Dodgers look to get back in the sweep of things

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

The Dodgers on Sunday try to complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers, perhaps as an ode to their early season dominance at home, go for a sweep of the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Remember when sweeps were a thing? The Dodgers swept five of their first eight home series this season, part of an incredible 21-5 start at home and a 44-17 run at Dodger Stadium dating back to last season. But then things went south for the Dodgers, especially at home, as they followed their hot start with 30 losses in their next 49 home games.

Since the beginning of the 2009 season the Dodgers are 24-11 against the Rockies at home, and have won 10 of their 12 series against Colorado at Dodger Stadium. But on Sunday the Dodgers are going for something even more rare.

The Dodgers have shut the Rockies out in each of the first two games of the series, and if they do it again Sunday the team will have its first series shutout sweep of three or more games since blanking the Houston Astros in four straight games from Sept. 9-11 1966. Claude Osteen, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Joe Moeller did the honors for the Dodgers in that series, with complete games by Osteen and Koufax.

Since 1918, the furthest back that Baseball-Reference.com has play-by-play data, the only other time the Dodgers had a series shutout sweep was in 1960, when Drysdale, Roger Craig, and Stan Williams all pitched complete game shutouts against the Philadelphia Phillies from July 22-24.

Trying to do the honors for the Dodgers on Sunday will be Josh Beckett, who has allowed five earned runs in his last three starts. Beckett has a 3.16 ERA in six starts since he was traded to Los Angeles, with 33 strikeouts and eight unintentional walks in 37 innings. But the Dodgers are just 2-4 in those games, thanks to scoring 13 total runs in those contests, including two runs or less in five of Beckett's six starts.

Jorge De La Rosa will make his third start for the Rockies since returning from Tommy John surgery. His first two starts didn't go so well, as he allowed 10 runs in 6⅔ innings, including three home runs. Matt Kemp, who homered twice on Saturday and has three multi-extra-base-hit games in the last four days, has hit .429 (9-for-21) against De La Rosa in his career, with three doubles and two home runs.

Kemp on the season is hitting .376/.443/.684 against left-handed pitchers, with 10 home runs in 131 plate appearances.

The left-handed Adrian Gonzalez, who has an 11-game hitting streak, has hit .346 (9-for-26) against De La Rosa with three home runs and two doubles.

Sunday is the final day of the month, which means a chance for the Dodgers to secure their first winning month since May. In addition, the Dodgers were 13-13 in July, and 14-14 in August. They need a win today to avoid going 13-13 in September.

Looking Ahead

The rival San Francisco Giants come to town to end the regular season with a three-game series beginning Monday. The scheduled pitching matchups will be:

Sunday's Game

Game Time: 1:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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