The Colorado Rockies are expected to have Dexter Fowler back from the disabled list in time for the series opener against one of the hottest teams in baseball. It's uncertain, though, if Troy Tulowitzki will get the chance to see the field that soon.
After getting Carlos Gonzalez back in the lineup their last time out, the Rockies are hoping that they're virtually at full strength when they face the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners in 15 of 18, on Thursday night.
Fowler hasn't played since June 25 because of an injured right hand, and Tulowitzki has been out since June 13 due to a broken rib. The two returned to the team Wednesday from rehab assignments at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but manager Walt Weiss wasn't ready to say if Tulowitzki would be ready for the series opener at Dodger Stadium.
The shortstop, one of the Rockies' two All-Star starters along with Gonzalez, had the NL's second-best average at .347 along with 16 homers and 51 RBIs before his injury. He's gone 6 for 14 in his last three games against the Dodgers.
"I'm expecting Dexter to be ready to go," Weiss said. "Sounds like his hand is doing fine. Tulo's going to go to L.A. It'll be more re-evaluating Tulo and going from there."
Gonzalez returned from a sprained finger Wednesday as the Rockies held on for their third win in 10 games, 5-4 over San Diego. Gonzalez went 1 for 5 while Charlie Blackmon had two hits and two RBIs, including a key triple in the eighth inning.
Colorado (44-48) will try to continue heading in the right direction with another strong showing against the struggling Chris Capuano (2-6, 5.19 ERA). The left-hander has lost his last four matchups with the Rockies with a 6.75 ERA, giving six runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 9-5 loss at Coors Field last Thursday.
That performance left Capuano at 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in his last two starts.
The Rockies, though, will also have to face a surging Dodgers club that's 1 1/2 games behind Arizona for the NL West lead after a sweep of the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles (45-45) capped that series by rallying for a 7-5 victory in 14 innings Wednesday.
"Obviously, you want to come in and win a series, but to win three was big for us," manager Don Mattingly said.
Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis provided solo homers in the final inning to finish off three-hit games. Ramirez is batting .464 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in his last 22 contests, and Ellis is 15 for 39 (.385) with 11 RBIs during a nine-game hit streak.
They will next try to add to Drew Pomeranz's woes. Pomeranz (0-2, 9.72) has not made it past the fifth inning in two starts since being recalled from the minors. He gave up five runs in four innings of an 11-1 loss to Arizona on Saturday, matching a career high with five walks.
The left-hander gave up six runs over four innings in his most recent matchup with Los Angeles, a 10-8 loss Aug. 29. Ramirez hit a two-run homer off him in that game.
The Rockies are hoping Tulowitzki will get the chance to thwart the Dodgers' attempt to move above .500 for the first time since April 15. He's 5 for 11 with two solo homers against Capuano.