The Los Angeles Dodgers are rolling and have only gotten better this week with an influx of returning talent.
The Dodgers will look to continue their good fortune on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies, who are only 3-10 against the Dodgers this season.
The Dodgers welcomed back left-hander Julio Urias, right-hander Joe Kelly and right fielder Mookie Betts from the injured list during a three-game sweep at San Diego.
Urias (calf) pitched five scoreless innings in a victory over the Padres on Tuesday. Kelly (injured list reason not revealed) finished Thursday’s victory, while Betts (hip) had a walk and played all nine innings in his return Thursday.
The sweep over the Padres was completed with a 4-0 victory Thursday and made the Dodgers winners in 16 of their past 18 games. Despite the dominating run, they are still 2 1/2 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
With Trea Turner batting leadoff of late, Betts’ return came in the No. 3 hole as opposed to the top spot, where he had been for 82 of his 84 starts this season. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts was wide open to the idea of moving to a new spot.
“With where Mookie’s body has been, expecting him to be as dynamic as he was stealing bases and things like that last year – I think Trea is a pretty good option to have at the top,” Roberts said Thursday. “Mookie understands that. No sales job.”
Even as the Dodgers start getting some rotation pieces back on line, they still have not listed a starter for Friday’s game. Roberts could go with another bullpen game, as he has done often in recent weeks, or he could ask right-hander Andre Jackson to make another start.
Jackson’s only major-league outing came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 16, when he worked around traffic to pitch four scoreless innings. He then was sent back to the minor leagues.
Right-hander Mitch White also could be back soon, but he just had a minor-league start Tuesday.
The Rockies will send left-hander Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.25 ERA) to the mound in the series opener.
Freeland has pitched well of late, with a 2.75 ERA over his past six starts going back to July 24. He received a no-decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday after allowing two runs and matching a career high with 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
Freeland, however, is only 2-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 14 career starts against the Dodgers.
The Rockies have won just once in their past four games, but they did earn a three-game sweep at home over the San Diego Padres last week that started a five-game winning streak.
Colorado was off Thursday, one day after splitting a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs.
Brendan Rodgers drove in five runs in Wednesday’s 13-10 nightcap victory in 10 innings at Chicago, while Connor Joe had a grand slam. Shortstop Trevor Story left late in the game with a sore leg but downplayed the injury.
“They never lost the fight,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of his team. “We were down. We were up. They were (angry). We were fighting.”
–Field Level Media