Rockies aim for another road win in rubber game vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — The Colorado Rockies will bid farewell to the road Wednesday and don’t be surprised if some tears are shed.

Sure, it is nice to be home, and the Rockies will be back in Denver on Friday night against the Reds. But one more game in Los Angeles on Wednesday night will have the Rockies right where they want to be.

Even with Tuesday night’s 5-3 defeat at Dodger Stadium, the Rockies are 19-12 away from Coors Field and no team in baseball has more road victories. The Rockies have also played a major league-most 31 road games.

The Rockies will send Kyle Freeland (4-4, 3.17 ERA) to the mound at Dodger Stadium feeling good about their chances. Freeland has won all three of his starts in May, posting a 1.35 ERA in that stretch. He is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Dodgers.

If the road is the place to be for the Rockies, home has been a nightmare for the Dodgers in a disappointing 2018. Los Angeles is 9-14 in Dodger Stadium.

Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer and Yasiel Puig followed with a solo homer in the sixth inning as the Dodgers ended their five-game home losing streak.

Injuries to starters such as Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill have been troublesome, but so has an underachieving bullpen, not to mention the loss of shortstop Corey Seager for the season after Tommy John surgery.

The Dodgers’ Wednesday starter, Kenta Maeda, has remained healthy all season, but his results have been unpredictable.

The right-hander gave up two hits in eight innings of a 7-0 win at Miami on Thursday, but he gave up a combined 12 earned runs over his previous three starts. The difference has not been an accident.

“I felt like I was just rushing my delivery, in terms of not staying still and taking my time when I deliver,” Maeda said through an interpreter after his last start, according to the Los Angeles Times. “So, I slowed everything down.”

Maeda (3-3, 3.89) has fashioned plenty of success against the Rockies in seven appearances (five starts), going 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA.

But the Rockies seem less concerned about who they are facing, especially while on the road, and more locked into how they can create their own success.

They had a five-game win streak at Dodger Stadium heading into Tuesday’s game and were 5-4 in L.A. in 2017, they first time they were over .500 at Dodger Stadium since 2013 (6-4).

The Rockies moved into first place for the first time all year with a victory Monday and are having success despite an offense that has been hit and miss. They remained in first place even with Tuesday’s defeat.

“What do you think? We’re not hitting good, but that’s all over baseball — teams are not hitting,” Gerardo Parra said, according to mlb.com. “It’s good when you are in first place, hitting like we’re hitting.”