Rockies begin crucial series with Dodgers

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The last time the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers faced one another the Rockies were a different team -- last in the NL West and unable to seriously compete with the Dodgers.

On Monday night in Los Angeles, Colorado (40-35) is looking for its fourth straight win and trying to gain even more ground on the Dodgers (48-28). They trail L.A. by 7 1/2 games in the NL West standings.

The Rockies were outscored 31-13 in a three-game set at Coors Field in late May against the Dodgers. Jim Tracy was hired two days after the series and has led the surging Rockies to 20 wins in their last 23 contests.

The Dodgers have lost four of their last five.