It's unlikely the Arizona Diamondbacks will complete an improbable run to the postseason, but at the very least they will go down fighting.
They seek their sixth victory in seven tries Sunday when they play the third of four games against the host Colorado Rockies .
Arizona (76-75) remained 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot with an 8-7 victory over Colorado on Saturday, as four players had two hits.
Aaron Hill tripled and finished with four RBIs for the Diamondbacks, who have outscored opponents 47-24 while winning five of six."We're not out of it. We've still got a little time left," said outfielder Jason Kubel , who had two hits to end a 0-for-21 slump. "If we keep this up hopefully we put more pressure on teams in front of us, but we've got to keep it up ourselves."
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy is doing his best to keep his team in the hunt.
Kennedy (14-11, 4.08 ERA) has been especially solid over his last two starts, allowing four hits in 7 1-3 innings to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Sept. 11 before giving up a run over eight innings of Tuesday's 3-2 win over San Diego.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four outings.
"He's aggressive now. You see his velocity up," catcher Miguel Montero said. "And his command, his command on his secondary stuff, he's been able to throw it for a strike. That's big. It's not like they're just sitting on fastball because he can't locate a breaking ball."Right now he can throw every pitch for a strike."
Kennedy has also been excellent versus Colorado of late, posting a 1.23 ERA while winning his last three starts against the Rockies, including striking out a career high-tying 12 on June 5.
Wilin Rosario homered as part of his third straight three-hit effort Saturday, but Colorado (58-93) still suffered its eighth straight defeat and 15th in 17 games."It's a very difficult chore to ask these guys to keep coming back two or three times," manager Jim Tracy said. "They get down early, they get us back in to the game, they get us a lead. We have the bad inning and they continue to do more."
The Rockies will send Jeff Francis to the mound Sunday.
Francis (5-6, 5.58) has lost his last two starts - both to San Francisco - after he allowed two runs in five innings of Tuesday's 6-3 defeat. He has a 6.23 ERA over his last four outings.
The left-hander had gone 0-6 with a 7.68 ERA in his previous seven starts against the Diamondbacks before allowing two runs in six innings of a 4-2 win over them July 25.
|September 11, 2012||J.J. Putz||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|August 30, 2012||Chris Johnson||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|August 21, 2012||Justin Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Tight hamstring|
|August 17, 2012||Jason Kubel||Day-to-Day||Neck stiffness|
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|September 10, 2012||Ramon Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring strain|
|August 22, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Left game - right ankle injury|
|August 20, 2012||Eric Young||15-Day DL||Left intercostal strain|
|August 19, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|August 19, 2012||Josh Rutledge||Day-to-Day||Left game - left quad tightness|
|August 14, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Chest soreness|
DENVER (AP) -- Convinced that Aaron Hill would come through, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson kept him near the top of the batting order.
Hill hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks beat Colorado 10-7 on Sunday, the Rockies' season-high ninth straight loss.
Arizona remained 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot. Wil Nieves had four hits and Hill had three for the Diamondbacks, who have won three straight and six of seven.
Hill came into Sunday hitting .323 with 12 RBIs in his last 15 games.
"Aaron's just been so steady," Gibson said. "It's good to have him in the two-hole. I did have a lineup today where I was going to put him down fifth, but he's been so clutch for us that you want him to get that extra at-bat."
It paid off in the late innings.
Trailing by one, the Diamondbacks rallied against reliever Matt Belisle (3-8) in the eighth. Pinch hitter Mike Jacobs tied it with a single and after Adam Eaton struck out, Hill hit his 24th homer of the season to make it 7-4.
Hill fouled off two pitches before hitting an 86 mph slider into the left-field seats.
"He threw some good pitches I was just able to fortunately foul them off until I got a pitch to hit," he said. "It ended up working out."
Arizona tacked on three more in the ninth on Jake Elmore 's two-run single and A.J. Pollock's RBI groundout.
"Jake getting those two guys in was big," Jacobs said.
Colorado scored three runs off Takashi Saito in the bottom of the ninth. J.J. Putz got the last out for his 32nd save.
Mike Albers (3-1) got the win with an inning of scoreless relief.
"It's another great effort. Unfortunately in the eighth inning we did not get the people out that we needed to get out," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Wilin Rosario had three hits for the fourth game in a row and DJ LeMahieu also had three hits for the Rockies.
Colorado (58-94) is one loss shy of the club's single-season record and needs to win five of its last 10 games to avoid the franchise's first 100-loss season.
"I think it matters," starter Jeff Francis said. "We don't like losing one game. But 100 is that number that really stinks."
The Rockies took a 4-3 lead against Ian Kennedy in the sixth on Charlie Blackmon 's RBI single.
Arizona took a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Cody Ransom and Nieves. Ryan Wheeler scored the second run while pinch running for Chris Johnson , who left the game with a bruise on his left hand after getting hit with a pitch from Francis.
"It swelled up pretty good," Gibson said. "He had an X-ray and it was clean."
The Diamondbacks made it 3-0 when Wheeler drew a bases-loaded walk against Adam Ottavino in the fifth.
Kennedy didn't allow a hit until Francis singled to lead off the third. He held the Rockies in check until the fifth when they rallied to tie it.
Kennedy got the first out of the inning before allowing five straight hits. Blackmon and Jordan Pacheco had RBI singles and Rosario made it 3-all with an RBI double.
Chris Nelson and Tyler Colvin struck out with runners on second and third to end the inning.
Kennedy allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out six in six innings.
"Giving up four runs in this ballpark is like giving up three or two anywhere else," Kennedy said. "You do your job by keeping your team in the game."
Francis allowed two runs on five hits in four innings. He and hasn't won since beating the Dodgers on Aug. 27.
NOTES: Hill's double in the seventh was his 40th of the season and gives the Diamondbacks two player with 40 or more doubles in a season for the third time in franchise history. Paul Goldschmidt has 42. ... Nieves tied his career high for hits in a game. ... Arizona's Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fifth. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (tight left hamstring) was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game.