The Diamondbacks are adding a little extra heat to the Backs their first National League West title since 2007.
The club still has one more series left this month and Arizona will try to secure its season-best 10th straight home victory tonight in the opener of a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks are trying to close out the month on a roll and have won six straight overall. That has helped them take a four-game lead over the defending champion Giants in the division, an advantage that was extended thanks to Sunday's 6-1 victory over the Padres.
Ian Kennedy became the NL's first 17-game winner with seven innings of one-run ball, while Collin Cowgill went 4-for-4 and hit his first major league homer. Aaron Hill added a two-run shot in the three-game sweep, his first home run since being acquired from Toronto on Tuesday.
Arizona is in a good position to continue its hot play at Chase Field as it has won 11 of its past 15 at home over Colorado. The Diamondbacks have won eight of 12 overall versus the Rockies in 2011, including five of the past six meetings.
Looking to pitch the D-Backs to a victory in tonight's opener will be Daniel Hudson, who came within an out of his first career shutout in his last start but can still make it two victories in a row this evening.
Hudson has alternated wins and losses over his past six starts and is coming off a win over the Nationals on Wednesday. He lasted 8 2/3 innings, but his final two pitches were both driven over the fence for home runs to spoil his shutout bid.
"I wanted him to finish it out, but he gave up back-to-back home runs," said manager Kirk Gibson, who elected to bring in closer J.J. Putz. "J.J.'s done a great job in that role. It was a no-brainer."
The right-handed Hudson struck out six without a walk and is 13-9 with a 3.75 earned run average in 27 starts this season. The 24-year-old has dropped both of his starts versus the Rockies this year, allowing eight runs and 16 hits over 12 1/3 innings.
Alex White will attempt to celebrate his 23rd birthday tonight with his first victory in a Rockies uniform.
One of the key return pieces in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians, White made his Rockies debut on Tuesday and allowed five runs on seven hits, including two homers, over six innings of a no-decision versus the Astros. Still, he left manager Jim Tracy impressed in the third inning as he recovered after allowing two runs and stopped the bleeding with an inning- ending double play.
"A guy making his first start for us, to handle that situation in the third inning in the manner in which he did, that's a quantum leap for me," Tracy said.
The right-hander had made three starts with the Indians prior to the trade and is 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA overall this season.
Colorado went into its weekend series with Los Angeles having won five straight, but dropped the first two games of the series before salvaging Sunday's finale with a 7-6 win. Kevin Kouzmanoff had two hits and drove in four runs, smacking a three-run double as part of a five-run first inning.
That was just enough to get starter Jhoulys Chacin the win as he gave up four runs over five-plus innings. He struck out six, but walked the first three batters he faced in the sixth frame to end his day.
Carlos Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 15 games with three hits and also saved a pair of runs with a diving catch of a slicing liner towards the right-field line to end the fourth inning.
"Put Carlos' catch in the fourth inning up there with all the others," said Tracy.
Gonzalez has seven hits in his last two games and is batting .417 (25-for-60) with eight homers and 26 RBI over his hitting streak.