Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez is riding the best streak of his career. The D-backs are on a league-leading tear at the plate.The showdown is set for Tuesday in Denver. The wild, wild, National League West is living up to its name. Monday's 5-3 victory by the D-backs marked the first of 12 games against NL West opponents for the Rockies. "This is a big little run for us. No doubt about it, they're big games," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We feel like if we're close in the first half or just play average baseball or keep ourselves close to these guys, we're going to come away with it at the end. That's not to say it's going to happen for sure, but that's the feeling we have because we've been so successful as of late." The Rockies are 2-2 against the division so far this season. Last season, the club made the playoffs with a 33-39 record against the NL West. "We have to put it into full perspective," Tracy said. "We had a pretty good team here last year, and I feel like we've got a pretty doggone good team this year. We won 92 games last year. We ended up winning the Wild Card a year ago, and we were six games under in our division. I want to see us be a lot better than that in 2010." Jimenez followed his no-hitter in Atlanta by throwing 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball in Washington to run his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings while becoming the first pitcher in 17 years to follow a no-hitter with a scoreless outing. The Rockies ace was dominant, holding the Nationals to five hits and two walks while striking out five. He is making his second start of the season at Coors Field, having given up a season-high two runs against the Padres on April 11. He has a career 3.40 ERA at home, the lowest mark for any starter with 150 innings or more at the ballpark. The D-backs will counter with Edwin Jackson and a potent offense. Arizona leads the NL in home runs with 27. Jackson is coming off outing in which he struggled in the first three innings but then managed to give up only one more run on his way to completing eight innings. He's also contributed at the plate. Earlier this season, he had a two-hit inning (a single and home run) against Pirates. Expect the Rockies to be ready. "There's no doubt about it, when you're playing your division, you have a chance to either make it hard for yourself or separate yourself early on in the season," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "In the past, we've made it tough on ourselves to play catch-up." "Hopefully this year we can keep it close or either separate ourselves on the positive side." D-backs on a roll
The D-backs have won two games in a row and improved to 2-5 on the road. The club is 7-5 at home. "We try not to get too far ahead of ourselves in terms of who we're playing," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "We're trying to control what we can control, which is the main thing. We think we can play with anybody." Rockies on the mound
Jason Hammel was forced to leave Monday night's game after just three innings due to a strained right groin. ... Manuel Corpas tied his career-high by tossing three innings in relief of Hammel. He did not allow a run on one hit and one walk with four strikeouts. Worth noting
On Monday, Carlos Gonzalez led off the Rockies' half of the first inning with a home run to center off Dan Haren, his first leadoff home run of the season and the third of his career. All three were against the D-backs.
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