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ARI@SD: Cahill fans five over six strong innings

With a rain-soaked, walk-off win Saturday night, the Rockies accomplished by mid-April what they couldn't during the entire 2011 season -- a series victory over the division-rival D-backs.

On Sunday they'll be looking to make it a clean sweep.

Arizona righty Trevor Cahill will face 23-year-old Drew Pomeranz, the highly touted prospect who came to the Rockies in last year's Ubaldo Jimenez trade. It will be the first start of the season for Pomeranz, who was brilliant in his five spring outings, allowing just one run and 11 hits over 17 innings.

"There's more life to his pitches than when he was competing for us last September," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who noted the club's plans to skip Pomeranz's starts whenever possible to prevent wear and tear. "There's no getting around the fact he had a tremendous Spring Training."

Pomeranz threw 77 pitches in four scoreless innings on Tuesday with Double-A Tulsa. He was again effective, though he threw more pitches than he would have liked to for such a short start.

For Cahill, Sunday will mark his second start in a D-backs uniform after being traded from Oakland in the offseason. Though he only allowed a run and two hits through six innings his last time out, Cahill was frustrated with poor control that led to six walks.

He said he "had no idea" where the ball was going when it left his hand.

"I didn't see any big differences mechanically or anything," Cahill said. "Sometimes you feel where it's coming out, sometimes it just comes out different every time."

One of Cahill's most important jobs will be offering some help for a weary bullpen that has thrown nine innings during the first two games of the series at Coors Field.

That bullpen has twice been beaten by Colorado first baseman Todd Helton. On Friday, Helton's eighth inning RBI double won the game for the Rockies, and on Saturday it was a dramatic two-out, two-run, walk-off homer in the ninth.

D-backs: Living on the edge
The D-backs' first eight games have all been decided by either one or two runs, the first time that has happened to any Major League club since 1986.

To start the '86 season, both the Padres and the Dodgers went 10 games before seeing a margin of victory of three or more. Since 1980, only those three clubs have started the season in such a fashion.

• Center fielder Chris Young has reached base safely in each of the D-backs eight games this season. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday to bring his average to .345.

Rockies: Gonzalez uncertain with strep throat
Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was not in the lineup on Saturday because of strep throat, and his status for Sunday's game remains uncertain.

Gonzalez played with the ailment on Friday, and went 2-for-5, upping his average to .290 this year. Playing in place of Gonzalez on Saturday, Tyler Colvin hit a two-run homer and had two hits.

• Outfielder Charlie Blackmon was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, and he was subsequently optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

• Helton has eight hits in his first 17 at-bats this season with runners on base, a stark contrast to his 0-for-11 mark with the bases empty.

Worth noting
• Until Helton's walk-off homer on Saturday, D-backs closer J.J. Putz hadn't allowed a run in 11 1/3 career innings against the Rockies. He has recorded 15 strikeouts, eight saves and, now, one blown save.

• Because Cahill spent the first three years of his career in the American League, he doesn't have much of a track record against Rockies hitters. But he has faced Michael Cuddyer, the former Twin, nine times. Cuddyer has just a single and a walk against the D-backs righty.

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