LOS ANGELES (AP) – Tyler Matzek wasn’t nearly as successful in his second major league start as he was five days earlier. The Los Angeles Dodgers gave the 23-year-old left-hander a reality check, getting 10 hits off him and not striking out even once.
The Dodgers pounded out 15 hits overall against Matzek and three relievers on Monday night in a 6-1 victory that ended the Rockies’ season-best five-game winning streak.
“It wasn’t the same. The slider wasn’t there as much and I was falling behind hitters early,” said Matzek, who held the Atlanta Braves to two runs and five hits through seven innings and struck out seven in an 8-2 victory at Coors Field. “Ten hits, obviously, is disappointing. I realize that. But I thought I did a pretty good job keeping runs off the board.”
Dee Gordon had four hits for the Dodgers, including a triple that was misplayed into four bases by left fielder Charlie Blackmon. Matt Kemp drove in two runs while Hanley Ramirez, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig had RBI singles.
“He had some traffic, but I thought he pitched out of it pretty well,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He gave us a chance to win, only giving up three runs, so I thought he did a nice job. When he was coming off the field between innings, he was in control of the outing and his poise was still very good.”
The Dodgers opened the scoring in the third, as Gordon circled the bases on a ball that Blackmon had trouble picking up twice in the corner. First, he stumbled while bending down for it against the lower fence in foul ground and had to chase it back into fair territory – where he missed on his second attempt to grab it. By the time Blackmon relayed it back to the infield, it was way too late to get Gordon, who was credited with his major league-leading seventh triple.
“I thought it was an inside-the-park homer, to be honest, because I didn’t think he touched it,” Gordon said. “It just scooted away from him. But it is what it is and I’ll be all right with what I got.”
Kemp singled home a run later that inning and doubled home a run on the sixth. He started in the cleanup spot for the fifth time this season, and the Dodgers have won every time. Regular cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez got the night off while Scott Van Slyke played first base.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (8-3) allowed a run and three hits in six innings and struck out six in his 13th start. In his first 13 starts last season – his first in the major leagues – the left-hander was 8-5 with a 2.85 ERA. This was the ninth time this year that Ryu has allowed fewer than three earned runs, and he is 7-0 in those games.
“This guy’s pretty impressive in the fact that he’s seen those guys a bunch this year,” Ellis said. “It’s a dangerous team and they battled him really hard tonight. That was probably the hottest team in the National League right now coming in here, but he had command of all of his pitches and used both sides of the plate extremely well – especially to the left-handed hitters, and he did a great job staying out of the middle of the plate.”
Ryu and four relievers retired 16 of the final 17 Colorado batters after Wilin Rosario‘s two-out homer in the fourth.
“Ryu pitched well with his fastball and changeup,” Weiss said. “We’ve seen him be tough on us before, and he was good tonight.”
Gordon, who leads the majors with 36 stolen bases, was thrown out for the sixth time – by Rosario in the first inning. The 22-year-old catcher trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1 in the fourth with his seventh homer, driving an 0-2 pitch into the pavilion in left field with two outs.
But Ellis got that run back in the fifth with just his second RBI of an injury-plagued season in which the Dodgers’ No. 1 catcher missed 34 games because of knee surgery and sat out another 18 with a sprained right ankle. Ellis’ two singles raised his average from .196 to .222.
NOTES: The Rockies optioned struggling RHP Juan Nicasio to Triple-A Colorado Springs and promoted OF-1B Kyle Parker from the Sky Sox. Parker, selected in the first round of the 2010 draft, made his big league debut in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out. … A moment of silence was observed for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday at age 54. Gwynn’s brother Chris and son Tony both played for the Dodgers. “He was just a genius with the bat,” Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said. … Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley has a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, which will require surgery next Tuesday. He hasn’t pitched in a major league game since April 15, 2013, nine days before he underwent Tommy John surgery.
– By JOE RESNICK, Associated Press
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