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Series preview: Dodgers at Rockies

Somebody asked Andre Ethier whether the Dodgers were "down" about playing two pretty lousy games at the conclusion of their last homestand and, thus, slipping right back into second place in the NL West, where they had spent nearly all of June.

"Three weeks ago, you guys said we were out of it," Ethier said. "We're one game out, so are we going to be down?"

OK, probably not, but this weekend -- with four games in Colorado -- would be a good time to get back on track. The Rockies have gone 8-25 over the past month or so and the Dodgers will be facing four pitchers with ERAs that range between 4.86 (Jorge De La Rosa) and 9.45 (Christian Friedrich) while countering with Zack Greinke (2.78), Clayton Kershaw (2.04), Dan Haren (3.57) -- who just pitched seven shutout innings -- and Josh Beckett (2.37).

Then again, scoring has been an issue for the Dodgers lately and there are strong indications they'll put slugging shortstop Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list when they get there Thursday. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly intimated that's where things were heading before Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Ramirez walked during a pinch-hitting appearance in that game and seemed to limp running to third on Ethier's bloop double.

Colorado said it planned to activate its slick-fielding third baseman, Nolan Arenado, before Thursday's game. Carlos Gonzalez might begin a rehab assignment in the coming days, but he's unlikely to return in the next four games. The Rockies had 10 players on the DL going into Wednesday and it looks as if pitcher Jhoulys Chacin could be out for the season because of a shoulder injury.

The Rockies were actually playing pretty well when they got to Dodger Stadium a couple of weeks ago and the Dodgers dominated in a three-game sweep, outscoring them 18-3. That seemed to put them right back in their funk: They're 2-11 since.