The Arizona Diamondbacks have taken the first two games of this series against the Colorado Rockies behind some solid starting pitching.
The same formula Saturday night will have to account for a somewhat unfamiliar variable as Patrick Corbin takes the mound for his first start in more than 21 months.
Arizona (39-41) made it four consecutive wins against Colorado (34-46) at Chase Field with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings on Friday. Chris Owings had three hits, Paul Goldschmidt scored a run and had an RBI and Cliff Pennington drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.
"He's one of the veterans on this team," manager Chip Hale told MLB's official website of Pennington, who had just his third multi-hit game of the season. "When they get their chances to play they just seem to be in the right place at the right time."
The Diamondbacks have scored 12 runs in the first two games of this series and have 10 or more hits in each of their last five games.
They'll hope for similar production behind Corbin, who has not appeared in the majors since Sept. 27, 2013. Corbin went 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA and was an NL All-Star that year, his first full big-league season after making 17 starts in 2012, but had Tommy John surgery in March 2014.
"I know I'm ready," Corbin said. "I'm really excited about this day. These past 16 months, it's what I've been working for."
Corbin was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four minor league starts and will be limited to 90 pitches Saturday.
The Rockies would love to see him struggle in his return after being largely shut down by the first two Arizona starters they saw. Jeremy Hellickson allowed one run in seven innings Thursday, then Chase Anderson limited the Rockies to only one hit after a three-run first on Friday.
The Rockies were averaging 4.61 runs and batting .271 - both NL bests - through June 27, but they've hit just .181 and totaled 11 runs during a 1-5 stretch.
"I like our team; I think we have a good team," Friday starter Kyle Kendrick said of the Rockies, who fell to 2-6 with two games left in their road trip. "We haven't put it all together."
They'll likely need to pick it up offensively with David Hale (2-3, 5.95 ERA) on the mound. The right-hander has been remarkably consistent in recent starts, but not in a positive way.
He's allowed five runs in each of his last three starts, most recently surrendering three homers over seven innings in a 7-1 loss to Oakland on Monday. Hale gave up an MLB-high 11 homers in June, including a two-run shot from Goldschmidt before he was chased in the fifth inning of Arizona's 8-7 win on June 24.
"Feeling good and the numbers not showing it is very frustrating," Hale said.
Hale has allowed seven runs and 14 baserunners over 5 1-3 career innings against Arizona - including a pair of homers to Goldschmidt.
Arizona's star slugger has reached safely in 27 straight games against the Rockies, hitting .435 with a 1.267 OPS over that stretch.