With a roster decimated by injuries, including the deflating loss of Matt Kemp on Thursday -- two days after he returned from the disabled list -- the Dodgers refused to take shelter in bemoaning their run of bad fortune.
"We better get over it," Jerry Hairston said. "Nobody's going to feel sorry for us. I know it hurts not having Matt, but they don't have Tulo [Troy Tulowitzki] over there for a while. That's just the nature of the game. Injuries happen, and we just have to overcome it. I think we will. We've got a resilient bunch."
During a stretch where everything seems to be working against the Dodgers, the night was set up in their favor. L.A. caught Colorado on a "bullpen night," with the Rockies short a starter following the designating for assignment of Jamie Moyer, but the Rockies' relievers pitched like they were protecting a late-inning lead all night long.
Chris Capuano, on the other hand, felt like he pitched with the weight of the losing streak on his back, perhaps trying too hard to bring the slide to an end.
"I wasn't really happy with the way I handled it mentally today out there," Capuano said. "I was getting real frustrated with myself. From the first pitch in the bullpen my command was just off today. For me it was kind of a grind mentally, and I don't think I handled it very well."
Colorado took the lead in the second inning, when Michael Cuddyer reached first on an error by third baseman Ivan De Jesus, advanced on a pair of fly-ball outs to left and right, then scored after Wilin Rosario walked and stole second, attracting a wild throw from catcher Matt Treanor. Both Cuddyer and Rosario scored on the error to give Colorado an early 2-0 lead.
"We've been playing great baseball, even the games we've lost, we're playing great baseball," Hairston said. "Obviously, tonight, we got our butts kicked and we didn't help matters either."
The Dodgers could do little against Josh Outman, who made his first start of the season and threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Outman left after exceeding his pitch limit, and the Dodgers promptly got to the next reliever, Carlos Torres. Scott Van Slyke knocked a two-out double to right, and rookie Alex Castellanos followed with his first big league hit and RBI, tripling to right to plate Van Slyke and put the Dodgers on the board.
"When you make mistakes and they end up capitalizing, we look a little bit flat," Mattingly said. "The guys' energy was OK. You can usually tell by the at-bats and how they go. They were battle at-bats. We ended up with 10 hits. We just didn't really string enough together or have a big hit here or there to start a big inning."
The Rockies answered with a key unearned run in their half of the fourth, as Cuddyer walked to open the inning and advanced to third on an infield hit and a throwing error from second baseman Hairston, who made a diving stop and threw to an empty first base. Cuddyer came home on a double-play groundout.
"I guess the big play for me was in the fourth inning, walking Cuddyer to lead off that inning on four pitches was really bad," Capuano said. "And then not running to cover first when Hairston made a great play on that ball and made a perfect throw on the bag and I let [Todd] Helton beat me to the bag, which was for me, inexcusable. I should have been running over there."
Hairston, batting cleanup for the first time he could remember in a 15-year big league career, helped manufacture a second run for the Dodgers when he drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Van Slyke's single up the middle, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Castellanos.
L.A. had a 14 1/2-game lead over the Rockies at the start of the week, but by night's end the lead was down to 9 1/2. Despite sitting seven games under .500, the Rockies have refused to roll over.
"This is a great opportunity for us to step forward and beat those guys, try to get wins and move closer to them," said Carlos Gonzalez, who is hitting .625 (15-for-24) during a six-game hitting streak. "If you want to win the division, you have to take every opportunity."
The Dodgers maintained a four-game lead over the Giants, but the club is hoping for a short memory as it tries to forget Friday's faux pas and put the brakes on the free-fall.
"It's been tough, and I think we're pressing a little bit, myself included," Capuano said of the slump. "That's kind of natural. You're not sure when it's going to happen. But just as quick as it starts it can end, so I'm hoping it's tomorrow."