Rockies-Diamondbacks features matchup between young, old pitchers

PHOENIX -- A wily veteran goes against a youngster in Saturday's second game of the three-game series between National League West leaders Arizona and Colorado.

Zach Greinke (2-2, 2.93 ERA) will take the mound for the Diamondbacks vs. the Rockies' Tyler Anderson (1-3, 7.11)

Greinke is 7-4 all time vs. the Rockies with a 4.09 ERA in 19 starts.

Anderson had two no-decisions in two starts vs. the Diamondbacks in 2016, his rookie season, both losses. He pitched 10 innings against them with a 6.30 ERA.

Anderson had a no-decision in the Rockies' 8-4 comeback win Monday vs. Washington. He allowed six hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Anderson, manager Bud Black said, has had fine stretches "where he's really strung pitches together and really strung innings together."

But he has also been roughed up in "that odd inning or two" that has turned games against him, Black said.

"We got to break through that big inning. There's been just a little bit of variable performance inning to inning, not so much game to game. All the games have been sort of the same."

Black said he is impressed with the Diamondbacks, "especially offensively. They're swinging the bats. They're scoring early, late."

The Rockies will have to continue to be mindful of the Diamondbacks' potent running game.

"The best way to combat that is to keep their base-stealers off base," Black said.

The Rockies' attention to the Diamondbcks' running game showed up on Friday night when A.J. Pollock reached base on an infield hit in the third inning.

Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland made a host of throws to first to tie up Pollock. But in so doing, he ended up walking Chris Owings on four pitches. Then Paul Goldschmidt singled to center to drive in Pollock.

In the seventh, Pollock drew a walk from Adam Ottavino, then Ottavino threw the ball away on a throw to first, allowing Pollock to advance to second base.

Pollock proceeded to steal third. Ottavino got out of the jam by getting Goldschmidt to ground out to third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Earlier, Pollock and Owings executed a double steal in the fifth, but pitcher Kyle Freeland got out of the inning without allowing a run.

The Rockies are hoping that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez' slow start is coming to a close. He went 2-for-4 in Friday night's 3-1 win to raise his average to .225.

"We're seeing good takes and good swings," Black said of Gonzalez.

"I think it's getting closer on Cargo, I really do."

The Diamondbacks are hoping to keep their streak alive of winning every home series. They've won their first four home series for the third time in club history (they won the first five in 1999 and 2008).

They've been helped by pitching staff that's striking out lots of batters, including a franchise record 51 Ks during the four-game series with the Padres.

The Giants also struck out 12 Rockies batters Friday night, making it five straight games they've struck out 11-plus hitters, a first for the franchise.