The last time the Rockies split a road series, they were just 4 1/2 games back in the division, the Dodgers' run still in its infancy as they crept up on the National League-West leading D-backs.
But much can change over five-plus weeks, and the Rockies will have a chance to earn their first split away from Coors Field in their fourth and final game against the Phillies on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park. Colorado nearly secured that split Wednesday night before the Phillies rallied with a two-run ninth to grab a 4-3 win and keep the Rockies from taking the series.
Interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg will tab Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.36 ERA) for the series finale as the righty tries to earn his first victory since Aug. 6. Kendrick has struggled to find a consistent rhythm for much of the season, often following up strong starts with disappointing ones.
Kendrick was more than effective in his most recent start, allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings Saturday in a loss to the Dodgers, giving him another chance to buck that trend Thursday.
"I battled, gave us a quality outing and a chance to win; that's all you can ask," Kendrick said following the loss. "Against a guy like [Clayton Kershaw], he's pretty good, obviously. You just try to keep the game close."
It would not take much to improve on Kendrick's one start against Colorado this year, when he surrendered seven runs and two home runs in a June 14 no-decision.
This time, Kendrick will face a Rockies offense missing one of its most potent bats in left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is still on the disabled list. But even without Gonzalez, the Rockies' 24 runs in six games have already passed their run total from their disastrous 1-9 road trip earlier this month.
Chad Bettis (0-2, 5.30) will make his fifth career start behind Colorado as he still tries to prove he is ready for the big leagues. After a steady six-inning, two-run start Aug. 11, Bettis allowed eight runs -- only two of them earned -- and walked four over 2 2/3 innings against the Orioles.
"It was really embarrassing," Bettis said. "I've got a lot to learn. I felt like my stuff today was probably the best it's been. But then also it was moving too much. I've got a lot to learn from this start. That's all I've got to take from it, just move forward."
Rockies: Rosario still mashing
Wilin Rosario made sure he got his hitting streak out of the way early in Wednesday night's loss, smashing a solo homer in the second inning to extend his career-high streak to 12 games.
Since the streak began Aug. 1, Rosario has four home runs and 15 RBIs with a .353 average. He also has five multihit games since the hitting streak -- the second-longest active run in the Majors -- began.
While the streak may stand as the highlight of Rosario's season, he was certainly not slumping before August rolled around. Over his last 46 games, Rosario is hitting .330 with 12 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBIs.
Phillies: Bernadina acquired from Nationals
Looking to add an extra spark to their lineup, the Phillies signed free agent Roger Bernadina on Wednesday.
The Nationals released Bernadina on Monday after he hit just .178 in 85 games. But Bernadina, who flied out in his lone plate appearance as a pinch-hitter Wednesday night, showed he could be an offensive weapon last year, when he hit .291 while driving in 25 runs and stealing 15 bases.
To make rom for Bernadina, Philadelphia optioned utilityman Michael Martinez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
• Three of the first four starts of Bettis' career have come on the road, where he is 0-2 with a 6.39 ERA. He has never faced the Phillies.
• The Phils are 29-9 (.763) in the regular season against Colorado since 2008, their best record against any club over that stretch.
• The Phillies' bullpen has a 2.33 ERA over its last nine games, one of the league's lowest over that stretch.
• Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler is 3-for-8 with two doubles and two walks against Kendrick.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.