The division rivals open a three-game set at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, as the Dodgers look to continue their recent dominance of the Rockies.
Los Angeles (60-59) won 95 games to capture the West in 2009, with Colorado (61-56) finishing three games back to take the wild card.
One year later, first-place San Diego leads the third-place Rockies by nine games and the fourth-place Dodgers by 11. Three clubs are ahead of both teams for the wild card.
Los Angeles is 27-15 against division foes, and 18-6 against Colorado since the start of last season. The Dodgers won four of six meetings in May, including two victories by Tuesday’s starter Clayton Kershaw(notes) (10-7, 3.17 ERA).
Kershaw posted a 1.38 ERA in those games, and enters with a 22-inning scoreless streak at home against Colorado. He has struck out 25 in that span while yielding eight hits and 14 walks.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA in his last three outings. Kershaw gave up two runs over 6 2-3 innings and did not get a decision in a 10-9 loss at Philadelphia on Thursday.
He outdueled Jhoulys Chacin(notes) (5-8, 4.04) on May 30 in a 4-3 road victory by allowing two runs over five innings while Chacin gave up four in 5 1-3. Chacin beat the Dodgers on May 8, yielding six hits over 7 1-3 innings in an 8-0 rout at Los Angeles.
The right-hander is taking the place of Jeff Francis(notes), who was placed on the disabled list Saturday with left shoulder soreness. Chacin was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs on July 24 after going 5-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 12 starts before being demoted to the bullpen after a July 2 outing against San Francisco.
Los Angeles dropped five of six to end a seven-game road trip, and was stifled in a four-game series against Atlanta. The Dodgers totaled six runs to lose three of four, blowing a two-run, ninth-inning lead in Monday night’s 4-3 loss.
Colorado has been a different team at home and on the road. The Rockies lead the majors with a .298 home average at hitter-friendly Coors Field, and are one of the worst teams in the majors on the road at .232.
Troy Tulowitzki’s(notes) RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Colorado to a 6-5 victory over Milwaukee on Sunday. Second baseman Clint Barmes’(notes) error in the top half of the inning allowed the tying run to score with two outs.
“The statement of the club to come back and do what it did, and pick up an incredible teammate speaks volumes as to who they are and what they’ve been about for a long period of time,” manager Jim Tracy told the Rockies’ official website.