Rox go for series win versus D-backs

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PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) - Livan Hernandez might be the right person to help the Arizona Diamondbacks get back into the win column.

The Arizona right-hander will look for another quality start Saturday when the Diamondbacks try to avoid a third straight loss as they host the Rockies in the second of a three-game set.

Hernandez (1-0, 1.29 ERA) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, but didn't earn a decision in Arizona's 4-3, 11-inning loss at Colorado on April 3. The 32-year-old also went seven innings and didn't give up a run and didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning in the Diamondbacks' 3-1 win over Hernandez's former team, the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

"It seems like every time he pitches, he gives us a chance to win," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said.

That's what Arizona (7-4) hopes will be the case again Saturday against a Colorado team that has hit the ball well in winning three of four meetings between the teams this season. Hernandez, though, is only 6-8 with a 5.00 ERA in 20 career starts against the Rockies.

Arizona, which had been leading the NL West, has slipped one half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division standings after consecutive losses.

The Rockies (5-5) are batting just .244 as a team, but are hitting .318 against the Diamondbacks while outscoring them 27-18.

Brad Hawpe hit a tiebreaking two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning of Colorado's 6-3 win over Arizona and ace Brandon Webb on Friday to avoid a third straight loss. Colorado won two of three over Arizona at home to open the season last week.

"We got some hits when we needed them," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "That should help everybody. They're going to get it going."

Matt Holliday went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs, and Todd Helton went 2-for-5 and drove in his 1,000th career run.

"That's a large number," said Helton, who is batting .509 (27-for-53) with two homers and 14 RBIs lifetime against Hernandez. "There's no denying I'm proud to get there and happy to get some more."

Aaron Cook (0-0, 3.60), Colorado's opening-day starter against Arizona on April 2, will take the ball Saturday for the Rockies. The right-hander allowed five runs in six innings in the Rockies' 8-6 loss to the Diamondbacks to open the season.

In his most recent outing, Cook went nine innings, allowing one run and five hits, but got little run support as the Rockies fell 2-1 in 10 innings to the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

"I know being a No. 1 starter, I'm going to face a lot of tough games," Cook told the team's official Web site. "If I pitch like I did, more times than not we'll get a win."

Cook is 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 10 starts and 12 career games against Arizona.

Eric Byrnes went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for the Diamondbacks on Friday to raise his average to .313. He is 3-for-8 with two runs scored in his last two games.

(Copyright Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.)

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