A stunning turnaround and their longest winning streak in 13 years has put the Los Angeles Dodgers within striking distance of the top spot in the NL West.
They’ll look to match their longest win streak in 30 years and, with some help, move into first place in their division when they continue their four-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles (58-55) has won 11 straight, its longest winning streak since May 17-29, 1993, to move within one-half game of San Diego, which lost 3-2 to the New York Mets on Tuesday.
The Dodgers beat the Rockies 4-2 to extend their winning streak and remain tied with Cincinnati atop the NL Wild Card standings. The Reds defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 on Tuesday.
The Dodgers haven’t won 12 in a row since April 24-May 5, 1976. The franchise record is 15 straight, by the 1924 Brooklyn Robins.
That Los Angeles is in this position is remarkable, given that it lost 13 of 14 after the All-Star break and fell eight games below .500 following a 10-3 loss to San Diego on July 26 that left the Dodgers 7 1/2 games behind the Padres.
Los Angeles hasn’t lost since, and got some timely hitting on Tuesday night to beat the Rockies (54-58).
“Saenz has been very steady for us,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “He gets the big hits at the right times this year.”
Derek Lowe (9-7, 4.15 ERA) looks for his third straight victory when he starts for the Dodgers on Wednesday. After a three-game losing streak in mid-July, the veteran right-hander has rebounded with wins in his last two outings, and gave up five hits and one run in seven innings to beat Florida 6-2 on Friday.
“If you look at my numbers in July, they were as bad as anybody’s in baseball,” Lowe said. “I was glad to get seven good innings in tonight. The defense was tremendous. They made three or four outstanding plays.
“There were a few ghosts in the back of my mind. It seemed it had been a long time since I pitched a good game.”
Lowe is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts against the Rockies this season, but is 3-1 with a 4.46 ERA in seven career outings against them.
Jeff Francis (9-9, 3.55) looks for his fourth win in five starts when he takes the mound for the Rockies. The left-hander has allowed fewer than three earned runs in each of his last four outings, going 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA in that span.
He allowed six hits and two runs in eight innings to beat San Francisco 5-2 on Friday.
“I feel fired up, I feel like I came and did my job, which I haven’t been able to do at this park yet,” Francis said.
Francis is 1-1 with a 3.47 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles.
The Rockies have lost three straight and are 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the wild card standings.