If the Los Angeles Dodgers have finally found their offense, three games at Coors Field should confirm it.
Fresh off a two-game sweep of St. Louis, the Dodgers head to the thin air of Colorado for a weekend series with the Rockies.
The Dodgers are still batting a National League-low .242, but come in after scoring 15 runs in a pair of wins at Busch Stadium. Their 9-4 victory Thursday marked the most runs they have scored since May 9 when they beat Montreal 9-5.
“We swung the bats better in the last two days than we have swung them in the last three weeks combined,” manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s not even close.”
Shawn Green had four hits and scored four runs. Jolbert Cabrera had two hits and three RBIs and Adrian Beltre drove in two runs as the Dodgers won consecutive games for the first time since June 20-21.
“It felt good to get some hits,” Green said. “Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.”
Los Angeles took a season-high 10-game win streak to Coors in May, but was outscored 25-8 in a three-game sweep. The Dodgers pitched to a 1.62 ERA during their streak, but limped away with a 14.72 ERA after three games in Denver.
The Rockies boast the majors’ best home record, and are coming off a two-game home sweep of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, including an 11-3 victory Thursday.
Wilson was 7-for-9 with 10 RBIs in the two games, raising his average to .307.
The All-Star center fielder leads the NL with 89 RBIs—five more than the team record before the All-Star break—and has 22 homers.
“He’s been aces,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s gotten straight A’s so far.”
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 3rd place, 6 1/2 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Hideo Nomo (9-8, 2.71 ERA). Despite boasting the NL’s fifth-lowest ERA, Nomo has lost his last two starts, giving up a combined eight runs and 13 hits in 13 innings. The Japanese right-hander has struck out 16 over that span. In a 2-1 home loss to Arizona on Sunday, he allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings. He is 7-2 lifetime against Colorado with a 4.53 ERA in 13 starts. Nomo defied the odds by throwing a no-hitter at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Denny Stark (0-0, 4.22 ERA). The right-hander has made two starts since coming back from three months on the disabled list with a torn muscle in his pitching shoulder. Stark went 11-4 with a 4.00 ERA last season. The Rockies won his debut, a 7-4 home victory over Arizona on July 1, before suffering a 3-1 loss at Milwaukee on Sunday. He allowed an earned run and five hits over six innings. Stark is 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA in four games, including three starts, against the Dodgers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .315 avg.; Fred McGriff and Green, 10 HRs; Green, 43 RBIs and 44 runs; Dave Roberts, 24 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .343 avg. and 81 runs; Wilson, 22 HRs and 89 RBIs; Wilson and Larry Walker, 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 3-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - RHP Nomo is 6-2 with a 1.47 ERA on the road this season. … In his last 23 outings, RHP Paul Quantrill has allowed three earned runs in 21 2-3 innings. … RHP Guillermo Mota hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings, tying a season high for the Dodgers. Rockies - Colorado’s previous record for RBIs before the All-Star break was 84, set by Andres Galarraga in 1997 and 1B Helton in 2000. … LHP Oliver’s homer Thursday was the second by a Rockies pitcher this season. RHP Shawn Chacon had the other April 15 at Arizona. … Colorado has scored an NL-leading 520 runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 23-21 on the road; Rockies - 33-15 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B McGriff (groin), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Rockies - RHP Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL.