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Tue, Sep 3, 2013 - 8:40 PM ET
 

Dodgers-Rockies Preview

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The Los Angeles Dodgers may be without Yasiel Puig, but giving the ball to Ricky Nolasco may soften the blow of his potential absence.

While Puig's status is unclear, Nolasco looks to continue the best stretch of his career Tuesday night, when he faces the Colorado Rockies in an attempt to avenge his only loss as a Dodger.

Los Angeles (82-55) continues to cruise to an NL West title, and the club's latest winning streak reached five games with Monday's 10-8 victory in the opener of this three-game set at Colorado.

Extending that streak could be tougher without Puig, who is day-to-day after exiting in the sixth inning with a strained right knee.

"Going to get treatment see how it feels," Puig said through a translator, mentioning that the knee had been giving him trouble recently.

Puig has been a sensation for the Dodgers, hitting .351 with 14 homers, 32 RBIs and 55 runs to make him a serious contender for NL rookie of the year. He got a hit, scored a run and was hit by a pitch from Chad Bettis in the series opener.

If he's unable to play, the Dodgers will likely continue to lean on Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier.

Crawford is 7 for 13 with three doubles in his last three games, and Ethier is batting .435 with two homers and four doubles to go with a .552 on-base percentage in his last seven.

Nolasco (11-9, 3.26 ERA), meanwhile, looks to continue the most dominant stretch of his eight years in the majors.

The right-hander has tossed 16 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two starts, winning both while yielding five hits with 17 strikeouts and one walk. He fanned 11 Chicago Cubs in eight innings during Wednesday's 4-0 victory.

Nolasco has been brilliant since being acquired in a trade from Miami, going 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA.

"It definitely is a different feeling when you're going out there pitching for this team right now with this lineup going and how dangerous we are," Nolasco said. "I'm making better pitches. Mentally, I'm more focused."

He's won five straight decisions over his last eight games, dating to a 3-1 loss to the Rockies (65-74) on July 14.

Jhoulys Chacin (13-7, 3.08) got that win opposite Nolasco, and he's scheduled to start Tuesday. The right-hander, who has already set a career high in wins, yielded one run with six strikeouts in six innings July 14.

He is 2-0 in three starts against Los Angeles this year, but owns a 5.09 ERA while allowing the Dodgers to hit .320.

Chacin enters this matchup with a 6-1 record and 2.24 ERA over his last eight home starts. He was superb there Wednesday, overcoming an illness to allow an unearned run and one hit while matching his season high by fanning nine in seven innings of a 5-4 win over San Francisco.

"Everything was working for me," Chacin said. "My ball was sinking, my curveball was good and I got ground balls with my sinker."

Wilin Rosario and Michael Cuddyer are hot at the plate. Rosario is 12 for 21 (.571) with four RBIs over the past five games after hitting a solo homer and an RBI single Monday.

Cuddyer has six hits with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs over the past two games. That may only continue since he's 6 for 10 with two doubles and two homers off Nolasco.

The Dodgers may have Michael Young in the lineup for the first time after acquiring him from Philadelphia for a minor-leaguer and cash Saturday. Young struck out as a pinch-hitter in his team debut Monday.

Tagged: Dodgers, Rockies, Michael Young, Michael Cuddyer, Ricky Nolasco, Jhoulys Chacin

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