Dodgers sweep Rockies to extend win streak to seven
By Ken Gurnick and Thomas Harding
LOS ANGELES -- The first-place Dodgers' win streak reached seven games Sunday as Brandon McCarthy threw six scoreless innings and Scott Van Slyke and Justin Turner had three extra-base hits each in a 7-0 victory over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Van Slyke had a pair of doubles and the second of the three home runs the Dodgers hit in the five-run sixth inning off reliever Scott Oberg. The others were hit by Howie Kendrick and Joc Pederson. Van Slyke's long ball came after Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau missed his foul popup for an error. Van Slyke and Pederson also had RBI doubles in the second inning. Turner tied a career high with four hits, three doubles. More >
"What I like about us right now is the day-in, day-out mentality we've had," manager Don Mattingly said. "Nobody is getting totally excited, going crazy, we understand where we're at in the season."
McCarthy, who allowed four homers in his previous start, yielded three singles in this one. McCarthy entered with a 6.75 career ERA against the Rockies. More >
"He was a lot better -- take a look at his velocity," said Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who grounded into a double play to end the sixth with his team trailing, 2-0. "When we faced him last year in Arizona he was 90-91 [mph], today he was 95. That's completely new."
The Dodgers have scored at least five runs in each game of their win streak, the club's longest stretch since 2008. The Dodgers' bullpen allowed one hit in three innings and finished the homestand with one run allowed in 20 1/3 innings.
Rockies starter Eddie Butler gave up two runs on six hits in five innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Scott Van Sub: Starting because left fielder Carl Crawford was still sick, Van Slyke doubled home Kendrick with one out in the second inning and was doubled home by Pederson to give McCarthy an early lead. Van Slyke added his two-run homer in the sixth.
Butler better: Butler struggled in the second, but can build on his solid comeback. Butler walked just one -- Jimmy Rollins with two out and the bases empty in the fifth -- and battled his way out of a tough at-bat against Adrian Gonzalez with a foul to the catcher to end the fifth. He struck out four.
"With Gonzalez coming up, I understood how to attack him," Butler said. "I stuck with that plan, which was, 'Here it is.' I was going to give him my best fastball and I'm sure he was waiting for it. I prevailed on it and was hoping to give the guys some life to have a big inning the next inning."
Escape act: Colorado had runners on the corners with no outs in the sixth inning, but McCarthy got Carlos Gonzalez to pop out and began a 1-6-3 double play with Tulowitzki's grounder to end the threat. More >
Strategic gamble: Butler recovered from the rough second and made the big sequence against Gonzalez to end the fifth. But with Butler's spot up to open the sixth and the Rockies down, 2-0, manager Walt Weiss needed offense. Rafael Ynoa's walk and Charlie Blackmon's single gave the Rockies runners at the corners. Gonzalez, who hasn't found his swing, popped to short. Tulowitzki had been hitting .412 with runners on base, and barely missed McCarthy's 96-mph fastball. But McCarthy delivered the sinker that forced the double play to end the threat.
"We just didn't cash in right there, and when you have missed opportunities against a club playing as well as they are, it makes it tough," said Weiss, whose club's road trip began with a sweep of the Giants but was followed immediately by the sweep at the hands of the Dodgers. "The reality is we didn't play well enough to win a series here."
"It'll be good to get home, where we've played well for a long time. It'll be nice to go back home and get on a roll." -- Weiss on starting a seven-game homestand Monday after playing nine of their first 12 on the road
"You don't ask me about anybody else. That's kind of confusing to me. He doesn't seem to get a break." -- Mattingly, when asked again about Yasiel Puig not reaching third base Saturday night on Gonzalez's warning-track single
GOING TOO FAR
After his RBI double made it 2-0 with one out in the second, Pederson found himself trapped when Butler stepped off the rubber and caught him between second and third. Pederson eluded third baseman Nolan Arenado's tag, but had to go several feet onto the infield grass to avoid Arenado. After a consultation, umpires ruled Pederson out.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers have beaten the Rockies in nine straight at Dodger Stadium.
Gonzalez, held hitless for the first time this year, made the final out in five separate innings.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Puig's status is up in the air after he missed four of five games with a tight hamstring. He is 8-for-14 against Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Brett Anderson starts for the Dodgers at AT&T Park on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. He's 0-2 lifetime against the Giants.
Rockies: Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa, finally recovered from a left groin strain that marred his Spring Training and delayed the start of his regular season, will make his 2015 debut at Coors Field on Monday night against the Padres and righty Odrisamer Despaigne at 6:40 p.m. MT. De La Rosa's 45 wins at Coors are most in club history.
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.