DENVER (AP) — Though the Colorado Rockies won’t be playing in the postseason they’re doing their best to determine who will be around in October.
The Rockies nearly derailed the Los Angeles Dodgers with a seven-run rally in the eighth inning before losing 10-8 on Wednesday. The loss prevented a three-game sweep of the Dodgers, who have strong playoff aspirations after swinging a nine-player deal with Boston on Saturday.
“We still got the series, so that’s a good thing,” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said.
The Rockies may have completed the sweep if not for two bad innings.
Starter Drew Pomeranz retired the first six batters he faced before running into trouble in the third, when the Dodgers sent nine batters to the plate and scored six runs.
Juan Rivera and A.J. Ellis began the Dodgers’ big inning with successive singles and advanced on Joe Blanton’s sacrifice. After Mark Ellis reached on first baseman Jordan Pacheco’s fielding error that also allowed Rivera to score, Shane Victorino followed with an RBI single and Adrian Gonzalez, part of the latest wave of newcomers included in the Dodgers’ blockbuster trade last week with the Red Sox, chipped in with a two-run single.
Hanley Ramirez capped the burst with his 22nd homer of the season and eighth in 32 games with the Dodgers since coming to Los Angeles from Miami.
“The entire complexion of the game changed in the third inning,” manager Jim Tracy said. “I wasn’t disappointed with the way Drew Pomeranz threw. That inning unraveled. 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 (1-8) lost his fifth consecutive decision since his lone win of the season July 6 against Washington. He allowed six runs on six hits, walked none and struck out four.
After Colorado got an RBI single from Tyler Colvin in the seventh for its first run, the Dodgers stretched their lead to 10-1, loading the bases against reliever Will Harris before A.J. Ellis connected for his 11th home run of the season.
“Just one bad inning with the grand slam,” Carlos Gonzalez said.
Colorado responded by playing small ball. The Rockies had 15 hits, all of them singles, and six came in the eighth when they sent 11 batters to the plate.
Blanton retired the first batter he faced and gave up successive singles to Pacheco and Ramon Hernandez before being relieved by Shawn Tolleson, who gave up three run-scoring singles and a walk before being lifted for Randy Choate.
Choate hit Colvin with a pitch, forcing in another run and bringing on reliever Ronald Belisario. The Rockies added three more runs in the inning on Josh Rutledge’s fielder’s choice, Gonzalez’s RBI single and an error by center fielder Victorino.
Belisario got the final five outs for his first save since Sept. 29, 2010, which also was against Colorado.
“You’re never out of the game here,” DJ LeMahieu said. “We’ve all been swinging the bat well. We were down but I don’t think anyone thought we were going to go down soft.”
Blanton (9-12), who was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four previous starts since joining the Dodgers in an Aug. 3 trade with Philadelphia, struck out five and walked one in 7 1-3 innings. It was his first win since July 16 when he beat the Dodgers in one of his last starts for the Phillies.
The loss didn’t bother Tracy.
“To be down 10-1 and to be in the position we were in the eighth and ninth inning is noteworthy,” he said. “To comeback in the manner which we did, what else can you ask for? We won a series.”
NOTES: Nelson had two three-hit games in the series. … The Rockies are off Thursday before hosting the San Diego Padres in a three-game set over the weekend. … Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin) and 1B Jason Giambi (viral illness) were scheduled to play Wednesday night for Triple-A Colorado Springs as part of their rehab assignments.
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