Jason Kubel supported Ian Kennedy with a tremendous offensive display last week, and he hasn't cooled off since following this weekend's sweep of Houston. Kennedy will be on the mound this evening as the Snakes seek a season high 4th straight victory facing the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field. Kubel went 3 for 4 with a second-inning homer to help Arizona (47-48) complete a three-game sweep of Houston with an 8-2 victory Sunday. He homered three times and drove in six runs in Saturday's 12-3 win and is hitting .409 with six homers and 11 RBIs over his last five games, of which the Diamondbacks have won four.
The sweep got Arizona off to a solid start on its 10-game homestand. Kubel's current hot stretch began Wednesday when he homered twice to help Kennedy and the Diamondbacks beat Cincinnati 7-1. He also went 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and had five RBIs when Arizona beat Colorado 10-0 in the most recent meeting June 5 - which Kennedy also won. Kennedy (7-8, 4.33 ERA) had gone 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA over his previous six starts before giving up one run in eight innings of Wednesday's win. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA in his last six starts versus the Rockies after allowing five hits in six innings of last month's outing.
This time he'll be opposed by Jonathan Sanchez, who went 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 12 starts with Kansas City before being acquired for Jeremy Guthrie on Friday. Sanchez's lone win came in his first outing of the season April 8, and he posted a 12.18 ERA over his last four starts. He was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City prior to this season for Melky Cabrera, who has blossomed into one of baseball's best hitters and was named the All-Star Game MVP earlier this month. Sanchez now will be part of a four-man rotation that features all left-handers working on a roughly 75-pitch limit. He's walked 44 in 53 1-3 innings while striking out only 36. These teams have split the first eight meetings this season, but the Diamondbacks have won 16 of 21 home matchups with the Rockies.
The price here may be a tad steep even at hitter friendly Chase, but we feel even more confident of the inflated line especially since the DBacks used this weekend's sweeping carnage of Houston to build on to start this big homestand. Truth is there is a lot of depth and balance in this Arizona lineup which is hitting .267 overall with 98 HR collectively. Sanchez will face the likes of Kubel (.300 21 71), who looks by far the most confident and poised at the plate all season long, while in the middle of the lineup he gets an added boost from Aaron Hill (.308 13 45) leading the snakes in hitting. Also, Paul Goldschmidt (.297 12 45) has been getting the bulk of the playing time in the lineup at first base, while Miguel Montero (.268 9 54) has done a superb job as the battery leading the club in RBIs. Trade talks included Justin Upton's name as the deadline nears, but it's likely Arizona will ride with the outfielder (.274 8 41) who has been battling slumps and injuries. Meanwhile, offense hasn't been a problem for the slumping Rockies who like Arizona are hitting .267 overall with 9 more HR. All-star Carlos Gonzalez (.330 19 66) is amongst the NL leaders in hitting and tops in team production. Willin Rosario (.254 15 39) has also put up impressive numbers getting the majority of the catcher's duties. Dexter Fowler (.298 12 39) has just 8 steals, but has added pop to his bat at the top of the lineup. Tyler Colvin (.288 13 41) has been on an impressive tear and Michael Cuddyer (.263 12 51) seems to be putting it together after a subpar June. Cuddyer hit just .212 last month but has turned the tide with a .323 in July despite not recording a HR. Injuries to Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton have proved costly but the proven demise has been the starting pitching which is last in the majors with a 5.30 ERA. Best of luck however you play!