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Dodgers-Rockies Preview 2009-04-25


Dodgers-Rockies Preview 2009-04-25
A big reason why the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to lose against the Colorado Rockies this season is the production they are getting from the top of their batting order.

The Dodgers look to improve to 5-0 versus the Rockies this season as the NL West clubs continue a three-game series Saturday night at Coors Field.

Los Angeles (12-5) has rode the hot hitting of Rafael Furcal, Orlando Hudson and Manny Ramirez to win the first four meetings with Colorado (5-10) this season. The Dodgers swept three from the Rockies last weekend at home and won 6-5 on Friday.

Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said before this series that the key to Los Angeles' offense was having switch-hitters Furcal and Hudson at the top of the lineup. He knows that from experience as Furcal is 6-for-15 and Hudson 6-for-14 against Colorado, and the duo has combined to score 10 runs in the four meetings.

It also helps to have Ramirez batting behind the table-setters. The Dodgers slugger is 8-for-16 with four runs scored and four RBIs against Colorado this year.

Los Angeles won Friday when Brad Ausmus drove in James Loney with a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning. Ramirez went 2-for-4 with an RBI single, giving him nine RBIs in his last seven games.

"This was a game that we spent a lot and we had to win," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I'm just glad we did."

The Dodgers will also have Russell Martin back in the lineup Saturday after he received a scheduled day off. Martin is off to a slow start at .226, including 6-for-36 (.167) on the road.

"Right now, he's too intense," Torre told the Dodgers' official Web site. "But my observation is he's not trying to pull the ball. He's not swinging too hard. He'll fall into it. I'm not worried about him."

The Rockies, meanwhile, aren't getting enough out of cleanup hitter Garrett Atkins. The third baseman is 3-for-15 versus Los Angeles, and hitting .213 for the season.

"I haven't been striking out a lot," Atkins told the Rockies' official Web site. "I've put the ball in play. I figure the hits will start coming."

Rookie James McDonald (0-1, 5.87) makes his third career start for Los Angeles, and second straight against the Rockies. He pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings Sunday, throwing 96 pitches in a 14-2 win.

"I wish I could have gone deeper into the game, but everything worked out fine," McDonald said. "I just have to put guys away after getting 0-2 against them instead of messing around."

McDonald allowed four hits Sunday. The 24-year-old right-hander is the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year the past two seasons.

He will again be opposed by Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.00), who was charged with the loss Sunday after giving up seven runs and seven hits over 4 1-3 innings. Jimenez had been 4-0 with a 5.51 ERA in six previous starts versus the Dodgers.

"He didn't have that many weapons (Sunday)," Hurdle told the Rockies' official Web site. "He was all over. We'll have to revisit his mechanics. He didn't have command of any one pitch consistently."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 25, 2009

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