LOS ANGELES (AP) – Now that the Colorado Rockies are going with a four-man rotation, manager Jim Tracy has limited every starter to about 75 pitches. That gives them added incentive to keep their pitch counts down.
Alex White threw 80 pitches in four innings Tuesday night, allowing one hit and five walks before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Josh Roenicke took over and threw three scoreless innings, while rookie Josh Rutledge drove in all of Colorado’s runs in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We know what we’ve got. We’ve got 75 pitches, and our job is to get as far as we can,” White said. “That’s what we did the last two nights. But that’s the reason why we’ve got a good bullpen.”
It was the fifth straight game in which a Rockies starter didn’t reach the fifth. In the series opener Monday night,Drew Pomeranz threw 84 pitches over four innings and was lifted with a two-run lead before Adam Ottavino and the bullpen closed out a 2-0 victory.
“It’s a little different, that’s for sure,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s a little bit more like a spring training game, because you’re not getting the same type of look from the second guy that you got from the starter. But we’ve seen this White a couple of times, we’ve seen Roenicke, we’re seen Pomeranz and (Ottavino). So you can prepare. There’s plenty of video and preparation to be able to know what a guy’s throwing.”
Roenicke (4-0) has a 2.21 ERA in 45 appearances, compiling 43 strikeouts over 69 1-3 innings.
“He continues to have a terrific season for us,” Tracy said. “I think what’s noteworthy is that he’s done a much better job of pounding the strike zone. His stock just keeps improving.”
Rutledge had three doubles among his career-high four hits, one of which drove in two runs in the seventh after Shawn Tolleson relieved Dodgers starter Aaron Harang.
The 23-year-old shortstop, getting a chance to play because of Troy Tulowitzki‘s groin injury, has 18 RBIs in 22 games since his promotion from Double-A Tulsa right after the All-Star break. His total includes home runs in four consecutive games last week.
“He has played tremendously for us,” Tracy said. “When this guy squares a ball up, I can tell you it makes a different sound. It gets off the bat in a hurry.”
The Dodgers scored in the eighth when Hanley Ramirez reached on a two-out infield single against Rex Brothers and came all the way home on James Loney‘s double against Matt Belisle. Rafael Betancourt, the fifth Colorado pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 23 attempts.
The Dodgers are 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position in the last two games against a pitching staff that entered the series with a major league-worst 5.51 ERA – in addition to allowing the most runs, hits and homers in the majors.
“They’re playing well and they’re battling us,” Harang said. “I’ve been on teams like that where you have nothing to lose, so they’ve been coming out hard. They’re scraping runs together and their pitching’s been holding us down.”
Harang (7-7) was charged with three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander escaped bases-loaded jams in the first and fifth – the latter on an inning-ending double play by rookie Jordan Pacheco. But that came three batters after Rutledge doubled home the first run of the game.
The Dodgers had a scare in the second when Ramirez fouled a ball hard enough off his left foot that Mattingly and a trainer came out to check on him. Ramirez completed his at-bat after limping back to the plate and grounded a single through the left side of the infield – hobbling all the way to first base.
Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out in the third on three walks, including a two-out intentional pass toAndre Ethier, but Ramirez flied out.
NOTES: The cap-slamming, profanity-laced rant that got Tracy ejected by umpire Mike Everitt on Monday has become an Internet sensation – thanks mostly to Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who did some priceless lip-reading in a blow-by-blow account of Tracy’s 5-plus minute tirade while substituting all the curse words with cleaner synonyms. “That was brought to my attention,” said Tracy, who managed the Dodgers for five seasons and sat next to Scully on the team charter during road trips. “My wife told me: `You might want to take a peek at that.’ He did a pretty good job, didn’t he? But nothing surprises me with the way Vin does his duties – nothing. He is one of the most beautiful people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. He’s so articulate and so well-spoken and such a gentleman.” … The Rockies had eight runners on base during Pacheco’s three at-bats, but none of them scored. … White is 0-3 with three no-decisions and a 5.96 ERA since beating the Dodgers 3-2 on June 3 at Coors Field. He also walked five batters in that game. … Harang is 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts this season when pitching on at least six days’ rest.
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