Helton’s Late Inning Heroics Not Enough To Top Dodgers
DENVER (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers recovered from a ninth-inning blown save and scored two runs off Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt in the top of the 10th to beat slumping Colorado 7-5 Friday night.
Carl Crawford scored from third on Luis Cruz’s hard comebacker that bounced off the back leg of Betancourt (1-3) and dribbled toward the third base side, and Juan Uribe followed with a run-scoring single.
Brandon League (1-2) picked up the win despite allowing Todd Helton’s two-run homer with one out that tied the game at 5 in the ninth.
Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect 10th for his first save since Aug. 29, 2012, also at Colorado.
Ramon Hernandez led off the top of the 10th with and single and Crawford pinch ran for Hernandez. He took third on Skip Schumaker’s single before Cruz knocked him in for just his fifth RBI of the season.
With the Rockies trailing 5-3 in the ninth, Helton fouled off five straight two-strike pitches before sending a 93 mph sinker into the second deck in right field to tie it with his fourth homer.
Before that, Clayton Kershaw stood to get his sixth win after allowing three earned runs on eight hits over seven-plus innings. Kershaw hurt the Rockies at the plate, too, with a two-run double in the fourth, a sacrifice bunt during the Dodgers’ three-run third inning and a single.
But he couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead.
Even with the win, the Dodgers were glad to see the calendar flip to June after going 10-17 in May for the lowest May winning percentage (.370) in club history.
The Rockies are really reeling.
After losing three of four to the lowly Houston Astros, they sorely needed a solid start from right-hander Jon Garland (3-7) but they didn’t get it in losing for the sixth time in seven games. Garland, whose spot in the rotation is in question with Roy Oswalt tuning up in Double-A Tulsa for a possible promotion soon, gave up five earned runs on seven hits over five innings.
Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez wasn’t in the lineup even though his .362 batting average against the Dodgers coming in was second-highest among active players behind David Wright’s .371 clip.
“Looking at the schedule, I was looking for a spot to give him the day off at some point. This is the day I decided on,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s been playing well. He’s been grinding. It’s been a long time since he’s had a day, so I just felt like it was time.”
CarGo pinch hit in the seventh with one out and two men on following a walk to Nolan Arenado and a double by DJ LeMahieu, but Kershaw struck him out on slider. Eric Young Jr., who started in left field for Gonzalez, then bounced out to short to end the threat.
The Rockies chased Kershaw with back-to-back singles by Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki with nobody out in the eighth. Right-hander Kenley Jansen plunked Michael Cuddyer with a 1-2 fastball to load the bases, but got Wilin Rosario to ground into a double play, with Fowler scoring, and then induced a groundball out from Jordan Pacheco.
League then blew his third save in 14 chances in the ninth.
Young’s weak throw back to the infield helped Cruz score all the way from first base on Uribe’s double in the Dodgers’ three-run third inning. Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez also knocked in runs that inning.
Kershaw’s double into the left-field gap made it 5-0 in the fourth.
The Rockies got both runs back in the bottom half on Cuddyer’s RBI single and Rosario’s run-scoring groundout.
Notes: Cruz was plunked on his right hand by a pitch from Garland in the third but stayed in the game. … This was Garland’s first appearance against the Dodgers since July 27, 2010, when he was with the Padres. … The Rockies are 5-0-1 against L.A. over the last six series with the Dodgers at Coors Field. … Zack Greinke (2-1) faces Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) on Saturday.
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