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Kershaw Aims To Avoid Dodgers Sweep By Rockies

(Sports Network) - The Rockies are surging again in September and Troy Tulowitzki is at the center of it all.

Tulowitzki will try to build on his 14-homer month this afternoon as Colorado goes for a fourth straight victory and a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

The Rockies shortstop notched his second two-homer contest in three games on Saturday and fourth this month in a 12-2 rout of the Dodgers. Tulowitzki notched four RBI and his 14 homers over his last 15 games ties a major league record over that span held by Albert Belle (1995) and Barry Bonds (2001).

"I can't think of anyone hotter than Bonds [in 2001], but Troy is equally as hot now," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Tulowitzki, who also has 33 RBI this month.

Melvin Mora added four hits and five RBI, connecting on a grand slam in a six- run eighth inning for the Rockies, who have won 13 of their past 15 games to pull within one game of the National League West-leading Padres.

The offensive barrage overshadowed Jhoulys Chacin, who won his fourth straight decision after scattering nine hits over eight scoreless innings.

John Ely (4-8) was tagged for six runs on five hits and five walks over 4 1/3 frames in Los Angeles' fourth straight loss both overall and to Colorado. Russ Mitchell got his club on the board with a two-run homer in the ninth inning.

"When you get behind 6-0 it's never good," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who announced on Friday this is his last season as skipper in LA.

Looking to slow down Tulowitzki today will be Clayton Kershaw, who is aiming to spin another masterpiece when he toes the rubber for the Dodgers.

The 22-year-old is coming off his first career shutout and complete game, a four-hitter versus the Giants on Tuesday in which he scattered four hits without a walk and four strikeouts.

Despite allowing two runs or less for the sixth time in seven starts, Kershaw snapped a three-decision losing streak and won for the first time since Aug. 17.

"The thing about Clayton was he was getting all his pitches over for strikes," San Francisco's Cody Ross said. "He didn't really make too many mistakes. We just couldn't figure out a way to push one across."

The left-handed Kershaw is 12-10 with a 2.85 earned run average in 30 starts this year. That includes a 3-0 mark and 1.04 ERA in four 2010 starts versus the Rockies.

The Rockies send to the hill today Jason Hammel, who is coming off a loss last time out. The righty gave up four runs on a season-high 10 hits over four innings versus the Padres on Tuesday, good for his shortest outing since a four-inning start on June 24.

Hammel, 28, fell to 10-8 with a 4.45 ERA in 27 starts this year and picked up a victory over the Dodgers when he last faced them on Aug. 29. Hammel gave up a pair of runs over 5 1/3 innings, improving to 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA in seven career games versus Los Angeles, including four starts.

Colorado and Los Angeles have now split 14 games this season. The Rockies haven't swept the Dodgers since Sept. 25-27, 2007.