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ATL@COL: Matzek baffles Braves to win his MLB debut

The Dodger Stadium mound should feel at least somewhat familiar for Rockies rookie Tyler Matzek.

The left-hander once pitched there five years ago, in the 2009 Aflac All-American Game. And it also isn't too far from home.

A native of Mission Viejo, Calif., and a first-round pick (11th overall) out of Capistrano Valley High School, Matzek will be making his second Major League start on that mound Monday night, taking on the Dodgers in front of friends and family.

"It's great," Matzek said. "I'm going to have plenty of people there, a lot of family and friends who are going to make it up there. It's good to have that support system there for me. I look forward to the day."

Matzek made his Major League debut Wednesday against the Braves, and he had an immediate impact.

Dialing up his fastball to the mid-90s and mixing in a hard slider, Matzek opened the game with 4 1/3 perfect innings and came out of it with his first MLB win. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven.

All while he battled a vicious case of first-game jitters.

"It was a masterful performance by Tyler," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after the win. "[He had an] explosive fastball, and his slider looked like it disappeared."

The left-hander will look to continue the Rockies' recent success as he faces off against Dodgers southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA on the season.

There may be some nerves once again for Matzek in his second big league outing, but that's nothing new for him. It certainly didn't hinder him the first time.

"I'm always going to be nervous," Matzek said. "That's a natural thing. If I embrace it, nerves are a good thing. I can use them to my advantage. They can make me feel more focused."

Dodgers: Wins starting to come at home
The Dodgers began their current homestand with an inexplicable 13-19 record at Dodger Stadium.

Those home woes might not be solved quite yet, but the Dodgers could be headed in the right direction. They won two out of three games against the D-backs this weekend to push their home record closer to where it should be.

"It is nice," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "At this point it's hopefully behind us, and this can kind of continue. It's a good start, and we'll see where we go from here."

The Dodgers have won six out of their past 10 games, inching to 6 1/2 games behind the Giants, who hold the Majors' best record.

The series with the Rockies could provide a chance to shake up the National League West standings even further.

"It's been good," Mattingly said. "That's what happens in this game. It looks so bad at one point, and then a few days later you kind of feel the momentum around you.

"Only time will tell if it's true momentum."

Rockies: Colorado riding clutch bats
After dropping two of three to the Dodgers last week in Denver, the Rockies are traveling to Los Angeles a changed team.

Colorado is scorching hot, having won its past five games and sweeping a weekend series in San Francisco against the division leaders. But the Rockies have done more than just win -- they've done so with aplomb.

They crushed the Braves in the final two games of a four-game homestand, winning 8-2 and 10-3, respectively, then carried that momentum with them to AT&T Park. In the series opener, Colorado used a five-run rally in the ninth inning for a 7-4 victory.

That was only the beginning.

The next day, Giants closer Sergio Romo blew another save as Brandon Barnes hit a go-ahead inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning to lead Colorado to a 5-4 victory. On Sunday, the Rockies posted a four-run rally in the eighth for an 8-7 win to secure the sweep.

"It just shows the fight in our club," Weiss said.

Worth noting
• Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff inflammation after his Major League debut June 6, threw from 120 and 130 feet on Sunday. If all goes well, he'll be cleared to throw from the mound Monday at Dodger Stadium.

He is eligible to come off the disabled list June 22. The Rockies are leaning toward sending him out for a rehab assignment before reinserting him into the rotation.

• Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa has responded to treatment for the lower back tightness that shortened his last start to three innings. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Sunday there should be no problem with De La Rosa making his scheduled start Wednesday.

• Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has been limited of late with a calf injury and didn't start any game in the weekend series, but Mattingly said Turner is improving and should be able to avoid the disabled list.

• Ryu has had mixed results against the Rockies this season, going 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA. Comments