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De La Rosa pitches Rockies past Diamondbacks
By DENNIS GEORGATOS
DENVER (AP) With another strong outing behind him, Jorge De La Rosa believes that at long last his comeback from reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow is complete.
De La Rosa pitched six innings of two-hit ball, Michael Cuddyer homered and the Colorado Rockies won their season-high eighth in a row by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Saturday night.
It was the first win at Coors Field for De La Rosa (2-1) since returning late last year from "Tommy John" surgery on his left elbow. He missed more than a year after tearing an elbow ligament on May 24, 2011, in another outing Arizona.
"That's in the past," De La Rosa said. "I feel very good right now."
Good enough to resume his mastery at home of the Diamondbacks, improving to 7-0 with a 1.38 ERA in eight career starts against Arizona at Coors Field.
"It doesn't matter what team is out there," De La Rosa said. "I'm trying to pitch the same way every time. Yorvit (Torrealba) called a very good game. I just threw whatever he wanted and where he wanted it. I trust him a lot, and the defense made a lot of good plays behind me."
De La Rosa struck out four and walked two and didn't allow a run in a second consecutive six-inning outing as the Rockies ran their home record to 8-0. Colorado is the only team in the majors without a loss at home.
"We swung at some mighty good pitches," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, who was ejected from a game for the first time this season. "He kept the ball down and threw a lot of off speed pitches."
The Rockies Carlos Gonzalez said De La Rosa has regained his pre-injury form.
"We know what kind of pitcher he is and he's starting to get that momentum again," Gonzalez said. "He missed a lot of time, but now he's feeling back to the way he used to be."
Cuddyer connected for his fourth homer of the season in the sixth, driving the first offering from Trevor Cahill (0-3) into the left field bleachers. It's the first time in Cahill's career that he's started a season with three straight losses.
The Diamondbacks also lost Gibson and outfielder Cody Ross to ejections midway through the seventh. Both were tossed by homeplate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing balls and strikes.
Ross said he was upset with himself and the Diamondbacks' lack of results at the plate as much as the umpire's call.
"I was frustrated with myself, for us not swinging the bat the last few games. It's just a lot of frustration," Ross said.
An error that ended their eight-game run without one as well as a base-running mistake also cost Arizona.
Josh Rutledge, rounding third on Reid Brignac's second-inning single to right, was caught in a rundown but wound up scoring when catcher Wil Nieves threw the ball into the dirt for an error as he chased the runner back towards third. The ball rolled past the bag into left field, allowing Rutledge to score easily.
Trailing 3-0, Arizona got a leadoff single from Martin Prado in the fourth. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a deep fly ball to center, and Prado tagged up and tried to advance but was cut down at second by center fielder Dexter Fowler's throw and Rutledge's relay to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was covering the bag.
The Rockies' defense also nipped another fledgling Arizona rally in the fifth. Nieves drew a one-out walk and Josh Wilson followed with a grounder up the middle that looked like it would get through. But Tulowitzki ranged to his left, dipped his glove down to snag the ball and quickly flipped it to Rutledge for the force before the second baseman fired to first for the inning-ending double play.
Arizona didn't break through until Eric Chavez hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the eighth off reliever Edgmer Escalona.
"Eric gave us a lift. We just were not able to finish it out," Gibson said.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against closer Rafael Betancourt with a double by A.J. Pollock, a single by Paul Goldschmidt and a walk by Gerardo Parra.
Pollock scored from third on pinch-hitter Miguel Montero's groundout to first before Betancourt got Nieves to fly out to right for his seventh save in seven chances.
In the third, Eric Young Jr. led off with a triple that rolled to the center field wall. Cahill hit the next batter, Dexter Fowler, with a pitch that caught him on the right wrist. After Fowler stole second, Young scored and Fowler advanced on Carlos Gonzales' ground out. Tulowitzki then lifted a fly to deep left that scored Fowler.
"You're not going to hit home runs all the time," Fowler said. "You're not always going to hit doubles and score guys from first. So you've got to do the little things to win the games."
NOTES: Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday to try to determine the severity of a back injury that brought a premature end to his impressive outing Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ... Parra replaced Ross after his seventh inning ejection. ... Jason Kubel's stay on the 15-day disabled list could be extended after an MRI found a fluid buildup in his left quad. ... Arizona's RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-2) is slated to pitch Sunday's series finale against Colorado RHP Juan Nicasio (2-0).
Updated April 21, 2013