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Rockies Try To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Against The Diamondbacks

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(Sports Network) - Ubaldo Jimenez tries to join CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay as 20-game winners this evening when the Colorado Rockies continue their improbable postseason push against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Jimenez won his second straight decision on Friday in Los Angeles, as he held the Dodgers to four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 frames to improve to 19-6 to go along with a 2.84 earned run average.

Although, he is unbeaten in his last three starts, Jimenez is just 4-5 since the All-Star break and has pitched to a 3.93 ERA.

"Let's be honest about it, the last two starts that he's had, they've not been world-beating type starts," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "Last night, it seemed like he had baserunners on every inning."

With another win tonight, Jimenez would become the first Dominican-born 20- game winner since Bartolo Colon won 21 with the Angels in 2005.

"Just to be mentioned in that category would be really big," Jimenez said. "When the season is over, maybe I'll have time to think about what I've done. But right now I don't worry about whether I win 19 or 20. I'm just trying to be out there for my team and I'm just happy every time the team wins."

Jimenez, who is 5-3 with a 2.32 ERA in 13 games against the D-backs, is not expected to take the ball on short rest this weekend when the Rockies engage in a critical three-game series with the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants.

"I really believe the question is well taken, the significance of the situation is completely understood," Tracy said. "But with the workload that we've given this guy up to this point, I really think that's pushing the envelope way too hard, as far as I'm concerned."

The Rockies' hopes took a bit of a hit in Tuesday's opener of this three-game set, as Joe Saunders pitched eight stellar innings and Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer, lifting Arizona to a 3-1 win.

Saunders (3-6) allowed one run on six hits with seven strikeouts for the Diamondbacks, who halted a three-game skid.

"It was nice to get out there and show people what I can do," said Saunders. "The biggest key tonight was throwing early strikes."

Ryan Spilborghs drove in the only run for the Rockies, who have dropped two straight after a three-game win streak and fell 2 1/2 games behind the Giants, who blanked the Cubs earlier Tuesday.

Jorge De La Rosa (8-5) suffered the loss after he yielded three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.

The Rockies are three games off the pace in the wild card standings.

Heading to the hill for Arizona tonight will be righty Rodrigo Lopez, who is 6-14 with a 4.98 ERA. Lopez won for the first time in 12 starts on Thursday in Cincinnati with a terrific effort that saw him allow a run and eight hits in seven innings.

Lopez lost to the Rockies two starts ago and is 0-3 in four games (three starts) against them with a 4.64 ERA.

Colorado has won nine of its 16 meetings with the Diamondbacks this season, but have lost five of seven in Arizona.