LOS ANGELES -- The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers will have two similar, yet distinct, goals for their offenses when they play Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers, who earned a 5-0 victory over the Rockies on Friday night, hope to extend that success beyond one day. Though Los Angeles compiled a 16-12 record with 37 home runs last month, several Dodgers experienced a miserable June offensively.Seven players hit less than .225 for the month, ranging from Adrian Gonzalezs .223 to Enrique Hernandezs .158. Among those seven are four other regulars: Chase Utley (.209), Trayce Thompson (.207), A.J. Ellis (.188) and Yasmani Grandal (.169).Throughout the lineup, weve got to have some more production, manager Dave Roberts recently told MLB.com.Hurting Los Angeles cause will be the absence of Joc Pederson, who went on the disabled list Friday after injuring his right shoulder by running into the outfield wall in Milwaukees Miller Park on Tuesday night to catch a fly ball. Pedersons 13 homers rank second on the club.However, Corey Seager remains healthy and productive. The shortstop -- who leads the Dodgers with 17 home runs, 40 RBI, 95 hits, 20 doubles and a .590 slugging percentage -- will bring a 14-game hitting streak into Saturday nights contestThe Rockies, meanwhile, hope to return to the offensive success that marked their June. Colorado batted .275 as a team during the month while amassing 61 doubles, five triples, 39 home runs and 149 RBI.Carlos Gonzalez contributed a .364 average and 29 RBI in June. Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds had 12-game and nine-game streaks, respectively, during the month.As a result, Colorado went 13-14 during June, the first time the team won 13 games in a month in three years. Nevertheless, the Rockies enter Saturday nights game having lost three in succession and six of their last nine.Were playing decent baseball, but were not playing good baseball, Gonzalez told the Denver Post. Even though things are more positive than in the past, its still not good enough. You cant be satisfied with being a close to .500 club.The Rockies played three of their last four games without two important components, rookie shortstop Trevor Story and veteran second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Story has a bruised right finger that he aggravated Tuesday in a 14-9 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, while LeMahieu is battling a bruised left knee.Story leads all major league rookies with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. LeMahieu is with tied Gonzalez for fourth place among National League batters with a .326 average.Colorado manager Walt Weiss said before Friday nights game that LeMahieu could have played after performing some pregame drills, but he opted to give his All-Star second baseman an extra day of rest.Right-hander Chad Bettis (6-5, 5.84 ERA) will start for the Rockies against Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir (6-3, 4.67). Both pitchers will try to extend personal winning streaks at the others expense.Bettis, who has not lost since June 4, seeks his third consecutive victory, while Kazmir hopes to earn his fourth successive win. Despite not losing since May 9, Kazmir has itched beyond the sixth inning just once this season.In six career games (three starts) against the Dodgers, Bettis has no decisions and a 4.58 ERA. He has not faced Los Angeles this year.Kazmir is 1-0 with a 5.73 ERA in two all-time starts against the Rockies. He got a no-decision at Coors Field on April 22, when he allowed four runs in five innings. Cheap Nike Jerseys Free Shipping . 8 Iowa State on Saturday, sending the Cyclones to their third consecutive loss. The Longhorns (14-4, 3-2) got their biggest win of the season with their third in the row in the Big 12. Nike MLB Jerseys China . 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LOUIS -- Rookie Tavon Austin has missed another day of practice, lessening the odds hell be ready for the St. ?This could be a story about redemption.Or it could be a story about time running out on a generation of hockey players looking to shoulder their way into a discussion of the greatest American players of all time.Or both.But stripped down to its very core, this is a story about the very essence of what it means to become a team.Will Team USA coalesce into that rarest of things, something that is greater than the sum of its very disparate, rugged parts and emerge in a month as not necessarily the best players in the world but the best team in the world?History tells us that such things are possible.It was so in 1980, when a bunch of no-name American players beat the Russians en route to a gold medal. And it was so in 1996, when a brash group of American NHLers beat some of the greatest players in the history of the game to win the first-ever World Cup of Hockey.But history also tells us such transformations are difficult to achieve, and many teams fall in vain while waiting for that alchemy to take place.How will history judge the U.S. entry at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which kicks off Sept. 17 in Toronto? Well, thats whats going to make the next month or so such compelling theater. Because there is something that tells us this is going to be one of two things: a face-smashing, bone-jarring success -- or a very ugly trip into chaos.Not a lot of people are going to be picking us to win many games against teams with these high-skilled players, so were going to have to really outwork and really earn every victory, New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh?said.McDonagh is one of 14 Team USA players who also went to the Sochi Olympics in 2014 with high hopes, only to crumble late, failing to score a single goal in tournament-ending losses to Canada in the semifinals and to Finland in the bronze-medal game.What was to have been a steppingstone to greatness after the Americans earned a silver in Vancouver four years earlier, after losing in overtime in the gold-medal game to host Canada, ended with more than a little finger pointing and acrimony in Russia.I think the feeling in the locker room was we were all pretty embarrassed and upset about the result, McDonagh said. I dont think Ive heard anybody talk about that [bronze-medal] game, but you bring it up, you ask me, but I can remember that feeling, and if you asked anybody else, if they can remember that feeling, we definitely dont want to repeat that.McDonagh said he doesnt think what transpired in Sochi needs to be dredged up as motivation for this version of Team USA. But what happened there, the failure of the team to rally itself, to truly forge an identity that could carry it through the crucial moments of a tournament that was theirs for the taking, is a strong backstory to this World Cup team.I dont have a ton of regrets in my career, but to not have that group take advantage of that opportunity really still stings, and you want that back, Boston Bruins center David Backes?said. Backes was part of the silver-medal effort in Vancouver and was part of the leadership core in Sochi. Losing 1-0 to Canada in one of the fastest games youll ever see wasnt necessarily the defining moment for the 14 team, but not bouncing back was especially galling.To still have a chance against Finland to win a medal and to squander that, I think that really stings as well, Backes said.And so GM Dean Lombardi and his management team went off script to build the 16 version of Team USA.In all, nine players played on the 2010 silver-medal team, including Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson and Brandon Dubinsky, who werent in Sochi. The plan was simple: Bring in players who can bond immediately and who thrive in the dirty areas of the ice, who can win a street brawl in the tighter quarters of an NHL rink like the Air Canada Centre, and who will accept their roles without hesitation, without question.Zach Parise, the captain of the American team in Sochi, acknowledged there are lots of questions about the roster of the current U.S. squad.Im sure everyones got their opinions, Parise said recently. But I think its going to be a team thats hard to play against, and playing on an NHL rink with that style of team, I think that they did a lot research into that. I think you have guys that are very hard to play against. I think its going to be a good team.Throw into the equation the uncertainty over the future of NHL participation in the Olympics, and you add another layer of urgency for much of this team. Defenseman and two-time Olympian Ryan Suter is 31. His pal and Minnesota Wild teammate Parise is 32. Backes is 32, and?Ryan Kesler will turn 32 a couplee of days before training camp starts.ddddddddddddIf the NHL does not return to the Olympics, the World Cup represents the only best-on-best tournament available to the worlds best players. And given the International Olympic Committees stance that they will no longer pay for professional athletes travel, insurance and other expenses as they have since the NHL first started playing in the Olympics in 1998, a return to the Winter Olympics seems doubtful.Given the emergence of a plethora of top-end young American talent in Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, Brandon Saad and Johnny Gaudreau, all of whom will play on Team North America in the World Cup and would seem to be locks for a U.S. team down the road, its easy to suggest this is the last, best chance for this group of American players to lay claim to being the best in the world.The World Cups not going to erase what happened in Russia by any means, but at the same time it would be a better way to go out, Parise said. Not that were all riding off into the sunset right now.The topic of urgency and taking advantage of opportunities like the World Cup was a recurring theme for Team USA players, especially those who spent the offseason in Minnesota.You only get so many opportunities like this to make a name for yourself and make yourself on top of the world, so to speak, McDonagh said. And I think our group is really trying to take that to heart and understand that its a fine line between winning. But if you can get everybody on the same page and really pushing for one another and not worrying whos in certain situations and just go out there and play hard against your opponent and play hard for your country and that jersey, I think weve got the group to do it and do whatever we want to accomplish.Backes put it more succinctly.I think the way USA Hockey is trending, theres a lot of great players that are coming up, and you never know when someones going to kick you out of your spot, he said.This last-chance mentality is something management is counting on while helping this team focus on the here and now to come together in rapid fashion.I think if you look that far in advance, youre short-sighting what you have in front of you, and thats at the forefront for me, Backes said. Make each opportunity, make the most of it, and we wont have regrets and look in the mirror and say, I wish I would have, like perhaps what were doing with Sochi and the opportunities that we had there. Thats the way Im looking at it. Im grateful and humbled by another experience to represent my country at an elite level, and I take great pride in having that opportunity.In some ways, the story of the building of this U.S. team has been the story of who wasnt asked to take part. Former Olympians Justin Faulk, Kevin Shattenkirk, Phil Kessel and Paul Martin werent invited. Neither was dynamic young Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson. Or Kyle Okposo.They may be difficult to play against, but they may be lacking some speed and finish, one scout said of the roster. In a short tournament like this, goaltending will be key.And if the team flounders, the recriminations will be swift and strong. But not everyone is pessimistic about how things might unfold in Toronto.I think its a heck of a team, said longtime NHLer and national broadcast analyst Darren Pang.He noted that GM Lombardi has built two Stanley Cup winners for the Los Angeles Kings. He knows the types of players who will rise to the occasion in big games, in difficult times, and he knows players who will shrink away from those challenges, Pang said.You ever watch Dubinsky play in hard games, big games? asked Pang, who will provide analysis for ESPN during the tournament. Hes ferocious.He noted Justin Abdelkaders hard-nosed play at the World Championships a couple of years back.Theres some meat and potatoes in this group, Pang added.Hall of Famer Brett Hull, a member of the seminal 1996 U.S. World Cup of Hockey team, has a different take.Hull, who also is providing analysis for ESPN during the tournament, said recently, They put people in charge, and its their team. It really doesnt matter what I think or what anybody else thinks, its what they think, and they obviously think theyve picked a real strong team.If thats what theyre looking for and thats the style theyre going to play, then they probably picked the right guys.And so the journey begins for this group of players with so much to prove. And I wonder, when it ends, will we call them a team or something else? cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '