While National League West clubs gave the Dodgers plenty of trouble at the beginning of the season, it has been smooth sailing for the Boys in Blue against divisional opponents over the past three weeks.
After a 9-23 start against the division, the Dodgers have gone 13-3 in their past 16 games. That has been the biggest reason for their recent surge, picking up seven games in the standings since being a season-worst 9 1/2 games out of first place on June 22.
After a 3-0 loss to the Rockies on Friday, the Dodgers will try to rebound Saturday in Los Angeles.
Zack Greinke (7-2, 3.91 ERA) gets the nod for the Dodgers, facing Colorado for the third time this season. He beat the Rockies on July 3, but was charged with five runs on six hits in five innings of work. A winner in four straight contests, the right-hander would still like to be steadier in each start.
"It can't just be one game, then a bad game," Greinke said. "I've got to be more consistent."
Meanwhile, Colorado sends right-hander Tyler Chatwood (5-2, 2.74 ERA) to the hill. He's been impressive away from Coors Field this season, going 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in five road starts. Opponents have hit just .214 in those outings.
He's been just as good against NL West opponents in five starts this year, going 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA.
Chatwood allowed five runs on 11 hits in five innings to take a loss opposite Greinke last week, but recovered his last time out against the Padres. He allowed two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings for the win against another divisional foe. He also struck out five and walked three.
"We couldn't really solve him," Padres manager Bud Black said afterward. "Lively fastball, quick arm for a young guy, has a little life to him in the hitting area. Good hook, couple good changeups, too. He pitches aggressive, comes at you a little bit, but good fastball."
"I just wanted to go right after guys," Chatwood said after the start. "The defense made some good plays behind me, and I just felt I was in rhythm."
Rockies: Rutledge going through sophomore slump
• After becoming an immediate success with the Rockies last season, Josh Rutledge has struggled during the first half of this season.
The second baseman hit .274 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs and seven stolen bases in less than half a season last year and was named the Opening Day starter at second base this spring. But he's hit .212 this season and spent part of May and June with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He is hitting only .145 since his return.
"He's fighting through some of the adjustments that you have to fight through in this league, especially as a young player," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "When you first come up and you have early success, it's tough to sustain up here."
Dodgers: Puig starts, but exits after four
• While Yasiel Puig started in right field Friday night against the Rockies, he left the game after four innings when he aggravated his bruised left hip.
Puig jogged to first base on two groundouts in his only at-bats. He also left Thursday's 6-1 win against the Rockies after the seventh inning. The rookie said his hip has bothered him since he slammed it into the right-field fence at Coors Field on July 3, and he is considered day-to-day for the final two games before the All-Star break.
Scott Van Slyke replaced Puig in right field in the top of the fifth and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
• Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, on the disabled list with a neck issue, threw a simulated game Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Lilly faced Van Slyke, Tim Federowicz, Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto.
• The Dodgers will the screen the hit film "42" at Dodger Stadium after Saturday's game. Academy Award winning director Brian Helgeland, actors Chadwick Boseman and John C. McGinley and Dodgers great Don Newcombe, a teammate of Jackie Robinson, will participate in a question-and-answer session prior to the screening. Fans seated in the outfield pavilions will be allowed down on the field to watch the movie.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.