Rockies Crumble Late, Fall To Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — First, Esmil Rogers was called for a balk. Then a pitching change and one batter later, Matt Reynolds was caught making the same mistake.
The miscues cost Colorado four runs and spoiled an outstanding effort by Rogers in a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night that ended the Rockies’ five-game winning streak.
Aaron Miles scored the tying run on Rogers’ balk, and James Loney and Matt Kemp followed Reynolds’ balk with consecutive homers in a six-run inning.
“That’s a tough way to lose, I’ve got to tell you,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Rogers (6-3) took a four-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the seventh before the Dodgers loaded the bases with no one out. Andre Ethier tried to score on a fly ball to center by Jamey Carroll, but was tagged out by Elizer Alfonzo after running through third base coach Tim Wallach’s stop sign.
Ted Lilly was pinch-hit for by Tony Gwynn Jr., who was intentionally walked. Miles, the runner at third, faked as if he was going home, causing Rogers to balk for the first time this season.
Rogers threw up his arms in anger and Tracy came out to argue with third base umpire Bob Davidson to no avail. Justin Sellers followed with a two-run single that chased Rogers.
Reynolds picked off Sellers at first as he made a break for second, but also was called for a balk by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, who ejected Tracy in the ensuing argument.
“You can make an argument for the fact that there was a very slight pause prior to the second pitch that he threw to Sellers,” Tracy said. “But I don’t understand the second one at all. They’ve never called a balk on Matt Reynolds. It was a simple throw over. That’s all it was, and that led to three more runs.”
Lilly (8-13) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one to win for the first time since July 29 against Arizona. The only run that came off the left-hander was Carlos Gonzalez’s 24th homer on the first pitch with two outs in the first inning.
“He just kept us off-balance,” Kevin Kouzmanoff said. “He threw some off-speed pitches in there and threw a hard fastball in there when he needed to. We got some good pitches to hit tonight, but we didn’t hit them and we didn’t execute.”
Loney followed with his seventh homer, a two-run shot to center field, before Kemp hit his 30th, making him the second Dodger to reach 30 homers and 30 stolen bases. He joined Raul Mondesi, who did it in 1997 and 1999.
Notes: Dodgers RHP Kenley Jansen made his first appearance since July 26 when he was hospitalized after that game with an irregular heartbeat. He allowed two hits over two scoreless innings. … The game was delayed by 10 minutes because the umpires arrived late after being stuck behind a fatal freeway accident. … RHP Huston Street returned to Colorado’s bullpen Friday after coming off the disabled list, along with RHP Matt Lindstrom. Tracy said RHP Rafael Betancourt would remain the team’s closer for now. The Rockies optioned relievers J.C. Romero and Josh Roenicke to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room on the roster. … Gonzalez’s homer extended his hitting streak to 13 games and gave him 10 in a row with an RBI, tying a club record. … The Dodgers opened a stretch of 24 games in 24 days Friday that concludes Sept. 18 at home. … Colorado’s Kevin Millwood (1-1) faces the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley (10-10) in Saturday afternoon’s game.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)