Los Angeles (58-42) at Colorado (44-57)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 3:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 29, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Wilson Alvarez has given the Dodgers whatever they’ve needed since signing with Los Angeles in 2003. The versatile left-hander will try to win his fourth straight decision and help the NL West leaders salvage a split of their four-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Alvarez, who went 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 21 appearances—13 starts—for Los Angeles last year, has been just as effective this season. The 13-year veteran, who lost the better part of several seasons due to injuries, has pitched effectively out of the bullpen and provided the Dodgers with quality starts.

On Saturday, he filled in for injured starter Edwin Jackson (forearm), and yielded just one run and five hits over seven strong innings in a 12-2 victory over San Diego. Alvarez has surrendered one earned run or fewer in 13 of his 21 starts for the Dodgers over the past two seasons.

Los Angeles has won each of the five games Alvarez has appeared in this month, with the southpaw allowing eight earned runs over 25 2-3 innings during that stretch.

Alvarez did run into early trouble Saturday, but was bailed out when Juan Encarnacion robbed Ryan Klesko of a potential three-run homer by scaling the wall in the first inning.

“I think he’s the hero tonight,” Alvarez said of Encarnacion. “That was the whole difference in the game, that catch right there.”

The Dodgers entered Colorado with an 18-3 mark in July. But after a 9-7 victory in Monday’s series opener, Los Angeles has dropped consecutive games for the first time this month.

On Wednesday, Aaron Miles hit a tiebreaking single off Los Angeles relievers Guillermo Mota in the eighth inning and Jeromy Burnitz homered in his sixth straight home game to tie a team record, leading the Rockies to a 5-4 victory.

Burnitz hit a solo shot in the sixth inning, giving him eight homers in his last 10 games overall. Dante Bichette also homered in six straight home games in 1995.

Adrian Beltre and Olmedo Saenz homered for Los Angeles, which is 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Diego in the West. The San Francisco Giants are 3 1/2 games back.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Alvarez LAD vs. J. Wright LAD
7-6 Record 2-3
4.03 ERA 4.12
102 K 41
31 BB 45
1.16 WHIP 1.61