Los Angeles, 3-1 on its six-game trip and 8-2 in its last 10 games overall, took two of three from San Francisco to start the trip before hanging on for a 5-4 win over Colorado in the series opener Monday.
The victory moved the Dodgers (20-19) one game over .500 for just the second time this season and first since they were 4-3 on April 10.
Nomar Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single and J.D. Drew followed with a two-run double during a decisive three-run seventh on Monday to back Brett Tomko, who tossed seven innings of two-run ball to improve to 5-1.
Tomko extended his streak of allowing three runs or less to six starts, one fewer than Derek Lowe, who will make his ninth start Tuesday.
Lowe (1-2, 2.98 ERA) has been a victim of poor run support in his second season with Los Angeles. He has allowed two runs or less and pitched at least six innings in seven straight starts, but has just one win to show for it.
The Dodgers have scored 45 runs in Lowe’s eight starts, but 26 came in his first three outings. In Lowe’s last five starts, Los Angeles has averaged 3.8 runs a contest.
The right-hander gave up four runs—two earned—in seven innings without recording a strikeout for the second time this season in a 4-2 loss to Houston on Thursday. Lowe entered 2006 having registered at least one strikeout in 152 of his 155 starts.
He is 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA in five starts against the Rockies.
Garciaparra, who was signed by the Dodgers in the offseason and played his first game on April 22 after recovering from a rib cage injury, is 19-for-43 (.442) with three homers and 14 RBIs during his hitting streak.
“I’m happy to be playing,” he said. “I’m happy to be where I’m at, happy to be with this club. That’s the way it is.”
Despite the loss Monday, the Rockies (21-18) are off to their fourth-best start in team history after 39 games and will turn to Byung-Hyun Kim (1-1, 5.89) on Tuesday. It will be the right-hander’s fourth start since returning from a hamstring strain suffered in spring training.
Kim pitched well in his first two outings, allowing five runs in 13 2-3 innings while striking out 18 and walking just two. In his last start, though, he gave up seven runs and 10 hits—including a pair of two-run homers—in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-4 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday.
Kim was a spot starter for Colorado in 2005 before being inserted into the rotation in June for the remainder of the season after continued struggles in the bullpen. He went 5-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 22 starts compared to an 0-3 mark and 7.66 ERA as a reliever.
He is 5-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 32 appearances against Los Angeles.
Brad Hawpe, who hit his ninth home run and had two of Colorado’s six hits Monday, is 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs in his career against Lowe.
The Rockies are 9-4 in their last 13 games against the Dodgers, including a 5-2 mark at home.