Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Last weekend's blockbuster trade hasn't paid immediate dividends for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which isn't conducive in their pursuit of the NL West crown.

Neither is the potential loss of Matt Kemp for any amount of time.

Kemp likely won't play Wednesday afternoon as visiting Los Angeles looks to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the surging Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers have lost three straight games since winning their first after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from Boston, getting outscored 24-6 during their skid.

Beckett was the losing pitcher in Monday's series-opening 10-0 defeat, and Gonzalez - 3 for 15 since joining the Dodgers - went 0 for 3 in Tuesday's 8-4 loss. Los Angeles (69-61), which was swept by San Francisco from Aug. 20-22, has fallen 3 1/2 games behind the Giants for the division lead.

"It starts with each one of us looking ourselves in the mirror and saying we need to go out there and play better,'' outfielder Andre Ethier said.

Making matters worse is the possible loss of Kemp, who crashed into the outfield fence while tracking a ball in the first inning Tuesday. He left the game shortly thereafter with a right knee contusion.

Manager Don Mattingly said he's pretty certain he'll keep Kemp out of the lineup Wednesday to rest.

"That kind of hit I'm expecting him to at least be out (Wednesday),'' Mattingly said. "The biggest bright spot, if you can take a bright spot, the knee didn't look damaged."

Los Angeles will look to end its skid with help from Joe Blanton (8-12, 5.02 ERA), who still is searching for his first victory with the Dodgers.

Blanton has struggled in four starts since being acquired from Philadelphia, going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. He gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to San Francisco on Aug. 21 in his most recent outing, though he said he feels he's getting closer to that elusive win.

"I thought it was the best I've thrown since I've been here," Blanton said. "All singles, ground balls through the hole, bloopers in the outfield."

The right-hander gave up five runs in seven innings of a June 20 win over Colorado for the Phillies, increasing his ERA to 5.71 in three career starts versus the Rockies.

Wilin Rosario went 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs on Tuesday for Colorado (53-75), which has won five of the last six meetings with the Dodgers and eight of its last 10 games overall.

"The at-bats that Wilin Rosario took tonight were very special,'' manager Jim Tracy said. "He hits his 22nd home run, but he drives in a couple of runs. He hits a breaking ball for a home run - that tickled me to death.''

Scheduled starter Drew Pomeranz (1-7, 4.78) will look to give Colorado a solid start under Tracy's limit of roughly 75 pitches. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning Friday against the Cubs before allowing a pair of solo homers. The left-hander left with the lead after the fifth, but the Rockies went on to lose 5-3.

Pomeranz has been effective in both of his starts against the Dodgers, though he has no decisions to show for it. He threw a season-high 113 pitches while allowing one run in 6 2-3 innings of Colorado's 8-5 home win May 2, then struck out seven in four innings of the Rockies' 2-0 victory Aug. 6 at Los Angeles.

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