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09/25/08 3:21 AM ET

De La Rosa on verge of career year

Colorado (73-85) at San Francisco (70-88), Thurs., 8:15 p.m. MT

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will make his final start of the season on Thursday night as he tries to help the Rockies sweep the Giants in a three-game set.

But it appears De La Rosa won't end there.

De La Rosa, who has career highs in wins (nine) and strikeouts (121), could be playing winter ball in Mexico. Manager Clint Hurdle also said there is a possibility that De La Rosa will pitch for Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Who can blame De La Rosa for wanting to continue his roll? He is 6-3 with a 3.41 ERA since the All-Star break. A victory or no-decision would give him his first winning season in the Majors, and he is seven innings shy of his career high -- 130 in 2007.

Pitching matchup
COL: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (9-8, 5.20 ERA)
De La Rosa was extremely sharp against the D-backs on Friday, giving up just one run on three hits in six innings to earn the win. He had problems with his command in the fourth inning, when he threw a wild pitch and walked two straight batters to load the bases, but Ian Stewart made a leaping catch at third to bail him out. Besides that -- and Adam Dunn's solo home run in the sixth -- De La Rosa had little trouble, striking out six in the outing.

SF: LHP Barry Zito (10-16, 5.28 ERA)
Despite starting the season 0-8, Zito has reached double figures in victories for the eighth consecutive season. A 4-1 surge in his last seven starts has helped Zito regain some equilibrium. Zito began throwing a slider earlier in the season and wasn't comfortable with it, but lately he has relied on it more, and it has made his other pitches more effective, particularly his changeup. Zito excelled in his only previous appearance against the Rockies, allowing two runs and four hits in eight innings on Sept. 3 at Coors Field in San Francisco's 9-2 triumph.

Hurdle announced on Wednesday that left-hander Glendon Rusch will start Saturday against the D-backs at Chase Field, instead of rookie Greg Reynolds, who has struggled mightily lately. Rusch will make his first start since Aug. 14, when he filled in when Aaron Cook had a start delayed because of back issues. ... Left fielder Matt Holliday got his career-high ninth assist of the season on Wednesday night.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
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Up next
• Friday: Rockies (Jason Hirsh, 0-0, 10.38) at Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 16-8, 3.27), 7:40 p.m. MT
• Saturday: Rockies (Glendon Rusch, 5-5, 5.08) at Diamondbacks (Brandon Webb, 22-7, 3.24), 6:10 p.m. MT
• Sunday: Rockies (TBD) at Diamondbacks (TBD), 2:10 p.m. MT

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.