Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers have new owners and are off to their best start in 29 years.

Sending reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to the mound could further the team's positive momentum.

Kershaw looks to become the first Dodger since 1985 to win 11 straight decisions in the conclusion of this three-game road set against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

The $2 billion sale of the Dodgers (17-7) to Guggenheim Baseball Management - a group which includes former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson - was finalized Tuesday, hours before they went out and beat Colorado 7-6 for their best start since 1983.

"I think the fans of L.A. are pretty excited about the new ownership and what it's bringing. As long as L.A. is happy, I'm happy," slugger Matt Kemp said. "As long as we're winning, I'm happy."

Kemp must surely be happy when Kershaw (2-0, 1.78 ERA) gets the ball. The left-hander is bidding to become the franchise's first to win 11 consecutive decisions since Orel Hershiser from July 18-Oct. 2, 1985.

Kershaw's 10-game winning streak over his last 14 starts includes a 1.22 ERA and 92 strikeouts, and it's the longest such streak by a Dodger since Ramon Martinez did it from August 1995 through May 1996.

Kershaw matched Martinez on Friday, when he yielded two runs and three hits while fanning six in eight innings of a 3-2 win over Washington.

"Wins, for the most part, aren't something I can control. The team has a lot to do with it," Kershaw told the team's official website. "The runs early are huge, and maintaining it throughout the game is huge. When you get early runs, it is important."

Kershaw is getting plenty of help on the road during his streak, as Los Angeles has backed him with an average of 6.6 runs in seven starts. However, it doesn't seem like he needs that much support since he's 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA outside Chavez Ravine.

A visit to Coors Field may cause some problems. He's split six decisions there with a 5.88 ERA in nine starts.

Kemp, though, has thrived in Denver of late, batting .395 with four homers and 10 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak there. The center fielder has two hits in this series, including a solo shot in Monday's 6-2 loss.

His .409 average and 12 homers lead the majors in both categories.

While the Dodgers are tied with Texas for the best record in baseball, the Rockies have dropped four of six, and manager Jim Tracy doesn't appear concerned nor willing to praise the NL West rivals.

"You have to be mindful that the season isn't one month long, it's six," Tracy said. "A good month does not a season make."

Carlos Gonzalez has raised his average 54 points to .300 through the first five games of this nine-game homestand. The left fielder has gone 9 for 19 with three homers, 11 RBIs and two stolen bases in that stretch, including a two-run shot Tuesday.

Production against the Dodgers isn't new for Gonzalez, who is hitting .509 with four homers and 16 RBIs in the past 13 matchups. However, he's hitting 3 for 18 with nine strikeouts versus Kershaw.

Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 5.40) is scheduled to get his first start against Los Angeles after forearm tightness cut his last appearance short.

The left-hander was pulled after four innings in Friday's 18-9 win over New York, yielding two runs - one earned.

"It just scared me, because I didn't know what it was," Pomeranz told the team's official website. "It could have just been a cramp, or it could have been anything. I just don't like to feel (new) things."

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