Dodgers hope to lend Kuroda support in opener with Rockies

Run support and Hiroki Kuroda have not coincided much this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Even though Los Angeles scored seven times in his last start, Kuroda has received just 2.77 runs of support over his previous 13 outings since June 3, going 3-9 in that stretch. Kuroda will be counting on a repeat performance Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Colorado.

The Japanese right-hander has won two of his last three starts and defeated Houston in a 7-0 win on Sunday. Kuroda fanned six batters over seven scoreless innings and scattered five hits to lift his 2011 mark to 8-14 in 24 starts with a strong 2.88 earned run average.

"That's the beauty of [Kuroda], it's just day in and day out," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his starter. "He stays on his plan, stays with what he's doing. He's been that guy you can rely on every fifth day. We talked about it right around the break. It's nothing that he's done wrong, it's just that we haven't put any runs up."

Mattingly's club hasn't performed well when Kuroda's on the mound against the Rockies as evidenced by his career numbers of 0-5 in nine starts to go along with a 5.81 ERA. He lost his only appearance against them on July 27 in a 3-1 loss at Dodger Stadium despite allowing just a run in six innings of work.

Los Angeles broke out the bats in Thursday's 5-1 win at Milwaukee to salvage the finale of a four-game set from Miller Park, as Rod Barajas homered and Juan Rivera, Aaron Miles and Jamey Carroll each knocked in a run. Barajas also scored twice for the Dodgers, who had scored two runs over the first three games of the series and won for just the fourth time in 11 tries.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw pushed his record to 15-5 with eight scoreless frames and struck out six batters. Kershaw didn't walk a batter and allowed five hits. Javy Guerra closed the door in the ninth even though he gave up a run and two hits. Los Angeles is 1-3 so far on a 10-game road trip and is also slated to visit St. Louis for three games.

Colorado just took two of three meetings with Florida and recorded a 12-5 win on Wednesday at Coors Field. Aaron Cook put forth a fine performance with 7 2/3 innings of three-run ball and three strikeouts to improve to 3-7. Matt Reynolds permitted two runs -- one earned -- in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

"I was hoping it wouldn't take this long," Cook said of getting back into the groove after a stint on the DL to start the season. "But I knew that once I did get into a groove, I'm the type of pitcher that can keep rolling with that."

Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI, while Chris Iannetta also drove in four runs and Dexter Fowler posted three runs scored for the Rockies, winners in three of their last five games. The Rockies will also host Houston for three games on this nine-game homestand.

Jason Hammel will kick off this series with LA on the hill for the Rockies and is coming off a solid performance in Saturday's 6-1 win at St. Louis. He was reached for only one run on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings, and is now 7-11 in 24 starts to go along with a 4.97 ERA. Hammel owns a 3-8 home mark in 12 starts and is 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season.

Hammel, a right-hander, has made 11 career appearances (8 starts) against the Dodgers and sports a 2-3 ledger to go along with a 4.68 ERA.

Los Angeles and Colorado have split 12 matchups so far this season. The Rockies ended a four-game losing streak in this series with a 3-1 win on July 27 at Chavez Ravine.