Jorge De La Rosa is locked in to the strike zone in a way he's rarely been before.
Colorado's southpaw starter will go into Thursday's series opener against Arizona with a streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings, and he can rest confident in knowing that he's had some success against the D-backs. The 32-year-old veteran is 7-3 with a 2.23 career ERA in 17 games against Arizona, and he'll be matched against Trevor Cahill on Thursday.
De La Rosa has thrown six innings and allowed just two hits in each of his last two starts, and he threw five scoreless innings after giving up three first-inning runs in the outing that ignited the streak. His most recent start came against Arizona on Saturday, when he held the D-backs to just four baserunners and didn't allow them to reach scoring position.
Colorado turned two double plays and caught a runner stealing in that outing, which allowed De La Rosa to face just one batter over the minimum. The left-hander has yet to throw more than 92 pitches in any outing this season. The first-place Rockies just went 5-2 on their homestand and will embark on their trip to Arizona and Los Angeles with a 5-4 road record.
Arizona, meanwhile, has won two straight games and stands two games out of first place. The D-backs (+17) have a similar run differential to the Rockies (+19) this season, but they'll go into this series with a 5-5 mark in their last 10 games.
Cahill, who went 13-12 with a 3.78 ERA last season, is off to an 0-3 start in 2013. The right-hander has one no-decision this season, a remnant of a game in which he took a shutout into the eighth inning. Cahill lost to the Rockies and De La Rosa last week in Colorado, and he's pitched to a 7-9 record and a 4.50 ERA in 19 career starts at Chase Field.
The D-backs will come into this series on the adrenaline of an exciting win against San Francisco. Arizona tied the game in the eighth inning and pushed ahead in the ninth Wednesday, but the Giants tied it up again in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Wil Nieves came up with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly for Arizona.
The Rockies, not to be outdone, are coming off an extra-inning victory of their own. Colorado trailed from the sixth inning against Atlanta on Wednesday but tied the game in the ninth inning on a two-run double by Dexter Fowler. The game went all the way to the 12th inning, and it wasn't decided until Yorvit Torrealba delivered a game-winning single to left field with one out.
Rockies: Rutledge streaking
Michael Cuddyer and Josh Rutledge gave the Rockies back-to-back home runs in Wednesday's victory over Atlanta, and Rutledge extended his hitting streak to five straight games. Colorado's 24-year-old second baseman was hitting .191 as recently as April 16, but he's surged to .230 by getting hits in seven of his last eight games.
Rutledge, a former third-round draftee, has gone deep three times, and he's also contributed two doubles. The youngster has struck out 13 times in the first 20 games, and he's walked just 16 times in 92 career games in the Majors.
D-backs: Parra stays hot
Gerardo Parra entered Wednesday's game as a substitute, but he still found a way to keep his remarkable season rolling. Parra drove in the go-ahead run with a single in his only at-bat Wednesday, and he's now reached base safely in 20 of his 21 games this season. Parra, who pinch-ran and scored the tying run in the eighth inning, has hit safely in 17 games.
The 25-year-old batted .273 and slugged just .392 for Arizona last season, but he hasn't gone hitless in any start since an 0-for-5 game in a 7-5 loss to the Dodgers on April 13. Parra is hitting .308 (12-for-39) and slugging .538 in nine home games this season, and he's hitting .375 (3-for-8) with two runs scored in three games against the Rockies.
• De La Rosa is the first Colorado starter to throw consecutive scoreless outings of at least six innings since Jason Hammel did it three straight times in June 2010.
• Todd Helton has missed five straight games with a strained left forearm.
• Cahill is 1-4 in six career starts against the Rockies.
• Arizona is now 2-7 when trailing after seven innings.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.