The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates and now head to Coors Field riding a season-best five-game winning streak. The Colorado Rockies open the four-game series at 22-13 and leading the Dodgers in the National League West by 1.5 games.
Hyun-Jin Ryu returns to the mound Thursday night, freshly reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. The Dodgers put Kenta Maeda on the DL with left hamstring tightness in order to activate Ryu.
He last pitched April 30 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryu is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA, 4.90 FIP and 1.31 WHIP, while striking out 29 and walking eight in 26.2 innings over five starts this season.
Ryu’s past two starts were his best, as he gave up a combined eight hits and two runs in 11.1 innings. Ryu faced the Rockies on the road in his first start of the year. He allowed six hits, including one home run, but limited the damage to two runs in 4.2 innings.
Ryu later faced the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, allowing four runs on seven his (three home runs) in six innings, and suffering the loss. The 30-year-old is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two career starts at Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon have both had success off Ryu in their careers, as Arenado is 6-for-12 (.500 batting average) with two home runs, while Blackmon is 6-for-15 (.400).
The Rockies called up right-hander Jeff Hoffman to make a spot start in the series opener. Hoffman has made one appearance at the big league level this season, giving up one hit and a run in 1.1 innings of relief against the Chicago Cubs.
The 24-year-old went 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in six starts for Triple-A Albuquerque this season. Hoffman recorded 29 strikeouts to 10 walks across 34 innings in those outings.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is sticking with much of the same lineup from Wednesday’s win. The only change made is to the battery, with Ryu on the mound and Austin Barnes catching. Barnes’ last plate appearance ended in a walk-off double Tuesday night.
Cody Bellinger once again bats cleanup and gets the start in left field, where he expects to remain now that Andrew Toles is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL.
Bellinger’s 17 RBIs in his first 14 games is tied with Ted Williams for most by a player younger than 22 years old since 1913. Bellinger is batting .315/.383/.704 with six home runs.
The Rockies are without shortstop Trevor Story, who was placed on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder. Colorado is 18-0 when leading after six innings, 19-0 when leading after eight innings and 9-0 in one-run games.
The Dodgers are 10-2 in their past 12 games, leading the Majors with an .833 winning percentage during that stretch. Los Angeles has lost three of five games to Colorado this season, and are just 9-12 in their past 21 games at Coors Field since the start of the 2015 season.
CF: Joc Pederson
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Chris Taylor
1B: Chase Utley
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Austin Barnes
P: Hyun-Jin Ryu
CF: Charlie Blackmon
2B: D.J. Lemahieu
3B: Nolan Arenado
1B: Mark Reynolds
LF: Ian Desmond
RF: Carlos Gonzalez
SS: Pat Valaika
C: Ryan Hanigan
P: Jeff Hoffman