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Dodgers

Dodgers head to San Francisco after getting swept by Rockies, 12-5

Alex Wood, Chase Utley

Dodgers first baseman Chase Utley pays a visit to the mound before left-hander Alex Wood is pulled from the game in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon in Denver.

(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Well, of course, why neatly wrap up the division against the lowly Rockies when you can get swept and head to San Francisco with the season on the line?

What is a Dodgers-Giants series without a little drama?

Certainly, the Dodgers did their part, getting swept by the Rockies for the first time in eight years, ending with a 12-5 loss on Sunday at Coors Field.

Since the Giants won to pull within six games, the Dodgers’ magic number remained at two with seven regular-season games to play. And the Dodgers’ next four games are at San Francisco.

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The Dodgers win just one game at AT&T Park and it’s over. But if the Giants win out, the Dodgers might have to win two of the final three games against the Padres to capture the National League West.

Stranger things have happened, but not many. If it all seems inevitable, and the Dodgers appear to be playing like it.

The team playing the crisper baseball, playing with urgency, making fewer mental and physical mistakes, playing like something significant was on the line all weekend was the Rockies.

There’s little to be said about Sunday’s effort that wasn’t said previously about their losses Friday and Saturday.

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The Dodgers’ starting pitching, again, could not get it done. Alex Wood went 5 1/3 innings and was charged with eight runs on 11 hits and two walks. The last time he faced the Rockies on Sept. 16, Wood held them scoreless on one hit in eight innings.

The offense collected 14 hits, but left 11 runners on base and went four for 20 with runners in scoring position.

There was Joc Pederson making a baserunning mistake, throws were not made, J.P. Howell balking and, of course, Nolan Arenado hitting his daily home run, this one a three-run shot off Wood in the fourth that gave the Rockies the lead. After the Dodgers went ahead, 4-1, the Rockies scored the next 11 runs.

There were a couple of nice defensive plays by Chris Heisey, but otherwise the defensive play was something much less than sharp. A bullpen that had actually been pitching well of late, saw Pedro Baez, Ian Thomas and Jim Johnson all give up runs.

The Dodgers are not exactly charging to the title, having lost seven of their last nine.

The Dodgers are scheduled to start Zack Greinke in the series opener Monday in San Francisco, which would normally be a jolt of confidence, but the right-hander skipped his last start with a sore calf, so there is at least an element of uncertainty.

Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start the second game, and if the Dodgers haven’t ended the suspense after Tuesday, things could get really interesting.

Maybe playing in the less-than-friendly confines of AT&T Park will raise the Dodgers’ sagging energy level. One victory in San Francisco and all might be forgiven, but maybe not forgotten.

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