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Rockies aim to slow down charging Dodgers

9:14 AM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies are going to need all the help they can get if they are to slow down the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Luckily for the Rockies, they will have a pair of players waiting for them when they get to Los Angeles to begin a four-game series with the Dodgers.

Colorado is expected to activate center fielder Dexter Fowler from the disabled list ahead of Thursday's opener. Hitting .291 with 10 homers and 12 stolen bases in 70 games, the Rockies' leadoff hitter has been out since June 25 because of a right hand injury.

Both Fowler and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki played in a pair of rehab games with Triple-A Colorado Springs before heading to Los Angeles. Tulowitzki, who last played on June 13, when he suffered a broken rib, is still considered questionable to return against L.A.

"I'm expecting Dexter to be ready to go," Rockies manager Walt Weiss told his team's website. "Sounds like his hand is doing fine. Tulo's going to go to L.A. It'll be more re-evaluating Tulo and going from there."

Tulowitzki was hitting .347 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI in 61 games before getting hurt. He appeared in only 47 games a season ago because of injury.

Colorado could use the reinforcements against a Los Angeles club that has won 15 of its past 18 to pull within 1 1/2 games of first-place Arizona in the NL West. The Dodgers were a season-worst 9 1/2 games off the pace on June 22, but continued to inch closer to the top spot by concluding a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis hit back-to-back homers to start the 14th inning, keying a 7-5 victory. The duo each went 3-for-6 as part of a 15-hit attack for the Dodgers.

Adrian Gonzalez got a comeback started with a solo homer in the seventh inning and Ellis singled in the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning.

"To be able to get three is big for us because it's a two-game swing since we're playing them," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This is icing on the cake."

The Rockies were able to move to within 3 1/2 games of first place thanks to Wednesday's 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres. Charlie Blackmon drove in a pair of runs and Todd Helton had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.

Colorado had lost seven of nine coming in, but starter Jorge De La Rosa was able to limit the Padres to two runs over five-plus innings to get the win.

"My mechanics weren't so good today," De La Rosa admitted. "I was a little wild but I'm glad I made the pitches when I needed to."

Two hurlers looking to put a pair of rough outings behind them go head-to-head at Chavez Ravine in search of a needed victory.

For the Dodgers, veteran Chris Capuano has struggled in two starts since logging back-to-back scoreless outings following a return from the disabled list.

Following that 11-inning span, the left-hander was drilled for seven runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits over just 3 2/3 innings of a setback at home to Philadelphia on June 28, then yielded another five earned runs (six in total) in 4 1/3 innings of work in a loss at Colorado last Thursday.

Capuano now sits at 2-6 with a 5.19 earned run average in 12 appearances this season, including 10 starts, and owns career numbers of 5-9 with a 4.24 ERA versus Colorado.

The Rockies, meanwhile, hope that 24-year-old Drew Pomeranz finds his footing in his third start of the year.

Pomeranz went 8-1 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs this year, but in two starts since getting recalled he has been charged with nine runs and three homers in 8 1/3 innings over a pair of setbacks.

"I need to put my team in a better spot to win the game," said Pomeranz after giving up five runs in four innings of a loss in Arizona on Saturday. "You can't do that, being down 5-0 after three innings."

The 24-year-old is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in three lifetime meetings with the Dodgers.

The Rockies have won five of nine versus the Dodgers this season, including taking two of three in Los Angeles from April 29-May 1.

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