The Colorado Rockies' late-season surge has made them a serious postseason contender. It's also prevented the Los Angeles Dodgers from being one.
The Rockies look to make franchise history with their 10th consecutive victory and take a step closer to a possible playoff berth when they continue their three-game set with the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Colorado (85-72) extended its winning streak and matched a franchise record by defeating the Dodgers 9-7 on Tuesday night. The Rockies, who haven't lost since falling 10-2 to Florida on Sept. 15, are tied with Philadelphia and both are one game behind NL wild card leader San Diego with five games remaining.
Colorado last won nine in a row from Aug. 26-Sept. 5, 1997.
"Everyone's just having fun, playing hard, guys are coming up with big hits in big situations and we're just letting it all hang out," NL MVP candidate Matt Holliday said.
Los Angeles (80-77), meanwhile, lost for the eighth time in nine games and officially was eliminated from postseason contention. The Dodgers, whose playoff chances took a serious hit after being swept in a four-game set last week at Colorado, will look to avoid a sixth straight loss to the Rockies.
"There's been a lot of frustration," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "Everyone realizes that - all of us in the clubhouse, the fans, the front office, everyone. And I don't really want anyone around me who's not disappointed and frustrated with the way things have turned out."
Troy Tulowitzki homered and had two RBIs, Todd Helton had three hits and Holliday went 2-for-4 in his return on Tuesday after missing two games with a slightly strained left oblique muscle. He's batting .349 (22-for-63) with six homers and 15 RBIs against Los Angeles this season.
"I think it probably would have been very difficult to keep him out another day. When you talk about a special player like him, Matt at less than 100 percent is still way good," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of Holliday, who is batting .583 (14-for-24) against the Dodgers' Derek Lowe, who starts Wednesday.
Lowe (12-13, 3.93 ERA) looks to avoid his second straight loss to the Rockies after allowing six runs and eight hits in three innings of a 9-4 road loss on Thursday.
"I wasn't very good. I just wasn't very good," said the right-hander who's 5-4 with a 5.35 ERA in 12 starts against the Rockies, but 0-2 with an 11.74 ERA in two against Colorado this season.
The Rockies will counter with Josh Fogg (9-9, 4.99) as he tries for his third straight winning decision.
Fogg allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings, but didn't factor in Colorado's 6-5 win over the Dodgers last Wednesday. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.58 ERA in nine starts against Los Angeles, but is 0-1 in two starts against the Dodgers this season.
On Tuesday, James Loney went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs for the Dodgers. He is batting .526 (10-for-19) with two homers and five RBIs in his last four games.