Rockies unable to crash LA's party in finale

Morneau enters as pinch-hitter after clinching NL batting crown

Rockies unable to crash LA's party in finale

LOS ANGELES -- Four batters into the bottom of the first inning, Matt Kemp launched a two-run homer into the left-field stands at Dodger Stadium. For one final time in 2014 -- and too many times, frankly -- the Rockies were merely guests at someone else's party.

The National League West champion Dodgers slammed the Rockies, 10-5, to complete a season-ending three-game sweep. Although the Rockies avoided last place in the NL West after consecutive basement finishes, their 66-96 record is second worst in the club's 22-season history. Their 21-60 road mark was a franchise low, as were the 255 road runs.

Manager Walt Weiss, who has talked so often about road woes but knows they're a subject until the Rockies can reverse them, gave the team an encouraging but direct postgame message.

"I told them how much I appreciate the way they showed up every day, especially through the toughest of times this year -- they never wavered in that department," Weiss said. "I also told them we have a lot of work to do, and to get their minds right this offseason. Take a break, then get back to work and be ready to turn this thing around next year.

"I'm ready for a break."

The Dodgers were led by Kemp's 25th homer of the year and Adrian Gonzalez's three-run shot in the fifth, his 27th. Both came off Rockies right-handed starter Christian Bergman (3-5). Roger Bernadina added his first homer of the season, for three runs in the sixth, off reliever Rob Scahill. The homers were part of a good time had by all the Dodgers, who cackled as manager Don Mattingly turned the team over for the day to veteran infielder Juan Uribe, whose career began with the Rockies in 2001.

The Rockies had some cause to celebrate. Justin Morneau won the ninth batting title in club history with a .319 average. Weiss didn't start Morneau to protect his lead over the Pirates' Josh Harrison, who finished at .315 after going 0-for-4 in his team's regular-season finale Sunday. Morneau grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Sunday, but his average did not change.

"The thing I'll be most proud of is the consistency," Morneau said. "You go through a year and you hit .450 for a couple of weeks, then you go 0-for-30. But it doesn't have to go that way."

Producing on the road is only part of what went wrong for the Rockies. Staying healthy also was a problem, and Sunday illustrated it.

With Michael Cuddyer also out for the finale, the Rockies' starting lineup included just two Opening Day starters -- outfielder Charlie Blackmon and catcher Wilin Rosario, who opened the eighth with his 13th homer of the season.

 The Rockies' Rafael Ynoa, a former Dodgers farmhand, delivered a three-run double in the seventh.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.