DENVER (AP) — Justin Morneau tied a season high with six RBIs, including five as part of an eight-run first inning against spot starter Carlos Frias, and the Colorado Rockies routed the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 16-2 on Wednesday.
Morneau hit a three-run homer and a two-run single in the opening frame as the last-place Rockies chased Frias (0-1) after just two outs. Morneau and Carlos Gonzalez are the only Rockies players to drive in five runs in an inning.
Charlie Blackmon went 5 for 5 with a solo homer as the Rockies took two of three from the Dodgers. Los Angeles began the day with a three-game division lead over San Francisco, but trailed 15-0 after six innings against the team with the worst record in the league.
Morneau had three hits and a sacrifice fly, raising his average to .320 and leaping over Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison for the NL batting lead.
Jorge De La Rosa (14-11) gave up two hits in six scoreless innings to improve to 10-2 at home this season.
Frias gave up 10 hits, including seven straight to start the game, and eight runs. According to information provided to the teams by the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first pitcher in the modern era to allow 10 hits while getting less than three outs.
The hard-throwing Frias didn’t record a traditional out, either, in his 38-pitch appearance. He got one when catcher Tim Federowicz threw out Corey Dickerson on a steal attempt and another when Wilin Rosario tried to score from third on a squeeze play.
This hardly looked like the same Dodgers team that was coming off a big series win in San Francisco that included a 17-0 romp over the Giants. Los Angeles is chasing Washington for the best record in the NL.
The Dodgers needed an eight-run sixth inning to get by the Rockies on Monday, and then stranded runner after runner Tuesday in a 10-4 loss.
Once the Rockies roughed up Frias, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly steadily began taking out his position players as the Rockies set a season high for runs.
The Dodgers were hoping Frias could keep them close as he filled in for lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s dealing with a sore shoulder.
No such luck.
With game already out of hand, Mattingly pulled Frias and summoned reliever Scott Elbert from the bullpen.
By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer (© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)