Los Angeles (84-62) at Colorado (63-83)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 17, 2004
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With their lead in the NL West getting slimmer, the Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping Hideo Nomo can find his fastball as they open a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Nomo is making his fourth start after missing two months because of inflammation in his right rotator cuff. In the Dodgers’ 7-6 home loss to St. Louis on Sunday, the Japanese right-hander’s fastball was no better than 87 mph and he gave up six runs and nine hits over 3 2-3 innings. He has a 6.32 ERA since coming off the disabled list.

“I didn’t think I pitched that bad today,” Nomo said. “The pitches they hit weren’t located where I wanted them to be. I still don’t think I pitched too bad.”

A 16-game winner in each of the previous two seasons, Nomo has lost 10 of his last 11 decisions.

However, he is 10-2 with a 4.57 ERA in 17 career starts against the Rockies. Nomo also threw the only no-hitter in the history of Coors Field in a 9-0 victory on Sept. 17, 1996, a year after winning Rookie of the Year honors with Los Angeles.

The Dodgers dropped two of three to the visiting San Diego Padres, including Thursday’s 3-0 loss. Their division lead was cut to 2 1/2 games over second-place San Francisco—their smallest advantage since July 31.

Los Angeles has lost four of five overall.

Adrian Beltre, who leads the majors with 45 homers, was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday night’s game because of soreness in his left foot and lower back. He went 2-for-4.

“I don’t know that he’s 100 percent, but he’s in there,” manager Jim Tracy said. “He wants to be in there.”

The Rockies lost the last three of their four-game set at Arizona with Thursday’s 8-5 defeat. Clint Barmes hit a two-run homer for Colorado, which lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Todd Helton was 0-for-3 and finished the series 0-for-11. The All-Star first baseman is fourth in the NL with a .332 batting average.

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Starting Pitchers

H. Nomo KC vs. J. Wright Tex
4-11 Record 2-3
8.25 ERA 4.12
54 K 41
42 BB 45
1.75 WHIP 1.61