DENVER -- Josh Fogg never envisioned waiting until late August to make his first start of the season, but the veteran right-hander has played a key role for the Rockies since rejoining the club on May 25, giving long innings out of the bullpen and serving as a stabilizing force, with his arrival closely coinciding with the Rockies' turnaround.

"I obviously would have liked to have pitched better in the year at Spring Training," Fogg said. "I had a chance to make the team then. But everything happened for a reason this year. I needed to go to Triple-A and get some work in and get back right where I was a couple years ago. You never anticipate making your first start in late August, but I've been fortunate to go out there and throw for four innings of relief, so it won't be too foreign to go out there for an extended period of time."

Since coming up from Triple-A, Fogg has posted a 2.25 ERA in 20 relief appearances spanning 40 innings, striking out 22 while walking 14. Used primarily as a starter in Triple-A, Fogg was able to use the time to great effect, sharpening his game and reclaiming the form that made him an integral part of the Rockies' 2007 rotation.

"I'd gotten into a lot of bad habits mechanically last year when I was struggling with Cincinnati, and this year when I got to Spring Training I was still doing them," Fogg said. "I was fortunate enough to be able to go down there and work with Kniff [Sky Sox pitching coach Chuck Kniffin] and have catchers like Sal Fasano and Paul Phillips down there to catch me that have caught big league guys in the past and have seen me throw in the past and have seen what I can and can't do.

"Everybody down there helped and they were supportive and trying to get me back on track. I was able to go down there and get my mechanics back and have the ball do what I wanted it to do when it came out of my hand."

Fogg has faced the Dodgers twice this year, throwing two scoreless innings, and though the Rockies have climbed to within two games of L.A.'s place atop the National League West, he is not approaching the game any differently than a typical day in the bullpen.

"I'm going to go out there and treat it like I'm getting ready to come into a game out of the 'pen like I have been for the last three months," Fogg said. "I'm not going to go out there and throw an 80-pitch bullpen to get ready for the game like I would if I was starting. I'm going to throw the ball as hard as I can for as long as I can then hand the ball off to the next guy."

Fogg's long relief appearances have pushed his pitch count into the 50s and 60s, and with a bullpen that has had more than its share of action with back-to-back extra-innings games, an efficient outing giving him some distance would be key for his club.

If nothing else, the extra-inning games against division rivals and playoff contenders have rekindled the '07 atmosphere in which Fogg thrived.

"When you play a game like [Monday] night and you feel the sadness that goes with giving up the runs in the 14th and then the jubilation that goes with scoring the five runs in the bottom of the 14th, you get the same feelings," Fogg said. "But it's a different season right now. All around, this is a better team than we were in '07. We've played better than we did then. We had a good month and a half in '07, and we've had a good three and a half months here.

Pitching matchup
COL: RHP Josh Fogg (0-1, 2.25 ERA)
With Aaron Cook on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, Fogg gets his first start of the season in a critical game against the Dodgers. Fogg has been the long man out of the bullpen for the Rockies since coming up in late May, and he has allowed more than one earned run only one time in 20 appearances this season. Fogg is holding opposing hitters to a .186 average, the best mark among Rockies relievers. Nicknamed "The Dragon Slayer" for his big wins in the 2007 pennant race, Fogg was a non-roster invitee to camp this year and was 3-1 with a 5.80 ERA in eight starts for the Triple-A Sky Sox before being called up in May.

LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (8-6, 3.34 ERA)
Against the Cubs, Wolf pretty much repeated his performance in Arizona from five days earlier. He again fired a one-hitter through seven innings and was equally effective with the bat, doubling home both runs the Dodgers scored while he was in the game. Wolf's strikeouts were down from 10 to five, but he was more efficient, posting five 1-2-3 innings. The left-hander was lifted for a pinch-hitter after 88 pitches. He's 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his past three starts.

Tidbits
Ten of Troy Tulowitzki's 32 RBIs since the All-Star break have been go-ahead RBIs, capped by his walk-off RBI single Tuesday night in the 10th. ... Brad Hawpe's two-run homer on Tuesday was his first dinger at Coors Field since the last game before the break. It marked a season-high nine-straight home games with a Rockies home run. ... Rafael Betancourt made his 15th appearance for the Rockies Tuesday and gave up his first two runs since joining the club. ... The Rockies have gone hitless in the first three innings for three games in a row.

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Up next
• Thursday: Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa, 12-8, 4.76) vs. Dodgers (Vicente Padilla, 8-6, 4.92), 1:10 p.m. MT
• Friday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 12-9, 3.36) at Giants (Tim Lincecum, 12-4, 2.43), 8:15 p.m. MT
• Saturday: Rockies (Jason Marquis, 14-8, 3.47) at Giants (Barry Zito, 8-11, 4.09), 7:05 p.m. MT