Dodgers battle Rockies aiming to stay in playoff chase
(Sports Network) - Even though they are on their longest winning streak since the beginning of the month, time is running out for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They'll try to do their part to keep their playoff hopes alive on Saturday night in the continuation of a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers have won three straight for the first time since Sept. 1-3, but remain three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot in the NL. The Cards beat the Washington Nationals on Friday and have a magic number of three to lock up the playoff berth.
Los Angeles routed Colorado 8-0 on Friday, getting homers from Shane Victorino and Bobby Abreu as well as eight solid innings from ace Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw fanned 10 batters and scattered five hits and two walks over his outing, his second since missing time with a hip injury.
"I feel good," said Kershaw. "I was able to command the ball better tonight."
Rockies starter Jeff Francis, tagged for five runs over four innings, agreed that Kershaw was in top form.
"Clayton was pretty lights outs," said Francis. "He was pretty spectacular tonight."
In all, the Rockies went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and saw their four-game win streak come to an end.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will try to win four in a row for the first time since Aug. 12-15 with Joe Blanton on the hill.
Blanton is just 1-4 with a 5.57 earned run average in nine games since being acquired by the Dodgers in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 0-1 in his last four starts, but did keep his club in the game last tie out on Sept. 21 against the hosting Cincinnati Reds.
The right-hander lasted 5 2/3 innings, yielding a run on four hits and a walk. However, he did not factor into a 3-1 win.
Blanton is 9-13 with a 4.86 ERA overall this season and hasn't won since beating the Rockies on Aug. 29. The 31-year-old logged 7 1/3 innings on that day and was charged with three runs on 10 hits while improving to 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in four games against the club lifetime.
Taking the hill for the Rockies will be Tyler Chatwood, who snapped a four- start winless drought (0-2) with a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
The 22-year-old righty lasted 5 2/3 innings, his longest outing in eight starts, and gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three. He improved to 5-5 with a save and 5.49 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) this season.
Chatwood is 2-1 in his career versus the Dodgers with a 3.71 ERA in three starts. That includes a victory on Aug. 28 when he logged five innings of two- run ball.
These two clubs have split 16 meetings this season, with the Rockies losing five of seven in Los Angeles.
09/29 09:51:23 ET