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Walker Buehler, Dodgers out to extend Rockies road woes

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersMay 18, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler (21) scores in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A late-inning rally earlier this week appears to have the Los Angeles Dodgers back on track, with a return home set for Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers were in the midst of a season-worst five-game losing streak and were staring at a sixth straight in the opening game of a doubleheader Tuesday. But they got within a run in the ninth inning on a bunt by the struggling Chris Taylor against the New York Mets, winning the game in 10 innings.

The Dodgers not only won the doubleheader, but also snapped a three-game winning streak and now return home where they are 19-11. They have the second most home wins in the National League.

Los Angeles’ Will Smith had a pair of home runs in Wednesday’s 10-3 win in New York. There was also production from the bottom of the order, with 10 of Los Angeles’ 16 hits coming from the last four spots in the lineup.

Even with that late lineup production, the Dodgers entered Thursday’s MLB game with a .265 on-base percentage from the No. 6 spot (25th in baseball), a .262 OBP from the No. 7 spot ( 27th), a .252 OBP from spot No. 8 (29th) and a score of .269 from spot No. 9 (17th).

“There’s obviously been a lot of talk about the bottom of the order,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You can tell when they’re taking productive at-bats, getting hits, drawing walks, good things are happening.”

At the top of the rankings, not only did the Dodgers receive Smith’s burst of power, Shohei Ohtani went deep for the first time since May 17 after dealing with a nagging hamstring injury.

The Dodgers are expected to send right-hander Walker Buehler (1-2, 4.26 ERA) to the mound for his fifth start since a comeback from a second Tommy John surgery. Buehler, who last faced the Rockies in 2022, is 7-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 20 appearances (16 starts) against Colorado.

The Rockies are coming off a successful homestand in which they won series against the NL-top Philadelphia Phillies and the Cleveland Guardians, who had won nine in a row while in the series.

Colorado now heads on the road where it is 7-21, the lowest number of wins away from home in the NL.

Colorado will send right-hander Dakota Hudson (1-7, 5.54) to the mound on Friday. Hudson started the season 0-6 with a 6.35 ERA, but has gone 1-1 in his past three starts with a 3.86 ERA.

Against the Phillies on Saturday, Hudson kept the Rockies in the game by allowing two runs on five hits over six innings, but the bullpen couldn’t continue the momentum in an 8-4 loss.

“(Hudson) made some big throws when he needed (with) one walk in six innings,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Pretty efficient with less than 90 pitches. It was certainly one of his better performances against arguably one of the best teams in baseball.”

He’ll once again face top offense, as the Dodgers lead the NL in home runs with 75, even with their bottom-ranked issues.

Over six career appearances (two starts) against Los Angeles, Hudson is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA.

–Field-level media

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