Dodgers-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Zack Greinke will again try to become the NL's first pitcher to win nine games after struggling in his first attempt.

The right-hander looks to bounce back from one of his worst performances of the season Saturday when the Los Angeles Dodgers attempt to send the Colorado Rockies to a ninth straight loss.

Greinke (8-2, 2.50 ERA) is tied with San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright of St. Louis for the most wins in the league, and he's also among the leaders in ERA and strikeouts (83).

He didn't perform like one of the NL's best pitchers Sunday, surrendering four runs - his most since July 25 - in six innings of a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh. He was 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA over his previous four starts.

Greinke is 11-1 with a 1.86 ERA in his last 16 road starts, yielding six earned runs in 32 1-3 innings away from home this year. However, he was hit hard in two outings at Coors Field last year despite going 1-0, allowing nine runs and 15 hits - two homers - with 10 walks in 10 1-3 innings.

The Dodgers (32-30), though, have been outstanding offensively in their last seven games at Coors, batting .348 while averaging 7.4 runs. They won 7-2 in Friday's opener of this three-game series, collecting 12 hits after batting .204 during a 2-6 stretch.

"This is a pretty good offensive field. It's good for everybody," manager Don Mattingly said.

The Rockies (28-32), meanwhile, are having major pitching issues, posting a 7.30 ERA during an eight-game skid while letting opponents hit .343. They haven't dropped nine straight since Sept. 15-23, 2012.

Colorado has a major league-worst 4.56 ERA, and Jhoulys Chacin (0-4, 5.51) hasn't helped that cause. He takes the mound for his seventh chance at his first win of 2014 after getting a career-high 14 last year. Each of the right-hander's six starts have ended in defeat for the Rockies, while he's failed to pitch beyond the sixth inning.

Chacin was pulled after the fifth Sunday, surrendering four runs and issuing a season high-tying five walks while not getting a decision in a 6-4 defeat at Cleveland.

He may be in for another rough outing since he's 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA over his last four home starts against the Dodgers.

Adrian Gonzalez is 6 for 13 against him and may be looking forward to facing Chacin since he's batting .133 over the past nine games and is hitless in 13 straight at-bats.

Dee Gordon, who homered for his only hit in three at-bats versus Chacin, is 5 for 8 with three extra-base hits and two steals over the past two games. The second baseman tripled on two of his three hits Friday and had a career-high three RBIs.

"It was just fun getting on base," Gordon said. "That's it, getting on base, giving us a chance to win."

He's 8 for 19 in his last four meetings with Colorado.

Troy Tulowitzki has the hot bat for the Rockies, collecting two hits in four straight games with two homers, two doubles and four RBIs. The All-Star shortstop leads the majors with a .359 average, and he's hitting a staggering .505 at home.

Tulowitzki is batting .368 with 18 RBIs in his past 18 home meetings versus Los Angeles, but he's 4 for 19 against Greinke.

What to Read Next