Dodgers still in search of home field advantage

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers look to turn things around at home both this season (5-7 at Dodger Stadium) and against the Rockies.

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett takes the hill at Dodger Stadium on Friday night in the opener of a three-game weekend series against the Rockies, the only National League West opponent the Dodgers had not yet played this season.

After going 13-5 in winning five of six series against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium in 2011-2012, the Dodgers did not win a series against Colorado at home in 2013. The Rockies won both three-game series last year in Los Angeles and split the four-game series.

The Dodgers are just 5-7 at home this year and have been outscored 56-45 at Dodger Stadium.

Beckett has allowed no runs in five innings in each of his last three starts, and has 11 strikeouts against 11 runners allowed to reach base. But he doesn't have a win to show for it, thanks in part to one total run of support while he was in the game.

The last win for Beckett came on Sept. 30, 2012, at Dodger Stadium against the Rockies.

Beckett's last start, on Sunday against Arizona, was his best of the year, with seven strikeouts and just two walks and one hit allowed. Five of his seven strikeouts were finished off by a curveball.

Among Rockies, Justin Morneau has faced Beckett the most, with 18 plate appearances. The first baseman is 4-for-16 (.250) with a home run against Beckett, and is off to a hot start, hitting .346/.369/.615 with five home runs, six doubles and 17 RBI in 21 games.

Troy Tulowitzki is 4-for-8 (.500) with three doubles against Beckett, while Josh Rutledge is 4-for-6 (.667) with two doubles. Carlos Gonzalez is 1-for-3 (.333) with a double and three walks, while both Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario are each 0-for-5.

Carl Crawford starts in left field on Friday, but he's batting sixth for the first time since September 20, 2011, when he was with Boston. The last time Crawford batted lower than second was Aug. 14, 2012, when he batted seventh for Boston.

"Carl is swinging the bat pretty well. He's hitting the ball on the nose, and he's not getting a lot for it. we can use him there, he has a chance to drive in runs, it allows Dee to be at the top," manager Don Mattingly said. "I feel like we have a better lineup with him right there."

Crawford is hitting .222/.231/.317 on the season, though his .269 batting average on balls in play is well below his career mark of .327. He said where he bats in the order won't change his style.

"You try not to let it affect your approach [at the plate], just do what you normally do," Crawford said. "For me, I just try to run no matter what. I don't know if that's going to free it up for me to run more, I don't know. I just try to stay ready to run at all times."

Jordan Lyles starts for the Rockies. He faced the Dodgers just one time in his career, a loss in 2011. Hanley Ramirez was not a Dodger then but is 3-for-3 with a home run against Lyles. Matt Kemp is 2-for-3 (.667) with a home run, Andre Ethier is 0-for-3 and Adrian Gonzalez is 0-for-2 with a walk against the right-hander.

Ethier is not starting on Friday.

Zack Greinke, not starting tonight, is 1-for-1 with a double against Lyles, while Beckett is 0-for-2.

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