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Jhoulys Chacin Looks To Take Series Victory Today Against Dodgers

(Sports Network) - The Rockies are getting contributions from many different players as they try to inch closer to a playoff spot.

Two of those weapons will be on display this afternoon as Troy Tulowitzki aims for his 13th home run of the month and Jhoulys Chacin looks to extend a five- start unbeaten streak in the middle contest of a three-game set with the hosting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tulowitzki set the tone early in Colorado's second straight victory and 12th in their last 14 games with a first-inning home run that helped Colorado to a 7-5 victory in Friday's opener. It was his 24th homer of the season and ninth in his last nine games.

"The home run couldn't have come at a better time," Tulowitzki said. "Everyone knows we've had trouble on the road."

Todd Helton added four hits and Melvin Mora drove in two runs for the Rockies, who pulled within 1 1/2 games of the National League West-leading Giants and stayed at 2 1/2 games back in the wild card race.

Ubaldo Jimenez became baseball's third 19-game winner with 6 1/3 innings of four-run ball.

Taking the hill tonight for the Rockies is Chacin, who is 3-0 with a 1.20 earned run average since a loss to the Dodgers on Aug. 17. He did struggle with his command last time out, throwing 84 pitches over just four innings of a no-decision against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander gave up two unearned runs on five hits and four walks before his exit.

The 22-year-old Chacin is 8-9 with a 3.53 ERA in 25 games (18 starts) this year and did beat the Dodgers in a rematch on Aug. 28, hurling seven innings of one-run ball and striking out seven to improve to 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in five career games versus Los Angeles.

He'll look to deal the Dodgers a fourth straight setback today. Two-time defending division champion Los Angeles is 11 games back of first place in the NL West and learned before yesterday's game that manager Joe Torre will retire at end of the season, finishing out his contract, with hitting coach Don Mattingly set to step in as his successor.

The Dodgers couldn't scratch out a win for their manager on Friday despite three hits and two RBI from A.J. Ellis. Casey Blake drove in a run in the ninth inning and Los Angeles had the go-ahead run at the plate, but Matt Kemp struck out to end the game.

Los Angeles has now lost three straight to the Rockies.

"We've earned where we are, we don't warrant being in the pennant race," Torre said of the Dodgers.

John Ely will try to turn in a second straight quality start for the Dodgers today after a successful return from the minors on Saturday.

Recalled to face Houston, the 24-year-old Ely gave up three runs on six hits and a walk over six innings in his first outing since July 10. He got a no- decision after losing five of his six decisions before his demotion.

The right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 15 starts this year and faces the Rockies for the first time.