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Dodgers look to offense for series at Coors Field

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers look for their fifth consecutive series win at Coors Field, opening a three-game series against the Rockies in Denver on Monday night, with an eye on the offense.

The offense kicked into high gear with a 17-0 drubbing in San Francisco on Saturday night, but even excluding that outburst the Dodgers have averaged 4.5 runs per game in their last 12 contests, dating back to Aug. 31.

The Dodgers own baseball's best road record at 45-29, in large part thanks to the National League's best offense away from home. The Dodgers average 4.54 runs per game, tops in the league, and are hitting .269/.342/.398 on the road this season. They lead the NL on the road in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, hits (701), triples (23) and walks (265).

As you might imagine, the team's numbers a mile high in Coors Field have been even better. The Dodgers have scored at least five runs in 13 of their 16 games in Denver since the start of 2013, winning 10 of 16, including nine of the last 13.

The Dodgers are hitting .309/.388/.451 in seven games at Coors Field in 2014, averaging 6.29 runs per game, with five wins.

They will need that offense if Roberto Hernandez continues to pitch like he has been of late, allowing 17 runs on 24 hits in 18⅓ innings in his last four starts.

The Rockies have lost six straight games and own the worst record in the National League (59-90), but believe it or not were 22-14 and in a virtual tie for first place in the NL West at the end of play on May 7.

Since then they have plummeted with a 37-76 (.327) record, worst in baseball. But the bulk of the damage has been done on the road. Colorado has lost seven straight road games, 11 of their last 12 road games, 32 of their last 37 away contests, and 44 of their last 55 on the road. But even during their post-first-place plummet, the club is 26-30 at home.

Dodgers pitchers actually have a 2.61 ERA at Coors Field this year, though skewed a bit with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke starting four of the previous seven games in Colorado. But even without those two, the club's ERA is 3.52 in Denver this season, which will get it done just about every time.

Hernandez has made one career start at Coors Field, allowing six runs on nine hits in four innings earlier this season, and that was without a ball leaving the park. Then again, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez combined to go 3-for-5 with two doubles and a walk against Hernandez, and both are now long gone, out for the season.

The Dodgers offense will try to score against rookie Christian Bergman, who has lasted six or more innings in five of his seven major league starts. Bergman's strikeout rate is a paltry 9.83 percent, even lower than Paul Maholm (10.93 percent) and Kevin Correia (11.75 percent).

Among 391 major league pitchers with at least 30 innings in 2014, Bergman's strikeout rate ranks dead last.

Game info

Time: 5:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA