After a rocky start, Jason Jennings is starting resemble the pitcher who won the National League Rookie-of-the-Year award last season.
Jennings hopes to give the Colorado Rockies another quality start as they continue their three-game series against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.
Jennings went 14-8 in 2002, but stumbled out of the gate this season with a 1-3 record and a 7.92 ERA after his first five starts. He’s turned thing around since, going 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA over his last four starts to even his record at 3-3 and lower his ERA to 5.55.
The Dodgers will have their own surging pitcher going as left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii takes the mound.
He lost his first decision of the year, but has since posted a 3-0 record with an impressive 1.93 ERA in seven starts. Ishii has held the opposition to two runs or less in six straight starts.
Opposing batters are hitting just .176 against the Japanese hurler.
Los Angeles right-hander Kevin Brown started the Dodgers off on the right foot against Colorado. Brown allowed one run and three hits while striking out nine to lead Los Angeles to a 3-1 win over the Rockies on Tuesday.
Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth inning for the Dodgers as he earned his major league-leading 16th save. Gagne has converted 24 straight save opportunities dating back to last season.
Los Angeles extended its winning streak to a season-high five games and has won 16 of 22. The Dodgers are a season-high five games over .500.
The loss was the 13th in 19 games for the Rockies.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 3rd place, 7 GB, NL West. Dodgers - 2nd place, 3 GB, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jennings (3-3, 5.55 ERA). The right-hander failed to figure in the decision in his last outing. Jennings held Montreal to one run and three hits over four innings as Colorado picked up a 4-2 win over the Expos on Thursday. Jennings is 3-1 with a 4.10 ERA in six career starts against Los Angeles.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ishii (3-1, 2.76 ERA). Ishii failed to earn a decision despite holding Atlanta to one run and three hits in six innings of a 3-1 Dodgers loss on May 13. He is 2-1 with 1.93 ERA in three starts against the Rockies.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Todd Helton, .323 avg. and 38 runs; Preston Wilson, 11 HRs, 42 RBIs and 5 SBs. Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .300 avg.; Fred McGriff, 6 HRs; Shawn Green, 22 RBIs; Dave Roberts and Green, 21 runs; Roberts, 18 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - RHP Nelson Cruz, 3-4 with a 6.97 ERA, was sent home for an MRI exam Wednesday. Cruz said doctors have told him he has biceps tendinitis and he hopes to be able to pitch again this weekend. … Colorado is tied with San Diego for the worst road record in the NL at 6-17. … OF Larry Walker is hitless in his last 10 at bats with five strikeouts to lower his batting average to .248. Walker is a .315 hitter for his career. Dodgers - C Lo Duca is batting .429 (6-for-14) with two home runs and a double against Jennings. … Los Angeles has scored a NL-low 163 runs. … LHP Ishii has an 11-2 record in 18 career starts in April and May.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 6-17 on the road; Dodgers - 14-9 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Denny Stark (back), 60-day DL; IF Pablo Ozuna (knee), 60-day DL; IF Juan Uribe (foot), 60-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL. Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (neck), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL.