After Hanley Ramirez provided a boost in his return, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope Josh Beckett can do the same while avoiding a career-worst season-opening winless drought.
Beckett again looks to pick up his elusive first win on Wednesday night when the Dodgers try to take two of three at home from the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies.
In his first start of the season, Ramirez made an instant impact by going 2 for 4 with a home run and a double to help Los Angeles (13-13) cruise to a 6-2 win on Tuesday.
Ramirez started at shortstop after opening the season on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb suffered during the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. He improved his batting average to .365 over his last 14 meetings with the Rockies.
The Dodgers will try to finish with a 4-2 homestand while picking up another game on the Rockies (16-11) in the series finale.
After allowing nine runs in 19 1-3 innings over his first three outings, Beckett (0-3, 4.75 ERA) has given up that many in 11 innings in his last two. The right-hander has also allowed eight home runs, which ranks among the most in the majors.
Beckett will try to avoid going winless through his first six starts for the first time in his 13-year career.
"He's throwing the ball great and he's kept us in games,' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "We just haven't been able to get those extra runs to get him a W.'
Beckett is 6-2 with a 3.40 ERA in nine career starts against the Rockies, including a 13-1 win in Game 1 of the 2007 World Series while with Boston. He surrendered just one run and six hits over six innings in a 7-1 win over Colorado last September.
Beckett may have to deal with Troy Tulowitzki, who is expected to play after missing his second straight game with a shoulder injury.
The star shortstop has a .308 average with six homers and a team-high 22 RBIs, though he's just 2 for 16 with one RBI in his last four games at Chavez Ravine.
"I think I can talk them into making sure that I'm in there," he told the team's official website. "I can't handle watching any more games."
Carlos Gonzalez hit his first homer since April 16 on Tuesday and is 6 for 13 in the last three meetings.
Dexter Fowler is batting .400 (14 for 35) during a nine-game hitting streak that's raised his average to .305.
The Rockies, who fell to 2-4 on a seven-game road trip that concludes on Wednesday, look to regroup behind unbeaten right-hander Juan Nicasio.
Nicasio (3-0, 4.65 ERA) hasn't been able to go deep into games, but has allowed three earned runs and seven hits in 9 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He pitched well in his last appearance at Dodger Stadium, striking out nine and allowing one run over seven innings in a 2-1 loss on May 12.
Andre Ethier has hit Nicasio hard with seven hits - including a homer and a double - in 11 career at_bats, while Matt Kemp is 10 for 22 with four homers in his last six home games against the Rockies.
Carl Crawford (hamstring) was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday, but is likely to be back in left field.
The Dodgers have won five of six at home in this series.
The Associated Press News Service
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