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Dodgers at Rockies, 1:10 p.m.
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, LF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Andre Ethier, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Miguel Rojas, 2B
Dan Haren, P

By Jon Weisman

Heading into today’s game, the 50-39 Dodgers are two games (.024) behind Milwaukee for the best record in the National League, their closest point since they were 12-7 on April 20.

Atlanta, winner of eight straight, is a half-game behind the Dodgers.

Let’s do this pregame notebook-style …

  • Andre Ethier’s recent hot streak keeps him in the lineup against left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. Ethier, who had two singles, a walk and a triple Friday, is 10 for his last 24 with two walks, two doubles, two triples and a home run (1.253 OPS). He’s the third-hottest hitter in the NL over the past week.
  • Scott Van Slyke is resting against a lefty for the first time in 2014, after making 22 starts in a row against them. Van Slyke singled and hit a three-run homer Friday, giving hima .973 OPS this season.
  • Adrian Gonzalez, who went 2 for 6 Friday, remains in the lineup against the lefty.
  • Yasiel Puig is batting leadoff for the seventh time this year but the first time since April 23. In the first inning Friday, he hit his first home run since May 28, but then was retired in his remaining five at-bats and is 1 for 10 in the series. Puig’s .907 OPS is its lowest since May 8.
  • Dee Gordon is out of the starting lineup for the 12th time in 90 games in 2014. Gordon has a .500 on-base percentage in his past 10 starts, and stole his first base Friday since June 25.
  • A.J. Ellis had a season-high three hits Friday, including his fourth double of the year.
  • Something to keep in perspective as you look at stats today: MLB offenses are producing at their lowest rate in more than 20 years, notes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Well worth reading his reporting and analysis.
  • Carl Crawford was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Albuquerque today that would last at least five games. Crawford has been out since May 27, right as he was on a 20-game hot streak that had him with a .389 on-base percentage and .565 slugging in 72 plate appearances.
  • Scott Elbert pitched back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday for Albuquerque for the first time on his rehab assignment, allowing no hits and one walk while striking out three in two innings.
  • Top 2014 draft pick Grant Holmes struck out five of seven batters he faced in two scoreless innings of his pro debut, wrote Teddy Cahill of MLB.com.
  • The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are red-hot, winning 14 of 15 to start the second half of their season, writes Ron Cervenka of Think Blue L.A.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s 36-inning scoreless streak “is the longest in a Major League season by a starting pitcher since the Diamondbacks’ Brandon Webb threw 42 consecutive scoreless frames back in 2007, and it’s the longest such streak by a left-handed starter since Kenny Rogers strung together 39 scoreless innings for the Rangers in 1995,” according to the Elias Sports Bureau (via the Dodger press notes).
  • Two months ago, our Cary Osborne looked at whether Clayton Kershaw was could get back in the Cy Young race, having made only one start at that point. Looks pretty good now.