouts.
Mark Reynoldshit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for Arizona, which has lost three in a row following a four-game win streak.Rodrigo Lopezsuffered the loss for giving up five hits and four runs in six innings.
"[Jimenez] was leaving his pitches up and we were putting some good swings on it, but we just couldn't get the big hit," Reynolds said.
Reynolds' homer was his 12th of the season, tied for the most in the NL. He is 1-for-8 without a homer lifetime versus tonight's starter for Colorado,Jason Hammel, however.
Hammel opposed Haren on April 26, but his outing was cut short after just three innings due to a right groin strain. His exit came after he allowed five runs on six hits to take the loss, falling to 2-1 with a 4.87 ERA in his career versus the Diamondbacks.
Hammel didn't pitch again until May 15, a victory over Washington, but the right-hander lost to theRoyalson Friday after yielding five runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. The outing, though, became a little more impressive when Hammel revealed afterwards he battled through pain in his right groin throughout the start.
"From pitch one, I was battling," Hammel told Colorado's website. "I couldn't use my back side, my groin was bothering me, but I consider it a victory for myself just to get that deep,"
The 27-year-old should be okay for this start and is 1-3 with a 7.52 ERA on the season.
Arizona took two of three from the Rockies earlier in the year, but the Diamondbacks dropped six of nine in Colorado last season.