No Deja Vu for Dodgers in Colorado
Déjà vu almost became a part of the Dodgers’ 2009 experience Sunday, but the Rockies would have none of it. Having won three straight from Colorado last weekend in LA, the Dodgers seemed well on their way to another weekend sweep by squeaking past the Rockies on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was to be a different story as Colorado blasted Clayton Kershaw for nine runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings en route to a 10-4 triumph. Los Angeles had captured 6-5 wins on Friday and Saturday.
Two-run homers by Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes were the big blows off Kershaw, who dropped to 0-2 while his ERA climbed to 7.29. James Loney collected three hits including a sixth-inning, two-run double to lead the Dodgers, who complete their road trip with a three-game series beginning Monday in San Francisco. Los Angeles enters SF with a first-place record of 13-6. The Giants are 8-8. Probable pitching match-ups:
The Dodgers played Sunday without Manny Ramirez, who took the day off after going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Saturday night. “He won’t admit it, but he’ll take it,” Dodger Manager Joe Torre said of Ramirez on Dodgers.com. “I never think about giving him a rest. But I watched and he was a little behind yesterday. He seemed cheating a little. You get tired and start the engine a little earlier.” Juan Pierre singled twice and scored as Ramirez’s replacement. Kershaw was knocked out in a five-run fifth which featured a bases-loaded triple by Jeff Baker off reliever Scott Elbert. Centerfielder Matt Kemp appeared to misplay the drive.
Ramon Troncoso was the star of the Dodgers’ Saturday victory, allowing no runs and one hit over the last four innings in relief of James McDonald to earn his first major league save. He struck out one and did not issue a walk. McDonald (1-1) notched his first major league victory. Russell Martin singled twice and drove in four runs for LA, which took a 4-0 first-inning lead. On Friday, in a game of squandered opportunities, Brad Ausmus, starting in place of Martin, scored in the eighth and rapped a game-winning RBI single in the ninth. The Dodgers (11) and Rockies combined to strand 23 base runners.
Dodger Chatter: Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake also rested on Sunday. Despite going 0-for-4 Sunday, Orlando Hudson is tied with another second baseman, Pittsburgh’s Freddy Sanchez, for eighth in the National League batting race at .351. Sunday’s outing was the second consecutive sub par effort after the one in which he fanned 13 in seven innings for Kershaw, who allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings in an 8-5 loss to the Astros in Houston. McDonald (7.11 ERA) will remain in the starting rotation until the return of Hiroki Kuroda, who has been on the disabled list since April 7. According to the Dodgers’ website, Kuroda will be in LA Monday for an examination of his left oblique muscle. He experienced recurring tightness Thursday while throwing in the bullpen. Also on Dodgers.com, Corey Wade is scheduled to pitch one inning Thursday in a rehab assignment at Class A Inland Empire. If all goes well, he is expected to return off the disabled list. He has been out with shoulder bursitis. The Dodgers lead the majors in on-base percentage (.386), rank third behind the Cardinals (.299) and Blue Jays (.298) with a .293 team batting average, and fourth in runs scored (106) behind the Blue Jays (124), Cardinals (115) and Rangers (110).
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