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09/27/10 8:22 PM ET

Dodgers look to spoil Rockies' hopes

The Dodgers have played the Rockies tough all season. They are the only club in the National League West that owns a winning record against Colorado, and with Monday's 3-1 win, the Dodgers are squashing the Rockies' postseason hopes.

The Rockies desperately needed a win on Monday, especially with ace Ubaldo Jimenez pitching. Instead, Colorado has now lost seven of its last eight. The Rockies will enter Tuesday five games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West and 4 1/2 games behind the Braves for the Wild Card.

"It's painful. We all thought we were going to be battling until the end," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "We all knew it was going to be very close for everybody, but we're making it a lot easier for the other teams and more difficult for us. We have to try to play better the rest of the games and see what happens."

Monday's loss is an even bigger blow because of how good the Rockies have been at Coors Field. They own a 52-27 record at home, compared to 31-46 at the road. In fact, manager Jim Tracy has never had a losing homestand since he took over on May 29, 2009. His club is 96-43 at home in his tenure.

But if the Rockies are going to take the next two games and finish the season strong in St. Louis, they will need to pick it up from the plate. In the previous two games, the Rockies have been no-hit for the first 4 1/3 innings of the game.

That may change on Tuesday, however, when Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda takes the hill. He's 0-4 with a 6.25 ERA lifetime against the Rockies.

Rockies starter Jeff Francis will oppose Kuroda and try and get the Rockies back on track. He's only had two starts since returning from the disabled list with left shoulder tightness. He was on a tight pitch count in both outings.

In those two starts, the lefty tossed a combined 6 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs. He took the loss in both.

"I felt like I could have made a better contribution to this game, but I just wasn't very sharp," Francis said after his last start. "I threw a lot of pitches and got myself into trouble."

Dodgers: Kuroda riding momentum
Kuroda played the spoiler against the Padres in his last start -- one of his best outings of the season. In that start, he allowed two hits in the first inning and only three hits the rest of the way en route to eight innings of one-run ball.

The 35-year-old right-hander could be making his final start of the season on Tuesday, and possibly his last for the Dodgers. Kuroda may pitch in the last game of the year on Sunday, but manager Joe Torre hasn't announced his rotation yet.

Kuroda said he'll wait until the end of the year to decide if he wants to return to Japan or continue playing in the Major Leagues. The Dodgers are interested in having him back, but not for anywhere near the $12 million per season he's been receiving.

Nonetheless, it's been an impressive season for Kuroda. He owns an 11-13 record with a 3.27 ERA in 30 starts and has been able to avoid injury. Moreover, he's received the lowest average of runs scored behind him in the National League since July 1.

"After the last two years that he's had here, where he's been beat up a little bit, the fact that he's been able to take the ball every time out this year, I know it's got to be a great deal of satisfaction for him," Torre said. "Whatever he chooses to do, it certainly will be a good year for him."

Rockies: Memorial to McGregor to be unveiled
The Rockies will unveil a permanent outfield memorial to honor former team president Keli McGregor during a pregame ceremony on Tuesday. A permanent "KSM" memorial will be displayed on the outfield wall.

McGregor died of a rare virus in April at the age of 47. He was the president of the Rockies from 2001 until the time of his death.

"Our family is honored to have this permanent tribute to Keli at Coors Field," McGregor's family said in a statement. "This organization and this very special ballpark were such an important part of Keli's life and we find comfort in knowing that he will always be remembered and honored."

Worth noting
Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi strained his left biceps on Sunday and manager Jim Tracey said he likely will be shut down for the rest of the season. ... Todd Helton doubled on Monday, marking his 527th career two-base knock. It moves him past Dave Parker into sole possession of 34th all-time. He needs one more to tie Frank Robinson. ... For the Dodgers, Reed Francis is expected to start against Francis (3-for-7), while Casey Black (1-for-14) and James Loney (1-for-15) probably won't.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.