DENVER (AP) – A tough stretch in the last few days for the Colorado Rockies made Dexter Fowler’s game-winning hit in the team’s final at-bat that much sweeter.
Fowler’s RBI single down the first base line in the 10th inning lifted the Rockies past the Dodgers 7-6 on Saturday, a day after Colorado lost to Los Angeles in extra innings.
“It’s an awesome feeling, especially the way we’ve been grinding the past few days,” Fowler said. “We’ve been losing some close games, some extra-inning games and it’s good to come out on top.”
The Rockies endured a stretch in which they had lost six of seven games before pulling out their fourth win this season in their last at-bat. They improved to 4-6 in extra-inning games.
“This win was really important,” said Michael Cuddyer, who hit a game-tying home run in the seventh. “It wasn’t, ‘Our season is over if we lose,’ but at the same time, it was a good win to be able to get our heads back and to fight like we did and have the resiliency to come back and win. Hopefully, this will give us some momentum.”
Yorvit Torrealba’s two-out single off Matt Guerrier (1-2) started the rally. Pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario followed with an infield single, narrowly beating the throw to first. Fowler then lined a hard grounder that shot past first base into right field, driving in Torrealba with the winning run and snapping the Rockies’ three-game losing streak.
“I hit a curve ball,” Fowler said. “I was just looking for something up. I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere. That’s what I’ve been trying to do the past few weeks and let everything else take care of itself.”
Matt Belisle (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory.
The loss was compounded for the Dodgers because of another injury, this time to Carl Crawford. He left in the third inning after suffering a left hamstring cramp while legging out his second double in two at-bats.
There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated that the team likely would have to make some roster moves.
“Hamstrings are never good. We’ll find out,” said Mattingly, who wasn’t around for the finish after drawing his first ejection of the season in the sixth.
Said Crawford: “We’re all trying to figure it out because this is my left hamstring and it kind of came out of nowhere.”
Crawford’s absence for any extended period of time would be tough for the Dodgers, whose disabled list already is swelled with some of the team’s best players, from Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez to Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley, among others.
“It’s kind of getting ridiculous,” Mattingly said. “The last couple of days, two outfielders (Kemp went on the DL two days ago), kind of our main guys. We had a chance to win today and we didn’t get the outs we needed.”
The Rockies tied the score at 6-6 in the seventh when Cuddyer connected off Ronald Belisario for his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center before dropping on the other side.
Trailing 3-1, the Rockies used a three-run fifth, highlighted by Carlos Gonzalez’s 14th home run of the season, to go up 4-3.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the sixth. Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto hit consecutive singles and Tim Federowicz, who hit his first major league home run in the third, followed with a two-run double to center for a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Nolan Arenado led off with a single. Torrealba hit a low line drive that Zack Greinke appeared to snag before his glove hit the base of the mound and then threw to first to double off Arenado, who had advanced to second. Umpires ruled that the ball hit the ground before Greinke caught it and Mattingly was ejected by first base umpire Brian Knight after a persistent, heated argument over the call.
Greinke left with one out in the sixth after walking pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco. Paco Rodriguez relieved and retired the next two batters, rendering the umpire’s decision moot as the Rockies stranded both base runners in the inning.
Schumaker’s RBI single in the seventh boosted the Dodgers’ lead to two runs.
In the second, the Rockies got three consecutive hits off Greinke, the last an RBI double by Arenado. Torrealba walked before Greinke induced an inning-ending double-play grounder from Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings. Chacin is still seeking his first win since April 19.
NOTES: After the game, a Rockies team spokesman said closer Rafael Betancourt would go on the disabled list because of a right groin strain. The move is expected to be formalized on Sunday. … Cuddyer has hit safely in each of his eight starts since being activated from the disabled list and rejoining the Rockies on May 24. … Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who hasn’t played since suffering an oblique strain Wednesday, took swings off a tee prior to the game. … Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell struck out the side in the eighth. … Fowler has three career “walk-off” hits. … The Dodgers fell to 1-3 in extra-inning games.
– By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
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