Rockies-Dodgers Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers hope more than a week between starts can help Aaron Harang bounce back from his worst outing of the season.

The extra rest, however, hasn't been much of a benefit to the veteran.

Coming off his first loss in more than a month, Harang looks to help the Dodgers rebound from a disappointing defeat Tuesday night against the lowly Colorado Rockies.

Los Angeles (59-51) was unable to build on any momentum from a weekend sweep over Chicago - the NL Central's fifth-place team - as it fell 2-0 in Monday's series opener to a Rockies club that is last in the NL West.

The loss especially hurt because the Dodgers, who finished with five hits, could have pulled into first place in the West. Instead, they remained one-half game back of San Francisco.

"We just didn't get any big hits," center fielder Matt Kemp said. "Their job is to get us out, and that's what they did."

Colorado (39-68), owner of baseball's second-worst record, is making a habit out of frustrating Los Angeles.

The Dodgers are 5-5 against a Rockies team that won for the fourth time in 18 games Monday. Colorado hasn't won back-to-back games in a series since sweeping a four-game set over Houston from May 28-31.

Harang (7-6, 3.76 ERA), who is coming off his first defeat since June 29, hasn't lost consecutive starts all season.

After going 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his first four July outings, Harang was knocked around for a season-worst seven runs and nine hits in five innings of last Monday's 7-2 loss to Arizona. The right-hander served up a three-run homer in the first inning and a fifth-inning grand slam after surrendering four home runs over his previous 10 starts.

The Dodgers have since added Joe Blanton to the rotation and kept Chris Capuano on regular rest, which has resulted in a long layoff for Harang. In his three outings with at least six days between starts, he is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and has walked 14 in 15 innings.

Harang has found success in his last two starts against the Rockies, though. He gave up a run over eight innings in a 2-1 win May 12 and allowed one run in six innings of a 6-2 victory June 2.

Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, who drove in his 74th run - tied for third-most in the NL - with a first-inning sacrifice fly Monday, is 6 for 15 with a homer and two doubles against Harang.

Kemp extended his hitting streak to nine with an eighth-inning single in the opener but is batting .182 with two RBIs in seven matchups with the Rockies this season. He is hitless in two career at-bats against scheduled starter Alex White while Andre Ethier, batting .188 in five games this month, is 0 for 5.

Recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before Thursday's game against St. Louis, White (2-6, 6.16) allowed two hits through five scoreless innings before yielding two runs and three hits in the sixth. Despite a shaky finish in Colorado's 8-2 comeback win, it was an encouraging outing for the right-hander after he went 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA over a four-start stretch that led to his demotion June 25.

White struggled at Dodger Stadium on May 13, permitting six runs in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-5 loss. He fared better against Los Angeles on June 3, yielding two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win.

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