A strong offensive effort in their last game might be what the Colorado Rockies need to get back on track.
The Rockies look to build on their most recent victory in the conclusion of a three-game road set against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
Todd Helton had a two-run double, Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer and Carlos Gonzalez added two more hits as Colorado (18-10) avoided a season-high third straight loss and evened the series with a 6-4 win Wednesday.
Though the Rockies lead the NL West, they've won twice in the last five games and combined for 11 runs while dropping three of the previous four.
While Wednesday's victory likely provided a much-needed lift for the Rockies, it also put them in position to win their first series at Chase Field since September 2009. Colorado is 3-8 at Arizona since the start of the 2010 season.
Though the Rockies have struggled at the plate of late, Gonzalez is 8 for 17 following an 0-for-22 stretch to raise his average 43 points to .257.
"He is really beginning to resemble himself," manager Jim Tracy said of Gonzalez, who led the NL with a .336 average last season. "I wanted to see him get going, then turn the tables and put him right back where he belongs."
Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.23 ERA) will try to win his third straight start for the Rockies in this contest.
The right-hander has allowed one run in each of his last two starts, the latest on a leadoff homer to Andrew McCutchen before going seven innings in a 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"It's nice," Hammel told the Rockies' official website of his early success. "You're going to go through your ups and downs during the season. I'm not going to expect it to be there every time."
Hammel is 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four starts versus Arizona, but one of those victories came in his only appearance at Chase Field when he gave up three runs in seven innings of a 10-4 win Sept. 19, 2009.
Kelly Johnson is 4 for 7 against Hammel, and hit one of three home runs Wednesday for the Diamondbacks (13-16), who fell to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand.
Ian Kennedy (3-1, 3.92 ERA) looks for a third consecutive win when he takes the mound for Arizona.
Since giving up nine runs in three innings of a 15-5 loss to St. Louis on April 13, Kennedy has allowed four runs in 22 innings while going 2-0 in his last three starts. The right-hander gave up three in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
Kennedy is 0-1 with a 3.66 ERA in six starts against the Rockies, but has not received a decision in his last five against them. He allowed four runs in six innings of a 7-6, 11-inning opening day win at Colorado.
Gonzalez is 3 for 10 with two doubles and a home run versus Kennedy.
The Diamondbacks could be without shortstop Stephen Drew for a second straight game because of tightness in his groin.
"It's day to day at this point," Drew told the Diamondbacks' official website.
He is batting .295 with two homers and 22 RBIs in 24 games this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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