The Los Angeles Dodgers look to build their lead in the Nation League West as they meet the Colorado Rockies for the second of their four-game series.
Fresh off a 6-0 June, Clayton Kershaw is on the hill for his first July start. In his last six starts, Kershaw has only allowed six runs, while striking out 61 batters and scattering four walks.
Two of the six starts were against the Rockies, where he held the Rockies to a run in one outing and tossed his first career no-hitter in the other. Current Rockies hitters have had little success against Kershaw, posting a .210 combined batting average with only 47 hits and 19 RBIs.
Despite the low average, Kershaw’s streak of 28 consecutive scoreless innings will be put to the test in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
The Rockies counter with newly acquired Jair Jurrjens. The right-hander, who was shipped over from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Double-A first baseman Harold Riggins, has struggled to stay healthy since 2012 and bounced around in the Minors.
The last action Jurrjens saw in the Majors was with the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. Despite his struggles, Jurrjens was once an All-Star participant for the Atlanta Braves in 2011.
Dee Gordon continues to be a threat at the plate, hitting .421 in his last 10 games, tallying 16 hits and scoring five runs. Matt Kemp has hit a recent slump, going seven for his last 37, hitting only one home run and knocking in only three RBIs and he receives the night off.
Manager Don Mattingly has stuck to his defensive scheme of removing Hanley Ramirez late in games for a defensive purposes. Erisbel Arruebarrena was the most recent choice for upgrade after being called up from the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.
The Rockies, who are led by shortstop and NL Home Run Derby captain Troy Tulowitzki, lead MLB in batting average (.283), hits (845), on-base percentage (.333), slugging percentage (.452), and OPS (.786).
Tulowitzki has been the driving force, leading every offensive category on his team except RBIs and stolen bases. First baseman Justin Morneau leads the Rockies in RBIs with 59, and has been on a hot streak in over the last 10 games as he’s hitting .425 (17-for-40).
LF: Van Slyke
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