The Los Angeles Dodgers' winning streak may be over, but Zack Greinke can extend his personal run of success on Saturday night in the continuation of a four-game set with the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers had won five straight and 16 of their previous 19 games after winning the series opener, but were shut down by the Rockies on Friday night in a 3-0 defeat.
Clayton Kershaw fanned 10 batters over seven innings, but was charged with all three runs to fall to 8-6 despite a Major League-leading 1.98 earned run average on the season.
Skip Schumaker felt afterwards that the Dodgers are letting Kershaw down.
"More times than not our ace is a little bit better (than the other team's)," said Schumaker. "That's why it's frustrating that a guy who has a two ERA is 8-6. He should have wins in the teens by now."
Schumaker got the start after outfielder Carl Crawford was scratched due to a stiff lower back.
Los Angeles' once bountiful outfield took another hit during the game when Yasiel Puig exited in the fourth inning with a nagging left hip injury. The issue forced him out of Friday's opener early as well after he aggravated the discomfort stemming from when he collided with the right-field fence at Coors Field on July 3.
Outfielder Matt Kemp is on the disabled list with a left shoulder issue and the shorthanded Dodgers were held to just four hits on Friday night.
A lot of that had to do with Colorado starter Juan Nicasio as well.
Following a brief demotion to the minors, Nicasio was recalled before the game and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings to win his first decision since May 19.
"That was a clutch performance by Juan," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said afterward. "To shut down a team like that when they're rolling like they are is very impressive. His fastball was really good. He threw some nice change- ups tonight, I think the best changeup he's had all year, but his fastball was the key."
DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario each drove in a run for the Rockies, who had lost eight of 11 coming in. They'll try to make it two wins in a row tonight, but must deal with the streaking Greinke, who has won four straight starts.
The right-hander escaped with wins over Philadelphia and Colorado on June 27 and July 3, respectively, despite allowing nine runs, three homers and 18 hits in 12 total innings. Greinke then made a mechanical adjustment last Friday and the results were positive three days later in Arizona, where he hurled seven scoreless frames of two-hit ball.
"If I was on, everything would be fine," he told the Dodgers' website. "But if I had a bad game, I couldn't come back. We worked on some things so if it's not great, hopefully I can be okay."
Greinke also fanned seven and had three hits at the plate, moving to 7-2 with a 3.91 ERA in 13 starts this season. That includes a 4-0 mark and 2.70 ERA in six at home.
The 29-year-old is 2-1 with a 5.68 ERA in eight career meetings with the Rockies, including seven starts. He faces them for the third time in 2013.
The Rockies turn tonight to Tyler Chatwood, who won for the first time in four starts on Monday in San Diego. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings, staying in the game despite taking a comebacker off his right ankle in the sixth.
"He bounced back even after taking the ball off the leg," Weiss said. "He toughed it out and did exactly what we needed."
Chatwood yielded two runs or fewer for the ninth time in his 11 starts this season, improving to 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA.
One of the instances he failed to limit his opponent came at home on July 3 versus the Dodgers, who got him for six runs -- five earned -- over 11 hits in five innings. It was a much different scenario from when Chatwood shut down the Dodgers in Los Angeles on April 29 with six scoreless frames in a victory.
In six career meetings with the Dodgers, Chatwood is 3-3 with a 3.94 ERA.
The Rockies own a slim 6-5 advantage in the season series this season.