Dodgers extend streak to six wins, despite LeMahieu's homer
By Ken Gurnick and Thomas Harding
LOS ANGELES -- Torrid Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs and Howie Kendrick had a pair of doubles as the Dodgers win streak reached six games with a 6-3 victory over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium Saturday night. More >
Zack Greinke got the win, despite being chased with a two-run homer by DJ LeMahieu with two out in the top of the seventh inning. Since joining the Dodgers, Greinke is 6-1 against Colorado and 20-1 against the NL West, while the Dodgers are 43-20 in his starts.
"He was typical Zack," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "He located, he changed speeds. He had a couple quick innings in the middle that kept his pitch count down. He got sick a couple days ago and we sent him home early yesterday."
Rockies starting pitcher Jordan Lyles was charged with four runs in six innings, walking five.
"Tonight was not good," Lyles said. "I cannot walk that many people."
In addition to LeMahieu's homer, the Rockies scored in the first inning on Charlie Blackmon's leadoff double and Troy Tulowitzki's RBI single. But with spotty starting pitching, less-than-crisp overall play and reliever Brooks Brown giving up two seventh-inning runs -- the first off him since last Aug. 26 -- the Rockies didn't play well enough to beat Greinke. It was a similar story Friday in a 7-3 loss to the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.
"We've been playing extremely well defensively and our bullpen has been lights out," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's not going to be like that 100 percent of the time. But we've got to play a little tighter to beat guys like Kershaw and Greinke."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Puig drama: Returning from a tight hamstring, Yasiel Puig flinched on a pair of check swings in the third inning, singled to load the bases, went hard into second base trying to break up a double play, with the resulting bounced relay by LeMahieu allowing the tiebreaking run to score. Puig also misread Gonzalez's bases-loaded fly to the warning track in the fifth, advancing only to second and reducing a sure double into a single. When the inning ended, Gonzalez appeared to be lecturing Puig on baserunning basics. More >
Had their shot: The Rockies' Blackmon doubled to open the game, and scored on Tulowitzki's one-out single. Greinke hit Justin Morneau, but escaped the jam by forcing Nolan Arenado into a double-play grounder.
Putting out all fires: The Dodgers' bullpen held Colorado scoreless in the final 2 1/3 innings and has allowed only one earned run in 17 1/3 innings this season. Joel Peralta pitched the ninth inning for his third save. His career high is six in 2011.
Glove man with a big bat: LeMahieu, who has a solid defensive reputation, awakened the Rockies by swatting a two-run homer into the left-field bleachers with two out in the seventh. LeMahieu has hit safely in all but one of the team's first 11 games. At the time of LeMahieu's homer, the Rockies were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. More >
"I knew I was probably his last batter, and I didn't want him to leave the game having a good taste in his mouth -- that's really all I was thinking," LeMahieu said.
"The most important inning of the game was the shutdown inning after the home run [LeMahieu] hit to pull the game within one. To give up two is the last thing you want. It kills momentum." -- Brown after his difficult seventh inning
"I haven't seen the same amount of dew on the [dugout] railing, haven't felt the same type of moisture as the game goes on. I don't know what it is, but the ball is carrying. I'll let you guys figure it out." -- Mattingly on the increase in home runs at Dodger Stadium
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Lyles entered having forced ground balls for 56.8 percent of his outs, but Saturday he had more outs in the air (seven) than on the ground (six).
Brown had held lefty hitters to a .111 batting average this year before he fell behind the switch-hitting Rollins and gave up his leadoff double in the seventh.
Righty Eddie Butler has struggled with walks but not with runs. He has 10 walks to six strikeouts, but is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA and the Rockies have won both of his starts going into Sunday afternoon's series finale with the Dodgers at 1:10 p.m. PT/2:10 p.m. MT. Butler will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy, who's coming off his unusual 10-strikeout, four-homer start in Arizona. The Dodgers are hoping for the return of Carl Crawford, who missed Saturday night's start with a stomach illness.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.