05/27/10 4:25 PM ET
How things have changed since we last met
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
The Dodgers took two out of three from the Rockies on May 7-9, and they have lost only one series since -- the just-completed three games at Wrigley Field. Los Angeles' victory in the rubber game against Colorado was the first game in a nine-game winning streak, and the Dodgers have won 15 out of 20 and have the Majors' best record in May at 17-7. The key for the turnaround has been the pitching. The Dodgers have allowed more than four runs in a game just four times in their past 17 games, and their team ERA is more than a run lower in May than it was in April.
Los Angeles hopes Carlos Monasterios can keep that going in a spot start on Friday night. Monasterios has made 12 appearances this season but only one other start. On May 1 against the Pirates, he allowed one run on three hits in four innings in a 5-1 Dodgers win. The 24-year-old right-hander from Venezuela has a 2.08 ERA this month, with opponents batting .213 off him.
Manager Joe Torre, however, said that roster moves are likely following Monasterios' start.
"We have to find another starting guy, depending on what we see [Friday]," Torre said.
The Rockies have pieced it together more recently with five straight wins. Colorado's starting rotation behind ace Ubaldo Jimenez has started to take shape, aided by the return of Friday's starter, Jeff Francis.
After missing all of 2009, Francis has looked as sharp as ever in his first two starts in '10. The erstwhile Rockies ace has given up just one run in 13 1/3 innings in starts against the Nationals and Royals, striking out nine and giving up 12 hits in that stretch. Francis' win in Kansas City last Saturday was his first victory since Aug. 25, 2008.
"He's been real good in both outings, but this outing, I definitely think he was better than he was his last outing," said shortstop Troy Tulowitzki after Francis shut the Royals out over 6 1/3 frames. "Last outing, his arm-side fastball, which I watched real closely and always do, he was missing a lot high. Today, he really was down in the zone on pretty much everything."
Dodgers: Let's get some runs
The Dodgers were shut out twice in their three-game set at Wrigley and have now been shut out seven times this season. Los Angeles was shut out only nine times all of last season. Thursday marked the second 1-0 loss for the Dodgers this year, with the other coming on April 25 against the Nationals.
Rockies: Yard work's pretty fun
The Rockies hit four more home runs on Thursday, giving them at least one long ball in nine straight games -- their longest such streak of the season. Tulowitzki's two-run shot in the first inning on Thursday was his fifth long ball in his past seven games and extended the shortstop's hitting streak to 11 games. Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs then went back-to-back-to-back in the seventh inning. Colorado had not accomplished that since April 27, 2004, when Jeromy Burnitz, Charles Johnson and Matt Holliday turned the trick in a 13-10 win over the Marlins. Shawn Estes started that game for the Rockies, and Shawn Chacon earned the save. Smith, meanwhile, has three homers in his last five at-bats, and he and Gonzalez inverted the order of their consecutive big flies from Wednesday night.
Since Francis' last win in August 2008, 10 different Colorado starters have won a total of 95 games for the Rockies. Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa have been the stalwarts in the rotation with Francis out, as the two combined for 49 wins between Francis' last two Ws. ... The Dodgers went 14-4 against the Rockies in 2009, winning all six series between the two teams. Los Angeles was 7-2 at Coors Field. ... Colorado hasn't won a series from the Dodgers since August 2008. ... The Dodgers have won the season series eight of the past 10 seasons from the Rockies.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.