Zack Greinke claims there are no lingering effects from an injury suffered in a benches-clearing brawl more than seven weeks ago.
Whether that's the case or not, the former Cy Young winner has undoubtedly been off his game since returning.
Greinke will try to help the Dodgers win their first road series against the Colorado Rockies in three seasons Saturday.
Signed to a $147 million, six-year deal in the offseason, Greinke (2-1, 4.38 ERA) is trying to get back into form after missing more than a month with a broken collarbone suffered during a fight in San Diego on April 11. The right-hander has made three starts since returning, going 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in the last two - each lasting just four innings.
"I felt good, actually," Greinke told the Dodgers' official website after giving up six runs - four earned - and 10 hits in Monday's 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels .
Manager Don Mattingly doesn't seem too concerned about Greinke's recent struggles.
"I feel he's been behind the 8-ball the whole year, but I do think he'll get where he needs to get to," Mattingly said.
Greinke is 1-1 with a 5.13 ERA in five starts against Colorado, none since 2011 while with Milwaukee.
He'll toe the rubber after the Dodgers (23-30) avoided a third consecutive defeat with Friday's 7-5, 10-inning victory. Los Angeles rallied after Todd Helton 's game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth.
The victory capped off a 10-17 month - the worst May percentage-wise (.370) in club history - but the last-place Dodgers are just 6 1/2 games behind NL West-leading Arizona.
"If we can just stay afloat until these big boys come back, we'll be fine," Skip Schumaker , who is replacing the injured Matt Kemp (right hamstring strain) in center field, said after extending his hitting streak to eight.
The Rockies (28-27) aren't fine, dropping six of seven following a 6-1 run that had them tied with the Diamondbacks atop the West. Four of Colorado's last six losses have been by two runs or fewer.
"We've played a lot of tight games this year and sometimes the reward for competing like that is getting punched in the gut," manager Walt Weiss said.
Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 3.90) will get the ball as Colorado tries to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive home loss. The right-hander, 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in three May starts at Coors Field, threw seven innings of two-run ball in his last appearance, Monday's 3-2, 12-inning loss at Houston.
Chacin's only start against the Dodgers last season was a bad one, yielding seven runs and a career high-tying 11 hits over 4 2-3 innings of a 7-6 home loss May 1.
He gave up a three-run homer to Andre Ethier in that game. Ethier is a .438 hitter (7 for 16) off Chacin.
Juan Uribe is hitless in 15 at-bats in that matchup, but he's 10 for 22 in his last eight games after going 2 for 4 on Friday with an RBI double and a 10th-inning single that plated Schumaker.
Carlos Gonzalez should return to the Rockies' lineup after striking out in a pinch-hitting appearance Friday. Gonzalez has the second-best batting average (.360) against the Dodgers among active players.
He's 3 for 9 with a double off Greinke.
The Dodgers' last series win in Denver was a three-game sweep Sept. 27-29, 2010.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||1||.000||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|May 30, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 29, 2013||Matt Kemp||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|May 26, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||Day-to-Day||Neck whiplash|
|May 14, 2013||Josh Beckett||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|May 08, 2013||Adrian Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left game - neck|
|May 06, 2013||Jerry Hairston Jr.||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|May 26, 2013||Michael Cuddyer||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right forearm injury|
|May 15, 2013||Jeff Francis||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|May 09, 2013||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Bulging disk in neck|
|May 09, 2013||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Bulging disk in neck|
|May 07, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|May 03, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Leg soreness|
DENVER (AP) -- A tough stretch in the last few days for the Colorado Rockies made Dexter Fowler 's game-winning hit in the team's final at-bat that much sweeter.
Fowler's RBI single down the first base line in the 10th inning lifted the Rockies past the Dodgers 7-6 on Saturday, a day after Colorado lost to Los Angeles in extra innings.
"It's an awesome feeling, especially the way we've been grinding the past few days," Fowler said. "We've been losing some close games, some extra-inning games and it's good to come out on top."
The Rockies endured a stretch in which they had lost six of seven games before pulling out their fourth win this season in their last at-bat. They improved to 4-6 in extra-inning games.
"This win was really important," said Michael Cuddyer , who hit a game-tying home run in the seventh. "It wasn't, `Our season is over if we lose,' but at the same time, it was a good win to be able to get our heads back and to fight like we did and have the resiliency to come back and win. Hopefully, this will give us some momentum."
Yorvit Torrealba 's two-out single off Matt Guerrier (1-2) started the rally. Pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario followed with an infield single, narrowly beating the throw to first. Fowler then lined a hard grounder that shot past first base into right field, driving in Torrealba with the winning run and snapping the Rockies' three-game losing streak.
"I hit a curve ball," Fowler said. "I was just looking for something up. I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere. That's what I've been trying to do the past few weeks and let everything else take care of itself."
Matt Belisle (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory.
The loss was compounded for the Dodgers because of another injury, this time to Carl Crawford . He left in the third inning after suffering a left hamstring cramp while legging out his second double in two at-bats.
There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated that the team likely would have to make some roster moves.
"Hamstrings are never good. We'll find out," said Mattingly, who wasn't around for the finish after drawing his first ejection of the season in the sixth.
Said Crawford: "We're all trying to figure it out because this is my left hamstring and it kind of came out of nowhere."
Crawford's absence for any extended period of time would be tough for the Dodgers, whose disabled list already is swelled with some of the team's best players, from Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez to Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley , among others.
"It's kind of getting ridiculous," Mattingly said. "The last couple of days, two outfielders (Kemp went on the DL two days ago), kind of our main guys. We had a chance to win today and we didn't get the outs we needed."
The Rockies tied the score at 6-6 in the seventh when Cuddyer connected off Ronald Belisario for his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center before dropping on the other side.
Trailing 3-1, the Rockies used a three-run fifth, highlighted by Carlos Gonzalez 's 14th home run of the season, to go up 4-3.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the sixth. Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto hit consecutive singles and Tim Federowicz , who hit his first major league home run in the third, followed with a two-run double to center for a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Nolan Arenado led off with a single. Torrealba hit a low line drive that Zack Greinke appeared to snag before his glove hit the base of the mound and then threw to first to double off Arenado, who had advanced to second. Umpires ruled that the ball hit the ground before Greinke caught it and Mattingly was ejected by first base umpire Brian Knight after a persistent, heated argument over the call.
Greinke left with one out in the sixth after walking pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco . Paco Rodriguez relieved and retired the next two batters, rendering the umpire's decision moot as the Rockies stranded both base runners in the inning.
Schumaker's RBI single in the seventh boosted the Dodgers' lead to two runs.
In the second, the Rockies got three consecutive hits off Greinke, the last an RBI double by Arenado. Torrealba walked before Greinke induced an inning-ending double-play grounder from Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin , who allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings. Chacin is still seeking his first win since April 19.
NOTES: After the game, a Rockies team spokesman said closer Rafael Betancourt would go on the disabled list because of a right groin strain. The move is expected to be formalized on Sunday. ... Cuddyer has hit safely in each of his eight starts since being activated from the disabled list and rejoining the Rockies on May 24. ... Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who hasn't played since suffering an oblique strain Wednesday, took swings off a tee prior to the game. ... Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell struck out the side in the eighth. ... Fowler has three career "walk-off" hits. ... The Dodgers fell to 1-3 in extra-inning games.