Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Since dropping the final two games of their recent homestand, the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten back on track by opening a two-stop road trip with back-to-back wins at Coors Field.

In contrast, the Colorado Rockies are simply trying to avoid falling to the worst record in baseball.

As Dan Haren looks to build on his best performance of the season, the Dodgers seek their seventh victory in eight road games Saturday while trying to hand the plummeting Rockies their 17th loss in 19 contests.

After moving into first place at the end of June, Los Angeles (50-39) opened this month by slipping back into second following its first back-to-back losses since June 11-12 at Cincinnati.

The Dodgers, though, have regrouped from their home series loss to Cleveland thanks in part to more of the solid starting pitching that has keyed their current 15-6 stretch. They've limited the Rockies to two runs while winning the first two of this four-game set to move back atop the division.

Clayton Kershaw gave up two hits over eight innings in a 9-0 victory Friday, extending his scoreless streak to 36 innings - the third longest since the franchise relocated. Los Angeles starters have a MLB-best 2.11 ERA since June 13.

"You don't ever want to give up a run," Kershaw said. "I guess that's the goal."

Now the Dodgers will give the ball to Haren (8-4, 3.57 ERA) after he held the Indians to one hit over seven innings in a 1-0 victory Monday at Chavez Ravine.

The right-hander, however, has gone 1-3 with a 10.35 ERA in his last four starts versus Colorado (36-51). Three of those outings have taken place at hitter-friendly Coors.

The Rockies could be without three of their top hitters in this meeting with Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list and Troy Tulowitzki day to day because of tightness in his groin.

The Rockies, looking to end a five-game skid, haven't won with less than 10 runs in their last 18 contests. Colorado starters have a 7.65 ERA over that 2-16 stretch.

Following a 22-14 start, the Rockies would have baseball's worst record with a loss and victories by Houston and Arizona.

"We've got to be tired of getting kicked around," manager Walt Weiss said. "I think it's up to us to do something about it."

Jorge De La Rosa (8-6, 4.86) hasn't been sharp over the past month, going 2-3 with a 7.11 ERA in his last six starts following a stretch in which he went 6-0 with a 1.80 mark.

De La Rosa allowed a season-worst eight runs over 3 1-3 innings in an 8-0 loss at Dodger Stadium on June 18. He's also 2-5 with a 7.65 ERA in seven career home starts versus Los Angeles after giving up five runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-1 loss June 8.

Matt Kemp is 4 for 7 with a triple, double and four RBIs when facing the left-hander this season and is 15 for 33 with three home runs and 12 RBIs all-time.

Hanley Ramirez, 1 for 4 since returning to the lineup Thursday, has gone 10 for 25 with two homers versus De La Rosa. Adrian Gonzalez is 10 for 23 with two home runs against him since 2010.

After getting three more hits Friday, Dee Gordon is batting .452 over his last 10 contests.

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