Impressive performances on the mound have the Los Angeles Dodgers surging. Production at the plate is likely necessary to leave Coors Field with consecutive wins.
After Kenta Maeda dazzled in his first visit to Denver, the Dodgers will need to do more offensively Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
Los Angeles (11-7) has won seven of 10 games, thanks in large part to the staff's 1.38 ERA in those victories. The pitchers have compiled an overall 2.50 ERA in the last 10 after posting a 6.14 mark over a 1-4 stretch.
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The recent efforts from the arms have compensated for the offense's .232 batting average and 3.8 runs per game over the last 10.
The Dodgers didn't need to do too much at the plate Saturday since Maeda carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before leaving with eight strikeouts and three hits allowed in 6 1/3 of a 4-1 win.
Handing the ball to Alex Wood (1-2, 5.06 ERA) for the finale of this three-game set isn't likely to go as well. He was hammered while losing his last two starts at Coors, surrendering 15 runs and 21 hits in 11 innings. He got the hook with one out in the sixth inning Sept. 27, being charged with eight runs with three coming on a homer by Nolan Arenado in the 12-5 defeat.
The left-hander hasn't instilled much confidence in being better this time, either. Wood has lost his first two road starts while being tagged for 11 runs with five walks in nine innings. He gave up six runs - three earned - and issued three walks while hitting two batters in four innings of Tuesday's 8-1 loss at Atlanta.
"Fastball command just wasn't very good," Wood told MLB's official website. "That was the most frustrating thing. I don't know if I've ever walked in a run in my professional career before."
Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.00) takes the ball for the Rockies (9-8), and it's been one year and a day since he last won at Coors. The right-hander is 0-4 with an 8.28 ERA in five starts there since, surrendering 10 runs and 13 hits in eight innings over two this year.
Lyles, however, certainly looked capable of turning things around after allowing one unearned run and four hits in seven innings of Monday's 5-1 win at Cincinnati.
"The last two outings were the same," Lyles said. "We just maintained that. I was able to get some quick outs in all seven innings."
He'll try to slow down Adrian Gonzalez, who is among baseball's leaders with a .352 average. The first baseman is 9 for 20 with two homers and six RBIs in the past five games, including three hits while driving in four runs in this series.
Gonzalez is batting .358 with 20 RBIs over his last 13 road meetings with Colorado. However, he's just 1 for 10 versus Lyles.
Arenado has homered on two of his three hits in nine at-bats against Wood. He's 3 for 7 with a solo homer over the last two games, giving him a .387 average with 12 RBIs in eight home games compared to batting .194 with five RBIs in nine on the road.