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Greinke leads Dodgers into Mile High City
(SportsNetwork.com) - If Zack Greinke is in the market for a nickname, "Streak Buster" might work as well as any.
The Los Angeles right-hander can put his momentum-changing skills to the test again on Thursday night, when the Dodgers visit the Colorado Rockies to open a four-game series at Coors Field.
Not only does Greinke lead the pitching-rich Dodgers in victories so far in 2014, but he's also won 13 of 15 decisions with a 1.98 earned run average across 19 starting assignments following a Los Angeles loss since arriving with the team to begin the 2013 season.
The Dodgers dropped their second straight game on Wednesday, 5-4 to Cleveland.
Los Angeles lost, 3-1, to St. Louis last Friday before Greinke's Saturday start saw him allow a run on four hits in seven innings of a 9-1 defeat of the Cardinals a day later.
One start earlier, he suffered a rare loss against a former team, dropping a 5-3 decision at Kansas City after allowing five runs and 11 hits.
The only place Greinke has found any trouble in 2014 has been on the road, where he's 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA in his last four starts. Included in that stretch was a no-decision at Coors Field on June 7, when he allowed four runs and 11 hits in seven innings of a game the Rockies won, 5-4, in 10 innings.
Colorado has hit the skids since, winning just two of 16 games.
The Rockies' starting rotation has compiled an 8.07 ERA in that slide and the team's overall ERA of 4.98 for the season is the worst in the big leagues.
Franklin Morales gets the call on Thursday in place of Jhoulys Chacin, who was placed on the disabled list earlier this week with shoulder inflammation. He also began the season on the shelf with shoulder problems.
"It looks like he has some (rotator) cuff inflammation and we need to sit down with the medical staff and figure out a plan of attack," manager Walt Weiss said.
Morales won three of seven decisions across 11 starts to begin the year, but a 6.13 ERA and a two-start stretch in which he allowed 11 runs led to a demotion to the bullpen to start June.
He threw three scoreless innings in two relief outings against the Dodgers in June.
On Wednesday in Los Angeles, Mike Aviles' two-run single in the eighth inning lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 win over the Dodgers in the finale of a three-game set.
Scott Van Slyke hit his seventh home run of the season and Andre Ethier drove in a pair of runs for L.A., which has dropped two straight after a three-game winning streak and six triumphs in seven tries.
In Washington, Ian Desmond's solo homer in the seventh inning gave the Nationals a 4-3 win and a three-game sweep of the Rockies.
Desmond's blast was ruled a homer after an umpire review and made a winner out of Doug Fister (7-2), who had five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.
Michael McKenry hit a three-run homer for the Rockies, who have dropped 14 of their last 16, including six of seven on their road trip.
Rockies left hander Tyler Matzek struck out Bryce Harper to start the seventh inning and was relieved by Matt Belisle (2-4), who surrendered Desmond's home run on his second pitch. No home run call was made on the blast to right- center field, and Desmond stood at third base while the umpires reviewed the play. Replays appeared to show the ball hitting above the wall between the padding and the fence in front of the outfield spectators for a homer.
LA is 6-3 against Colorado this season.
07/03 10:32:06 ET