MIAMI (AP) - Back-to-back series wins at home against NL West opponents allowed the Colorado Rockies to make up some ground in a tightly contested division race.
The Rockies hope to carry that momentum on the road as they open a three-game series against the struggling Florida Marlins.
Colorado (53-51) is 14-9 this month, and is coming off series wins against the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, two teams ahead of the Rockies in the NL West standings.
After losing 5-4 to the Dodgers on Thursday and a rainout Friday, Colorado won both games over the weekend. Sunday's 9-6 victory moved the fourth-place Rockies within 3 1/2 games of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, who are tied for first place.
"For me personally, it's what you work for all offseason ... to get in a position and be in this position," Todd Helton told the Rockies' official Web site. "Now we just have to take advantage of it."
Colorado opens the series Tuesday with Aaron Cook (7-6, 4.22 ERA) on the mound.
Cook is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his last three starts. After pitching seven scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals on July 20, he needed just 74 pitches to notch a complete game on Wednesday, allowing seven hits in a 10-2 win over the Padres.
"I don't think I've ever seen a pitcher throw seven frames of single-digit pitches," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was filthy."
With the win, Cook improved to 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA this month after going 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA in five June starts. He's lasted at least six innings in all five July starts.
"I've always been confident, but when you start to win and you start to get good results it helps your confidence," Cook said. "Right now, things are going good. I'm going to keep riding it."
The right-hander's only start against the Marlins (49-57) was in 2003 at Dolphin Stadium. He allowed three runs and five hits in five innings of a 7-2 loss.
Florida returns home after a 1-6 road trip. The team's only win was an 8-5 victory over San Francisco on Sunday. After the Marlins gave up Barry Bonds' 754th career home run on Friday, the slugger was 1-for-7 against them the rest of the weekend.
"I don't even care about Barry Bonds being in the yard," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I'm just happy to get a win. It seems like it's almost been a month."
Scott Olsen (8-8, 5.31) takes the mound Tuesday for the Marlins. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed seven runs and 11 hits in five innings of a 7-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
The start came just four days after he was arrested and booked on charges of driving under the influence, resisting an officer with violence and fleeing and eluding an officer. According to what he told the team's official Web site, Olsen insisted the arrest had nothing to do with his poor outing.
Olsen's only start against the Rockies was last season. He allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-3 victory.
These teams are meeting for the first time this season. They split six matchups last year, with each sweeping a three-game series on the other's home field.
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