Dating back to last season, the Rockies have won three of their last four series at Dodgers Stadium, with the fourth being a four-game split.
After 6-1 and 4-2 Dodgers wins this week, that Rockies run is over. On Wednesday night left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will try to avoid the Rockies' first sweep in Los Angeles since Sept. 28-30, 2012, but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw stands in his way.
Ironically, the Dodgers breakthrough against their National League West rival comes at a time in which they're focusing less on winning and more on just playing.
"I know everybody says we have to win every day, but at the same time, there are 29 more teams out there that are competing every day," said shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who homered on Tuesday night but left with a contusion of his right ring finger in the seventh inning.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believes that release of tension has translated into an uptick in team morale.
"I think, right now, we feel the energy," said Mattingly. "The whole last road trip I felt like our energy's been good. Our energy's been good this homestand, even in the game we lost. You can feel that mentality. We're fighting."
And it certainly doesn't hurt that the Dodgers, winning eight of their last 12 and 4-1 on their current homestand, have been able to make up some ground during the Giants' current four-game losing streak.
"Being able to pick up a little bit of ground helps you feel a little bit better," said Mattingly.
Rockies: De La Rosa ready to roll
De La Rosa's ongoing battle with back pain has affected his between-starts routine and even his sleeping patterns. What it won't affect is his turn in the rotation every five days.
"I love to pitch, no matter if something hurts," said De La Rosa. "If I feel I can walk, I can pitch."
De La Rosa left Friday's game against the Giants after three innings due to a strained back. Although he admitted continued tightness in his lower back postgame, De La Rosa was confident he wouldn't miss a start.
"It got tight, but I was feeling better the next day," he said.
After having his start pushed back three days, De La Rosa decided to stop running in between starts. This most recent flareup has caused him to get more creative with the way he sleeps.
"I have a big pillow at the back of my knees," said De La Rosa. "It helps a lot."
De La Rosa won six straight decisions from late April till the end of May, but he has struggled of late, earning a loss in two of his last three starts while being hit for 10 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings.
He will seek his seventh win on Wednesday.
Dodgers: Mattingly 'confident' Kemp can regain form
Outfielder Matt Kemp and his $160 million contract have been in the crosshairs of those who feel the big-budget Dodgers are underperforming.
Since the calendar has flipped to June though, Kemp has done his best to silence his critics.
Kemp is hitting .321 (18-for-56) with two home runs, 11 runs and 10 RBIs in June. When asked if he thought Kemp could still regain his 2011, National League MVP runner-up form that earned him his big payday, Mattingly said he's "confident" that the talent is "still there."
Kemp, who moved to fifth on the Dodgers' all-time home run list Tuesday night with a solo shot in the fourth inning, believes his and his team's turnaround stems from keeping it loose in the clubhouse.
"We're starting to have a lot more fun. We had a tough little stretch," said Kemp. "Hopefully we don't hit one of those again and stay consistent and keep burning it up."
Kemp's hot streak comes at a perfect time, as fellow outfielder Carl Crawford has had a setback in his recovery from a sprained right ankle.
Crawford was eligible to come off the disabled list last week but was shut down at the Dodgers' training facility in Glendale, Ariz., and flew back to Los Angeles this week to undergo an MRI on the ankle Tuesday.
• Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is hitting .294 with a home run and four RBIs against Kershaw.
• Kemp is hitting .419 with three homers and 10 RBIs against De La Rosa. Adrian Gonzalez is right behind him against the Rockies left-hander at .361, also with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.