Rox Survive 9th Inning Scare To Win Third Straight
DENVER (AP) — Jhoulys Chacin pitched eight shutout innings and the Colorado Rockies pounded Chad Billingsley for 13 hits in a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
Chacin (7-4) stifled a Dodgers lineup missing slugger Matt Kemp (hamstring), and the Rockies scored five times in the fifth on six straight singles. The decisive rally was sparked by two uncharacteristic errors by the Dodgers, the best-fielding team in the major leagues.
Chacin allowed three harmless singles, struck out nine and walked three, handing over a 6-0 lead to a bullpen that nearly frittered it away. Third baseman Chris Nelson’s throwing error opened the doors for the Dodgers’ big ninth inning.
Matt Belisle allowed Kemp’s pinch-hit homer, his NL-leading 19th, and Tony Gwynn’s RBI double before getting yanked. Expecting to get the night off after Chacin’s outstanding outing, Huston Street was called on to get the final out to secure Colorado’s fourth win in five games.
He allowed Aaron Miles’ two-run single and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Rod Barajas before freezing Trent Oeltjen looking at strike three for his 19th save in 21 tries.
The Rockies collected 17 hits. The 13 allowed by Billingsley (5-5) over 4 2-3 innings were a career high. He’s allowed double-digit hits just four times in his 145 career starts and two of those have come in the last two weeks and both times against the Rockies, who tagged him for 11 hits over seven innings in a 7-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on May 30.
This time, they made the most of all those hits.
Billingsley matched Chacin’s effectiveness for four innings, save for the 90-mph fastball that Troy Tulowitzki deposited halfway up the left-field bleachers leading off the second inning for his 12th homer. But things went haywire in the fifth, when Billingsley allowed seven singles and his ERA against Colorado this season soared to 8.59 over three starts.
The Dodgers began the night with the best fielding percentage in the major leagues (.988) but they made errors on back-to-back plays in the sloppy fifth inning.
With one out, Carlos Gonzalez beat out an infield single and took second on third baseman Casey Blake’s throwing error. He was held up at third on Nelson’s single, but Nelson advanced to second when left fielder Oeltjen, making his first start of the season, bobbled the ball.
Todd Helton slapped a single to right, scoring both runners for a 3-0 lead. Tulowitzki singled and the runners moved up on a wild pitch before Seth Smith delivered a two-run single.
Chris Iannetta’s RBI single made it 6-0 and chased Billingsley. All six runs charged to him were earned.
Gonzalez had four singles, giving him seven hits off the Dodgers from the leadoff spot over the last two games. Helton singled twice, walked and was robbed of another hit by shortstop Dee Gordon’s leaping grab in the eighth.
Helton has reached in 12 of his last 15 plate appearances and is having a resurgent season at age 37, leading manager Jim Tracy to suggest before the game that he’ll be All-Star worthy if he keeps it up. Helton even looked harkened to his youth when he ranged far to his right to field Dioner Navarro’s ground ball for a putout in the seventh.
Chacin ran into trouble just once, in the fourth, when the Dodgers put runners on second and third with a single, a walk and a wild pitch. He struck out Juan Uribe to end the inning.
The Rockies caught a break when Kemp was scratched because of tightness in his left hamstring. Kemp is hitting .329 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs. He’s been torrid on the Dodgers’ 10-game trip that wraps up this weekend, going 15 for 29 with six homers and 14 RBIs.
He didn’t have to test his hamstring when he trotted around the bases in the ninth after sending Belisle’s 11th pitch halfway up the left-field bleachers.
NOTES: Oeltjen replaced Kemp in the lineup and played LF with Tony Gwynn moving to CF. Blake moved from the second spot in the order to Kemp’s cleanup spot. … In his first rehab start, Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers (strained side muscle) allowed one run and six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in five innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday night. … This is the Rockies’ first three-game winning streak since winning seven straight in early April.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)