DENVER (AP) – Edinson Volquez lost to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night for the fifth time this season. But in his first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Volquez saw progress in the 7-5 loss as he tried to implement some recommendations from new pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
“It’s tough a little bit working with something new, but what I saw today was very good,” said Volquez (9-11), who gave up four runs in four innings but retired the final six batters he faced.
The Dodgers signed Volquez on Friday after San Diego released him, and he pitched one scoreless inning of relief that night against the Padres.
Honeycutt moved Volquez to the third base side of the rubber, which is where he was in 2008 when Volquez went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA for Cincinnati and made the All-Star team in his best season in the majors.
Volquez missed most of the 2009 and 2010 seasons due to elbow surgery and said he was moved to the first base side of the rubber upon returning.
“I used to open my front side a little bit when I used to be on the first base side,” Volquez said. “I see my hand right away. From the third base side, I hide the ball a little bit and keep aligned to the plate. I feel very good because I was doing something I used to do and I was successful with it. Now I think I’m going to be more consistent, too. No walks today.”
Nonetheless, Volquez fell to 0-5 with a 12.43 ERA in six starts against the Rockies this season.
Jorge De La Rosa pitched six strong innings to win his sixth consecutive decision, Todd Helton homered and the Rockies snapped the Dodgers’ six-game winning streak and avoided being swept in the three-game series.
De La Rosa (16-6) allowed two runs and six hits in matching his career high for wins in a season and tying Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann for most wins in the National League. De La Rosa went 16-9 in 2009 for the Rockies.
Colorado built an early lead off Volquez, who allowed four runs and six hits in four innings.
Rockies rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado left after the fourth inning with a right thumb contusion. The team characterized his availability as day to day.
After the Dodgers pulled to 4-2 on Scott Van Slyke’s bases-loaded double play grounder in the sixth, the Rockies extended their lead to 7-2 in the seventh on an RBI single by Josh Rutledge, a sacrifice fly by Troy Tulowitzki and a balk by Carlos Marmol that brought Rutledge home from third.
The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the eighth off Matt Belisle. Michael Young had his second RBI single of the game and one out later, second baseman Rutledge booted A.J. Ellis’ grounder for an error. Juan Uribe followed with an RBI double and Skip Schumaker had an RBI single.
Manuel Corpas relieved, and struck out pinch-hitters Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig to end the inning. Rex Brothers pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances, helped by a running catch of Hanley Ramirez’s drive at the warning track in left field by Carlos Gonzalez, who entered in the final inning as a defensive replacement.
The Rockies put up at least one run against Volquez in each of his first three innings, starting with an RBI double by Tulowitzki in the first. Tulowitzki took third on a wild pitch and scored on Michael Cuddyer’s sacrifice fly.
Helton drove a 2-2 pitch from Volquez into the Rockies’ bullpen beyond the center field fence for his 12th home run to put the Rockies up 3-1 in the second.
A botched rundown in the third led to the Rockies’ fourth run. Rutledge, who had tripled ahead of Tulowitzki’s double, singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball by Ellis.
Tulowitzki grounded to short and with Rutledge breaking for third, Ramirez tried to get the lead runner by throwing the ball to third baseman Uribe. Rutledge retreated to second, managing to outrun Uribe and elude his lunging tag by diving back into the bag as Tulowitzki reached first.
Cuddyer followed with a run-scoring single for a 4-1 lead.
NOTES: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu was scratched by the Dodgers from his scheduled start Friday at Cincinnati because of a back injury. RHP Chris Capuano (4-7) will start in his place against the Reds’ Mike Leake (11-6). The Dodgers travel to Cincinnati on Thursday, an off day. … Puig was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game while resting a right knee strain but did get an at-bat in the eighth as a pinch-hitter. … Colorado went 5-4 during its just concluded game homestand. Following an off day, the Rockies on Friday open a nine-game road trip at San Diego with Juan Nicasio (8-7) facing the Padres’ Burch Smith (0-1). … Rockies RHP Roy Oswalt, who is on the DL with a left hamstring strain, had a successful rehab start Tuesday night with rookie-level Grand Junction and could be activated by the Rockies sometime this weekend.
By JACK ETKIN, Associated Press
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