Dodgers lose ground after offense stays quiet

Dodgers lose ground after offense stays quiet

Dodgers lose ground after offense stays quiet
LOS ANGELES -- In the midst of a division race with the Giants, the Dodgers were presented with six straight games against two of the National League's worst teams. After taking care of business through the first three of those games against the Cubs, Los Angeles has run into trouble against the even-worse Rockies.

In front of a sold-out home crowd Tuesday, the Dodgers managed just four hits en route to a 3-1 defeat for their fourth loss in the last five games against the Rockies.

"In a series, you never know what is going to happen," Dodgers manger Don Mattingly said.

"We had some opportunities. We didn't get it done."

On Tuesday, it wasn't for a lack of effort.

As a matter of fact, it might have been the very opposite.

"You hate to say guys are trying too hard, but it felt like that tonight," Mattingly said.

Added starter Aaron Harang: "I think all around we're trying to put too much pressure on ourselves."

While the Dodgers couldn't get it done, San Francisco, which swept the Rockies over the weekend, defeated the Cardinals to move 1 1/2 games up on L.A. in the NL West.

The Giants managed to score 35 runs in three games against Colorado, while the Dodgers have scored just one through their first two.

"Every loss is a loss at this point," Mattingly said. "Obviously, we're not in position where it's the end of the rainbow or end of the year. It's not that type of loss. At this point, you are still trying to get a win every game you can. It's not like we can take this lightly."

For him, the toughest part has been the inconsistency with his club. On a recent road trip, the Dodgers swept the Mets, took the first game against the Cardinals before losing three straight in St. Louis and then swept the rival Giants.

Upon coming home, they were then swept by the D-backs before taking three out of three against the Cubs. Now, the Dodgers are running the risk of being swept by the Rockies, who are 19 games out of first place in the division even after the two wins.

"I've been on teams like that where you get to this point and you have nothing to lose, but you destroy everything else for other teams," Harang said. "They are coming out hard and they are scraping runs together. "

Like Chris Capuano the night before, Harang took the loss despite keeping the Dodgers in the game.

He gave up three runs on six hits and four walks while pitching into the seventh inning. The veteran righty got into jams in the first, third and fifth innings, but only gave up one run through the first six.

"He'll add and subtract," Mattingly said. "He gets himself in trouble and knows how to get out of it. He was kind of Aaron tonight."

The first run came in the fifth when Eric Young, who picked up the only two runs Monday, scored on a double by Josh Rutledge off the center-field wall.

The speedy Young has gone 6-for-9 with four runs in the first two games of the series.

It was in the seventh when the baserunners came back to haunt Harang. He gave up leadoff single to Chris Nelson and walked Young, prompting Mattingly to pull him out of the game.

Shawn Tolleson came in relief and gave up a two-run double to Rutledge, who finished the night with a career-high four hits.

"They are playing well," Harang said. "They are battling us."

Walks by Shane Victorino, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the third gave the Dodgers their best chance to score an early run, but they came away empty when Hanley Ramirez flied out to left against starter Alex White, who gave up just one hit in four innings.

"I threw Hanley a good slider there with the bases loaded, got him out front, got him to pop it up," White said. "Two-seam was really good tonight, it almost moved a little too much to command, but I was able to get it back in the zone when I needed to."

Speaking of Ramirez, the shortstop fouled a pitch off his left foot an inning earlier that gave the team a scare at first.

However, after a few minutes of hobbling around and getting checked out, Ramirez stayed in the game. He had an X-ray during the game, but Mattingly said he is fine.

He wound up going 2-for-4 and scored the Dodgers' only run, which came on a pinch-hit RBI double by Mark Ellis in the eighth.

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.