DENVER (AP) - Taijuan Walker struck out a career-high 10, Daniel Descalso homered and the surging Arizona Diamondbacks started a key weekend series with a 9-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

The Diamondbacks won their eighth straight and increased their lead to 4 1/2 games over the Rockies for the first NL wild-card spot. Milwaukee beat Washington on Friday to pull within 1 1/2 games of Colorado for the second wild card.

The Rockies fanned 12 times in losing for the third time in four games.

Walker (8-7) lasted only five innings due to a high pitch count, but he made big pitches when it counted. He struck out Carlos Gonzalez on a 77 mph curveball to end the first inning with the bases loaded and got Mark Reynolds looking with two on in the second.