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COL@ARI: De La Rosa allows two earned runs in six

The Yankees don't have a long and grandiose history in Colorado, but manager Joe Girardi has an intimate connection of his own. New York will be playing just its third series on the road against the Rockies, and Girardi will be revisiting a place he called home during his playing career.

Girardi, a member of the original Rockies, caught for Colorado from 1993 to 1995 before being granted free agency and signing with the Yankees. Girardi went on to win two World Series in New York as a player and one more as a manager, but he remembers his time with the Rockies fondly.

"It was a very enjoyable time of my life, being part of that organization at the beginning, and the fan support we had at Mile High [Stadium], then going over to Coors Field," said Girardi in advance of Tuesday's series opener. "The first pitcher we faced at Coors Field, I remember, was Andy Pettitte in an exhibition game. ... People were great to me. I have family there. I'm looking forward to it."

New York will go into this series with a modest sense of momentum. The Yankees won seven of 10 games during their recent homestand, and they've won six of their last eight series. Hiroki Kuroda will get the ball in Tuesday's opener, and he'll be matched against Jorge De La Rosa for the Rockies.

The Yankees are just 2-4 all-time at Coors Field, and the last time they visited, in 2007, resulted in a three-game series sweep for the Rockies.

The Rockies dropped their first Interleague series of the season to the Rays, but they can get back in charge of the division by thriving against the Yankees. Juan Nicasio will be matched against David Phelps on Wednesday, and Jeff Francis will start against fellow southpaw CC Sabathia in Thursday's finale.

Kuroda has won four straight decisions for the Yankees, and he is yet to allow more than two earned runs in any start this season. The right-hander has completed at least six innings in four straight outings, and he has allowed just two home runs -- both against Toronto -- in his first six starts of the year.

The Rockies will turn to De La Rosa, who has pitched well for most of the season. The southpaw gave up 11 hits and six earned runs last Tuesday in a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers. But prior to that start, De La Rosa had a 2.86 ERA, and he has given up more than three earned runs just twice in six starts.

Yankees: Cano driving offense
Robinson Cano has been the key lineup cog for the Yankees this season, staying healthy and consistent even as everything around him remains in flux. Cano, amazingly, has played in more games as a Yankee (1,244) than the other 12 position players (1,113) on the active roster combined.

Cano had two hits and an RBI in Sunday's loss to Oakland, and he'll go into the Colorado series with a .325 average and eight home runs in his first 30 games. Cano has hit safely in six straight and in nine of his last 10 games, but he has managed to drive in just five runs in his last 11 starts.

Rockies:
The Rockies may have a star on their hands. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has homered three times in his first seven games with the Rockies following a promotion from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Arenado, a former second-round draftee, was batting .364 in his first 18 games with Colorado Springs.

The right-handed hitter methodically rolled through Colorado's organization, and he batted .285 for Double-A Tulsa last year in his first taste of upper-level pitching. Arenado, just 22 years old, is a career .299 hitter in the Minor Leagues, and he drove in 286 runs in 432 Minor League games.

Worth noting
• The Yankees have allowed their opponent to score first in 10 of their last 14 games.

• New York is 7-5 all time vs. Colorado.

• Kuroda is 1-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 11 career starts against Colorado.

• The Rockies designated Chris Nelson for assignment and subsequently traded him to the Yankees, and the infielder has played in two games and gone 0-for-7 for his new team.

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