Dodgers going for sweep of host Rockies

DENVER — The surging Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday will try to sweep their three-game series with the Colorado Rockies after pounding them 12-4 on Saturday night.

The Dodgers broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh when they batted around for the first time this season and erupted for eight runs, their biggest inning since they scored eight in the seventh inning Aug. 16, 2016 at Philadelphia.

Despite a slew of injuries, particularly to their starting pitchers, the Dodgers (28-30) have won 12 of their past 16 games. They have outscored the Rockies 23-12 in this series while extending their road winning streak to six games. They were nine games behind May 8 but are now 2 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona and two back of the second-place Rockies.

“I don’t think we’re too mindful of the standings right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We’re just more focused on playing good baseball. The bats are being more consistent. We’re getting better pitching. … So we’re playing complete baseball. Obviously run prevention is huge here, so you can’t give away outs. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.”

Left-hander Alex Wood, who is 1-4 with a 3.75 ERA, will start Sunday for the Dodgers. His scheduled start here Friday was pushed back two days to give Wood more time to rest after being bothered by hamstring cramps in recent starts and to get acclimated to altitude before this one.

While losing his most recent start May 26 against the Padres, Wood gave up six hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts as the Dodgers fell 7-5. Prior to that outing, Wood went 1-1, 2.05 in his four previous starts.

He is 4-3, 5.44 in nine starts against the Rockies and 1-2, 8.18 in five starts at Coors Field. In those five outings, Wood has allowed 20 runs in 22 innings, but 15 of those runs came in his first two starts there in 2015 while pitching for the Atlanta Braves.

Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.68 ERA), has received a no-decision in four straight starts. That stretch includes a May 22 outing at Dodger Stadium, where the Rockies lost 5-3 and Bettis gave up two runs and three hits in five innings but left because of a hot spot that developed on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

Bettis is 2-2, 4.75 in 11 games (eight starts) against the Dodgers. He has yet to win or have a decision at home this season, going 0-0, 7.06 in four starts. The last time Bettis had a decision was May 5 at the New York Mets, when he pitched seven scoreless innings to improve to 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .206 average and .612 OPS.

In his subsequent four consecutive no-decisions covering 22 innings, Bettis has a 6.95 ERA, and opposing hitters are batting .315 with a .869 OPS.

After overcoming testicular cancer last year, Bettis made his 2017 Rockies debut in August. He was a power pitcher before his illness but now tends to be 88-90 mph with his four-seam fastball and relies on command with that pitch and an outstanding changeup.

“With Chad’s style of pitching, just overall location through his outing is maybe not as sharp,” Rockies manager Bud Black said, when asked about Bettis’ recent outings, “and not getting changeup outs and maybe the changeup not coming into play like it did when he has his good innings.”