This is not the type of streak the Colorado Rockies were hoping for down the stretch run.
The surging Los Angeles Dodgers look to saddle the Rockies with their eighth straight loss and extend their lead atop the NL West as the teams conclude a three-game series Sunday at Coors Field.
Los Angeles (77-71) is playing its best baseball at the perfect time, winning 12 of its last 13 games to open a 4 1/2-game lead over fading Arizona in the West.
“We are hot right now,” said Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin, who is batting .315 (56-for-178) in 51 games against the Rockies. “We’re hot at the right time just like (the Rockies) were last year. And like them, it hasn’t been just one guy. Manny (Ramirez) and Casey (Blake) have given us something, but a lot of people have given us something over the recent stretch.”
The Dodgers beat the slumping Rockies 5-1 on Saturday night for their fourth straight win overall and third in a row against Colorado (67-82).
Rookie Clayton Kershaw allowed four singles in six innings and Martin drove in a pair of runs as Los Angeles moved a season-best six games over .500.
“We felt early on that we were lucky to be as close as we were with our record,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “I think this last road trip was a real wake-up call for us where we lost the first eight games and all of a sudden we feel we have something special going and we won’t let that go.”
The seven-game skid is one shy of Colorado’s longest of the season set June 22-30. Saturday’s loss also assured the Rockies of a losing season for the seventh time in eight years.
“They’re playing with confidence, they’re getting good pitching, some timely hitting, they’re playing good baseball,” Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said of the Dodgers. “That’s why they’re kind of taking off with it.”
The Rockies will now face veteran Greg Maddux (7-12, 4.24 ERA), who is 16-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 30 starts against them. Maddux, though, is 1-3 with a 5.96 ERA in four starts since being traded to the Dodgers from San Diego on Aug. 19, and 1-4 with a 4.85 ERA in his last five outings overall.
The 42-year-old right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings as the Dodgers lost 4-0 to the Padres on Monday night.
Colorado will counter with Aaron Cook (16-9, 4.16), who is 0-1 with a 10.00 ERA in his last two starts.
The right-hander allowed four runs and six hits in six innings as Colorado lost 5-4 in 10 innings to Atlanta on Tuesday night. After that road start, Cook will look to end his struggles at home. He is 1-4 with an 8.02 ERA in his last six starts at Coors Field.
Cook, however, is 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in two starts versus the Dodgers this season. He is 5-5 with a 4.18 ERA in 12 starts and five relief appearances all-time against Los Angeles.
He could use some run support from a Rockies team that is batting .214 with 64 strikeouts during the seven-game skid. Colorado struck out 13 times Saturday.
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