Montero Continues Hot Streak, But D-Backs Have Officially Cooled After Losing 2 of 3 to Rox

The Arizona Diamondbacks' come-from-behind win Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies was great and all, but it don't mean squat unless a team can build some momentum from it. Consider the momentum unbuilt Wednesday, because the D-Backs dropped a tough one, 4-3, to the surging Rockies and lost yet another series. After entering the All-Star break on a relatively uplifting stretch during which they'd won seven of nine games, the D-Backs have regressed in the six games following the break, losing four of them.

Jon Garland, a pitcher who has been up and down all year long, was up on Wednesday, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings of work. He also struck out five. With the July 31 trade deadline looming, Garland's strong performance surely will catch the interest of contending teams who could use another arm down the stretch (that, of course, is just about all of them). Garland is making $6.25 million this season and has an unattractive $2.5 million mutual option next year. That makes him pricey, especially considering his slightly high 4.41 earned-run average and his low strikeout rate (only 55 K's in 122.1 innings pitched). But he is a postseason-tested competitor who was dominant in the White Sox 2005 march toward a World Series title.

Catcher Miguel Montero continued his hot streak on Wednesday, clobbering a three-run homer in the third inning to put the D-Backs ahead 3-2. "Miggy" is simply on a crazy-good tear right now. He's hit in 12 of his past 13 games, going 21 for 52, and has homered in four of his past seven. His season batting average is up to .289 and he has nine homers and 27 RBI on the year -- not bad for a part-time player. When Chris Snyder comes off the disabled list soon, he may find himself in a backup role.

The D-Backs dropped to 40-55 on the year, while the Rockies improved to 52-43, good for first place in the National League's wild card race.

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett