Road warrior Bettis to start for Rockies vs. host Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers are not completely out of options when it comes to the starting rotation, it just appears as if they are.

The Dodgers will head into Tuesday’s home game with “TBD” still listed as their starter, a vacancy created by a myriad of injuries this season.

The Colorado Rockies have no such question mark, with Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.27 ERA) prepared to shine on the road yet again. All four of Bettis’ victories have come on the road this year and his 1.83 ERA away from Denver was the fourth-lowest road ERA in the National League heading into play Monday.

Nearly two months into the season, the National League West rivals met for the first time Monday with the Rockies moving into sole possession of first place with a 2-1 victory.

Whoever starts for the Dodgers will have a tough act to follow after rookie Walker Buehler gave up just one run on two hits over seven innings, staying in the game despite getting hit by a 108-mph comebacker in the back of the ribs on his right side.

It was merely the latest injury scare for the Dodgers, who have had trouble staying healthy in all areas of the roster. The rotation has been particularly hard hit with three-fifths of the Opening Day starting staff now on the disabled list. The trio consists of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did say Monday that right-hander Brock Stewart will be added to the roster on Tuesday, and although he seems the likely candidate to start, Roberts would not confirm it.

Perhaps the Dodgers just want to give an introspective Rockies offense one more thing to think about. The Rockies had a .395 slugging percentage Monday that was just 22nd in baseball despite the fact that half of the team’s games are played in the thin air at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Their team OPS of .703 was 23rd in baseball.

It has allowed opponents to be careful with somebody like Nolan Arenado, who entered play Monday batting .331 but only had 19 extra-base hits nearly two months into the season.

“Nolan’s taking what they are giving him for sure,” Rockies manager Bud Black said, according to the Denver Post. “You can tell they are pitching really tough, down and away. It’s a steady diet of down and away, and breaking balls away.”

The frustration appeared to boil over Monday night when Arenado struck out and started to rage in the dugout, throwing his helmet, breaking his bat, tossing a bucket of candy and taking his tirade in the tunnel back toward the clubhouse.

The Dodgers can relate to the overall frustration. They not only saw their four-game win streak come to an end Monday, they lost their fifth consecutive home game.

“Unfortunately the bats at home, we couldn’t get any production,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the loss to the Rockies. “We just couldn’t get the hits to score more runs than they did.”