Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers still own the best record in baseball, but they won't be the hottest team on the field Saturday at Coors Field.

That would be the Colorado Rockies, who seek a sixth straight win while trying to send the Dodgers to their longest skid in almost two years.

While Los Angeles (32-20) holds the best record in the majors despite a five-game slide, Colorado (22-29) has slugged its way to a five-game winning streak, the club's longest since a seven-game run from April 9-15, 2011.

The Rockies are hitting .374 with 13 homers and 53 runs during their run, which continued with a 13-3 rout Friday in the opener of this three-game series.

"Coming out of spring training, we felt this was what our lineup could do," said Michael Cuddyer, who hit one of Colorado's three homers. "It's a very deep lineup, one through eight, that can go out there and produce. We're gaining confidence now, and be where we're supposed to be."

Cuddyer is batting .429 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and six walks in 11 his last games.

Carlos Gonzalez's production has been even more impressive. He's hitting .451 with seven homers and 15 RBIs in the past 12 contests. The left fielder has connected for six of those homers while knocking in 11 runs in the last six games.

Gonzalez has a career .438 average with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in 24 home meetings with the Dodgers. He's also 5 for 12 with two doubles and a homer off Aaron Harang, Saturday's scheduled starter.

Also on a tear is Dexter Fowler, who's 14 for 23 with three homers and nine RBIs in six games.

"We're just putting it together as a group, as a team," Gonzalez said. "We have so many good hitters here who can do a lot of damage."

The Rockies are scheduled to give the ball to Juan Nicasio (2-2, 5.11 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 5.86 ERA in five starts since beating the Dodgers on April 30.

In that meeting, the right-hander allowed two runs over six innings in a 6-2 victory. He was even more effective in the next matchup at Los Angeles on May 12, yielding one run with nine strikeouts in seven innings but left without a decision in a 2-1 loss.

The Dodgers will try to solve Nicasio this time in order to avoid losing six in a row for the first time since Sept. 4-9, 2010.

They've been outscored 30-11 over their last five games, but are showing signs of reversing that trend by hitting .317 over the last three. However, that includes a .219 average with runners in scoring position.

Harang (3-3, 4.14) is 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA in his last six starts against the Rockies, but that victory came opposite Nicasio on May 12. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and four hits in eight innings.

However, he has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in each of his last two starts and is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in those outings.

What to Read Next