D-backs meet Rockies, look to build on recent momentum

D-backs meet Rockies, look to build on recent momentum

For the first three months of the season, the Arizona Diamondbacks were the surprising leaders in the National League West. They enjoyed a remarkable turnaround from going 52-110 two years ago to matching that win total at this season’s All-Star break

The feel-good story has come to a crashing halt. The Diamondbacks are just 9-25 since reaching 50 wins on July 1, but they are riding a two-game winning streak after rallying past the San Diego Padres on Sunday

The Diamondbacks will try to gain ground in the NL wild-card race when they embark on a seven-game trip starting with the opener of a three-game series Monday night against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. Arizona is expected to send Merrill Kelly (9-5, 3.05 ERA) to the mound against Chris Flexen (1-5, 7.92) in a battle of right-handers

Kelly left Wednesday’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning with a right leg cramp. He had missed a month with a blood clot in his right calf but has made four starts since returning from the injured list

Kelly is 4-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rockies

The Diamondbacks shook up their roster before closing their home series against the Padres on Sunday. They reinstated catcher Gabriel Moreno (left shoulder inflammation) from the 10-day injured list, selected the contract of right-hander Bryce Jarvis, optioned righty Ryne Nelson to Triple-A Reno, and designated catcher Carson Kelly for assignment

Moreno’s return factored into the decision on Kelly, who was one of the centerpieces of the Paul Goldschmidt trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said he hopes the moves will turn around the recent slide

“We’re going to make some changes and see if that helps spark what we feel like is a good team that’s not playing the way it did in the first three months of the season,” Hazen told MLB.com on Sunday

Colorado is out of the playoff chase, so it has turned to the future while also using a patchwork rotation

Flexen was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets on July 13 and had a rough start to his Rockies career. He got his first win with his new club on the just-finished 3-7 road trip and will make his second start at Coors Field since joining Colorado

Flexen has made three career starts against Arizona, going 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA

Flexen will have a young defense on the field with him on Monday night. The Rockies moved several of their veteran players at the trade deadline, opening opportunities in a youth movement. One of bright spots is Ezequiel Tovar, who has overcome a slow start at the plate to have a solid rookie season

“Everyone here wants that experience,” Tovar said recently. “Everyone wants to grow and continue to play. It’s part of it. That’s the beauty of this game — we get better as time goes, and we’re happy to be part of that.

The defense might get younger this week. Outfielder Jurickson Profar exited Sunday’s loss at the Dodgers with an apparent knee injury and is scheduled to have an MRI done when the team returns home

–Field Level Medi

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.