At the bottom of the NL West are the Colorado Rockies, whose latest loss left Troy Tulowitzki despondent.
At the top are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who enter Friday night in high spirits following their best offensive performance.
The Dodgers dominated these teams’ only series of the year and now visit a Rockies team mired in a seven-game losing streak.
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Los Angeles (18-10) trounced Milwaukee 14-4 on Thursday as Yasmani Grandal had eight RBIs, tied for the third-highest single-game total in franchise history. The catcher is 12 for 17 (.706) in his last five games with three home runs, three doubles and a 2.162 OPS.
"He’s been swinging the bat well for a few days now. It seems like he’s kind of caught fire," manager Don Mattingly said.
Colorado (11-15), on the other hand, has had little to celebrate. The Rockies dropped their sixth and seventh consecutive contests in a doubleheader sweep by Arizona on Wednesday that left Tulowitzki crestfallen.
"I care," said Tulowitzki, who sat in the dugout staring toward the field even after playing for six-plus hours. "Bottom line: We haven’t played good baseball."
Colorado has lost 13 of 17, a stretch that began with a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium. The Rockies batted .170 while getting outscored 20-6 by Los Angeles, which batted .333. The Dodgers have won six straight and 14 of 17 over Colorado.
Tulowitzki and the Rockies can turn things around Friday against former teammate Brett Anderson (1-1, 4.21 ERA). Anderson was with Colorado in 2014, but a broken finger and back surgery limited the left-hander to eight starts and 43 1-3 innings.
He was effective enough in that stint – 2.91 ERA – to warrant a one-year deal with Los Angeles, and Anderson further proved his worth Sunday with his best outing of the season. He allowed five hits in six innings, throwing only 86 pitches in a 1-0, 13-inning win over Arizona.
"I was able to be efficient with groundballs, got some strikeouts," Anderson said. "It’s a good stepping stone, hopefully, for starts to come."
Anderson, who has never pitched against the Rockies, is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA at Coors Field with one home run allowed in 20 1-3 innings.
He’ll take on Eddie Butler (2-2, 3.81), who has faced Los Angeles in three of his eight career outings. He’s gone 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA in those matchups but didn’t pitch badly in the only one this year, allowing two runs in five innings of a 7-0 defeat April 19.
The right-hander, though, has since given up nine runs and 13 hits in 10 innings against San Francisco and San Diego.
Butler will be tasked with trying to provide Colorado’s first quality start in 11 tries. The Rockies’ starting staff has allowed 37 runs in its last 32 1-3 innings, and opponents are hitting .331 in that span.
"There’s no magic pill. We need to show up and compete," manager Walt Weiss said. "We need to pitch better, we need to take better at-bats – we need to play better."
Howie Kendrick headlined Los Angeles’ success in its previous series with Colorado, going 6 for 12 with two home runs, three doubles and five RBIs. He’s 6 for 13 in three career games at Coors Field.
Los Angeles’ Adrian Gonzalez has 17 home runs and 71 RBIs in 69 games at Colorado.