Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz was in fine form for his first two innings, retiring the first six hitters and striking out Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier for good measure.
But the third inning proved problematic. Juan Rivera and A.J. Ellis opened the inning with singles. After Joe Blanton's sacrifice bunt, Mark Ellis reached first on a fielding error by first baseman Jordan Pacheco on a slow roller in front of the bag, with Rivera coming around to score.
Shane Victorino kept the rally going with an infield single to third that scored A.J. Ellis, and after a wild pitch advanced the runners and forced the infield in from double-play depth, Adrian Gonzalez snuck a two-run single past the reach of second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Ramirez followed with a two-run shot beyond the fence in center field to cap the six-run rally.
"The entire complexion of the game changed -- as far as how the ebb and flow of the game had gone -- in the third inning," manager Jim Tracy said. "There was one ball hit hard in the inning -- the Hanley Ramirez home run after the seeing-eye ground-ball base hit by Gonzalez."
Pomeranz pitched one more inning, stranding Rivera after a leadoff double in the fourth. He allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits in four innings. He allowed no walks and threw 66 pitches while striking out four.
"I'm not disappointed with the way Drew Pomeranz threw," Tracy said. "I thought the ball was coming out very, very well. He threw some very good breaking ball strikes today."
Blanton kept the Rockies in check through the first six, allowing a hit in every inning but never letting the Rockies mount a rally until his final 1 1/3 innings.
"He pitched really good," Carlos Gonzalez said. "He didn't miss any pitches. He was controlling the strike zone and mixing a lot of fastballs with good command and the breaking ball."
The Rockies out-hit the Dodgers, 15-12, but all of their hits were singles.
"I just tried to keep the ball down," Blanton said. "You're going to give up hits, especially with a big outfield like this. Keep them out of the gap and make them hit singles and you've got a decent chance."
The Rockies got on the scoreboard in the seventh when Charlie Blackmon hit a one-out single to right and pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler walked. Tyler Colvin struck his second single of the day with a run-scoring knock up the middle, but Josh Rutledge grounded to third for an inning-ending double play.
Adam Ottavino was solid with three scoreless innings of relief, surviving a shaky fifth inning when the first two batters he faced laced singles to center, but he adjusted quickly and retired his last seven in a row.
"I was just getting a little frustrated, because I kept missing my spot, so I tried to slow down my body a little bit and that didn't work, so I sped up a little bit more -- I went the opposite direction and things dialed in better," Ottavino said. "I was searching for my rhythm a little early and got away with some stuff, then got my rhythm and it was fine."
Will Harris ran into trouble in the eighth. The first four batters he faced all reached base with two walks, a single and a grand slam by A.J. Ellis, giving the Dodgers a 10-1 lead. It was Ellis' first career slam.
The Rockies rallied in the bottom of the eighth, with Pacheco and Ramon Hernandez hitting back-to-back one-out singles to drive Blanton from the game. Chris Nelson plated Pacheco with a single to right, and LeMahieu knocked home Hernandez with a single past a diving Ramirez at shortstop.
"We're never out of the game here," LeMahieu said. "We were down, but I don't think any of us thought we were going to go down soft. It says a lot about the guys on this team. We gave them all they could handle this series."
After pinch-hitter Andrew Brown walked to load the bases, Fowler singled in a run and the Dodgers went to their third pitcher of the inning, Randy Choate, for a left-on-left matchup against Colvin. A run came in when Choate hit Colvin, and the Dodgers went to the frame's fourth pitcher, Ronald Belisario, to face Rutledge, who grounded to second. A run scored when Colvin broke up the double play sliding into second. Carlos Gonzalez capped the seven-run rally with a single, scoring one run on the hit and a second when Victorino bobbled the ball picking it up.
"We're losing, 10-1, in the eighth inning," Tracy said. "We're at 10-8 with tying runs on base in the eighth and have the tying run on base in the ninth. That's not easy to do. We've had way too much practice at having to try to do it."