(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are starting to pick it up and that
could be bad news for the rest of the National League. The Colorado Rockies
look to cool off their NL West rivals Monday in the opener of a three-game
series at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles has won five of its last seven games and took a three-game series
from the sizzling Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend at Chavez Ravine. The
Dodgers bounced back from Saturday's loss to record a 2-0 win the next day
behind a brilliant performance from Clayton Kershaw and two home runs by Carl
Kershaw dazzled Sunday with 12 strikeouts, no walks and eight scoreless
innings. He scattered four hits before taking a seat in the ninth, when
Brandon League took care of business for his eighth save.
"Clayton, obviously, was really good today," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly
said. "I thought he did a good job today of using his whole mix."
Nick Punto finished with three hits for the Dodgers.
In injury news for L.A., shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been playing well in his
rehab stint in the minors and could return to the big leagues soon. Out with a
thumb injury, Ramirez is wearing a splint for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Mattingly was asked Sunday if Ramirez could be activated Monday.
"I think anything is possible with the way he looked (Saturday) night,"
Mattingly said. "The biggest thing is medical saying he's OK to go. At that
point, if you think he's ready, do you think he's a better alternative?"
Ted Lilly will make his second start of the season versus Colorado and did not
record a decision in his debut Wednesday at New York. In a 7-3 loss to the
Mets, Lilly, who was sidelined with a balky shoulder, held the hosts to a run
and six hits in five innings.
Lilly fanned seven batters and walked two. The veteran left-hander has owned
the Rockies in his career with a 10-2 mark and a 3.92 ERA in 14 starts.
Colorado limps into this set with Los Angeles after losing three of four
matchups with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In Sunday's 4-2 loss in the series finale, Jon Garland tried to pitch Colorado
to a series split, but was reached for four runs, three of which were earned,
and eight hits in six innings for the loss.
Colorado's offense was highlighted by three doubles from Eric Young, while
Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco finished with two hits apiece. There was
more bad news for the Rockies. who saw star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki go down
with a left shoulder strain.
Tulowitzki was thrown out at the plate in the first inning and appeared to
sustain the injury on an awkward slide. He was replaced in the field by
Jonathan Herrera in the third and the team is calling him day-to-day.
"It sounds like he kind of jammed his shoulder sliding into the plate,"
Colorado manager Walt Weiss said of Tulowitzki. "We'll have to reevaluate him
tomorrow, see how it feels tomorrow."
The Rockies, who have lost six of eight games, will turn to Tyler Chatwood on
the mound Monday and he has no record and a 6.00 ERA in one start. Chatwood
made his season debut in Wednesday's 6-5 win versus Atlanta and struggled
through six innings, permitting five runs (4 earned) and nine hits with three
strikeouts and three walks.
Chatwood, a right-hander, will make his fifth career start against the Dodgers
and is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA through the first four attempts.
"His stuff is really good," Weiss said of his righty. "He's got plus-stuff. I
love the way he competes. I expect he'll get out there (Monday) and give us a
chance to win a game."
Colorado and Los Angeles are meeting for the first time this season and the
Dodgers took the series in 2012 by a 10-8 count. The Dodgers won seven of the
nine matchups at home and are unbeaten in four straight in L.A.
The Sports Network