Orlando Hudson ... hits in 17 straight games
The Dodgers recorded an 8-6 win at Colorado to sweep the three game series but, as are most games in Coors Field, the outcome wasn't decided until the final Rockies batter bounced out with the bases loaded. The victory gives the Dodgers eight wins in nine games against Colorado.
Los Angeles overcame an early 3-2 Colorado lead, built an 8-3 margin and then had to beat off a ninth inning rally that saw the Rockies score three times, load the bases and put the winning run at first base. Jonathan Broxton retired the ninth batter of the inning to preserve Clayton Kershaw's third win.
Kershaw struggled with his fastball but used his curve to great advantage although he served up a two run home run that erased the Dodgers early lead.
He finished his afternoon by working six innings, allowing four hits and three runs while walking four and striking out four. Only one of the four safeties he allowed was hit hard, the Spillborghs home run.
The first hit, in the first inning, was a ground ball up the middle. The second, before the home runs, was his perfectly into the right center dead spot and his fourth his was a bouncer back to the mound that Kershaw stopped with his bare pitching hand.
He scrambled after it but couldn't pick it up immediately and when he did he threw wild to first base. He threw 102 pitches, including 48 in the second and third inning.
But the left the game for a pinch-hitter, trailing 3-2. The Dodgers took him off the hook with a five-run eighth and seemingly had the game in their suitcase and were ready to fly off to Chicago for a four game series with the Cubs when the Rockies suddenly awakened.
Ron Belisario took over for Kershaw in the last of the seventh and retired six in a row. He was left in to face right-handed batter Ryan Spillsborghs in the ninth and gave up a single. Will Ohman was called upon to face left-handed batter Seth Smith and he tripled to deepest center.
That brought in the third pitcher of the inning, and Broxton hit 99 while striking out Clint Barmes.
But then his command completely left him. Still throwing at supersonic speeds, he gave up a double and two walks to load the bases, struck out Troy Tulowitzki on a slider in the dirt and them walked Todd Helton to force in the sixth run and leave the bases jammed.
Matt Murton (thankfully) his hit first pitch on the ground to Juan Castro and the veteran threw him out to end the suspense and the game.
Juan Pierre boosted his average to .404 with three hits, including a ripping double off the Jackie Robinson sign on the right field wall, and added a pair of runs batted in. James Loney had only two hits but knocked in four runs with them. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp also had two hits.
Orlando Hudson beat out an infield hit in the sixth inning to run his streak to 17 straight games.
Los Angeles jumped into a first-inning lead when Mark Loretta, starting at third base, walked and then scored when Loney dropped a single into left field.
The margin went to two in the second on singles by Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and a botched double play attempt that saw Ethier score on a missed catch by Rockies' starter Ubaldo Jiminez.
Kershaw retired six in a row and the, with amazing suddenness lost his control and threw eight straight balls to the first two batters. A sacrifice moved them up, Kershaw balked in a run, Russell Martin threw out a runner attempting to steal second and then reloaded the bases with his third walk of the inning before retiring the side.
Matt Murton doubled and Ryan Spillborghs drilled a fastball over 400 feet and into the first row of the center field stands to put Colorado up 3-2.
Not counting the messed up double play in the second inning, the Dodgers hit into twin-killings inn the first, fourth, fifth and sixth.
The Dodgers trailed through the sixth inning and when Kemp walked and Castro singled to right field in the seventh, Casey Blake hit for Kershaw and struck out. At this point it looked like a good bet that Kershaw would get the loss and Jimenez, who was still throwing 98 at the time, the win.
Then the roof fell in on the Rockies.
Pierre hit a shot to the right side of the infield and first baseman Todd Helton just got the tip of his glove on it and Kemp scored to tie the game. Then in rapid fashion Loretta singled, Hudson walked and Loney crushed a double to deep right center to drive in three and boost his team-leading RBI total to 36. Suddenly the Dodgers led 8-3.
They added one more in the eighth when Ethier was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored with two outs on Pierre's third hit of the game.
Belisario had no trouble in the seventh and eighth but it all unraveled in the ninth with three pitchers making 47 pitches -- 38 by a struggling Broxton -- before it finally ended.
The Dodgers move to a MLB-best 33-15 on the season and their first sweep at the foot of the Rocky Mountains since 2006.
The Dodgers' remarkable steamroller moves into Chicago to meet the Cubs for the first time since the Division Championship last September.
Pitching Matchups include:
Today, LHP Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.02) vs. RHP Randy Wells (0-1, 1.50)
Friday, RHP Chad Billingsley (6-2, 2.82) vs. LHP Ted Lilly (5-4, 3.77)Saturday, LHP Eric Stults (4-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.99)
Sunday, LHP Eric Milton (1-0, 3.00) vs. RHP Sean Marshall (3-3, 3.70)
Score by Innings
Los Angeles 110 000 510-8
Colorado 001 200 003-6
Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Pierre lf 5 1 3 2 .404
Loretta 3b 3 2 1 1 .333
Belisario p 1 0 0 0 .000
Ohman p 0 0 0 0 .500
Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000
Hudson 2b 4 1 1 0 .347
Loney 1b 5 0 2 4 .293
Martin c 5 0 0 0 .261
Ethier rf 3 2 2 0 .257
Kemp cf 3 1 2 0 .296
Castro ss 4 1 1 0 .385
Kershaw p 1 0 0 0 .118
Blake ph 3b 1 0 0 0 .307
Totals 35 8 12 7
Colorado 31 6 7 5
2B- Pierre (10), Loney (10). RBI- Loney
4 (36), Pierre 2 (20),Loretta (8). S- Kershaw.
LOB- Los Angeles 6, Colorado 7. SB- Ethier (3).
DP- Loretta, Hudson and Loney.
Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era
Kershaw (3-2) 6.0 4 3-3 4 4 4.34
Belisario 2.0 1 0-0 1 3 2.43
Ohman 0.0 1 1-1 0 0 5.84
Broxton 1.0 1 1-1 3 2 1.50
Balk- Kershaw. HBP- Ethier.
T- 3:23. Att- 22,271.
Juan Worthy All-Star
Juan Pierre should be considered for the National League All-Star game on the basis of his performance so far this season. Since taking over left field on a full-time basis on May 7, he has hit .422 (35-for-83) in 19 games and the Dodgers are 12-7 over that time. He leads the National League with 35 hits and nine stolen bases, is second in runs scored with 19 and third in on-base percentage (.497), and doubles (9).
Congratulations are in order for 1B/P Brett Wallach and redshirt freshman Stefan Jarrín, whose Orange Coast College (37-14) squad defeated San Joaquin Delta College, 10-7, to win the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship. Wallach is the son of Albuquerque Isotopes Manager and former Dodger player and coach Tim Wallach, while Jarrin is the grandson of Hall of Fame Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrín. Wallach’s other son, Matt, spent time with the Dodgers in Spring Training and is currently catching for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons.
Jamie McCourt Honored
Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt was be one of three women honored at the 15th Annual Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Awards luncheon in New York. WISE annually recognizes three women who have made a significant impact on the business of sports and events. Criteria for the honor includes leadership in their field, service as a strong voice and resource for women in the industry, and exhibiting superior professionalism and performance impacting the business of sports. Dodger Assistant GM Kim Ng was a previous WISE award winner.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Colorado Series began a stretch of 17 consecutive games (3-2) through June 7 without an off day for Los Angeles, which now has a road record of 15-10. ...The Dodgers are a season-high 18 games over .500 and own the best record in the Major Leagues (33-15) by 4.0 games over the Texas Rangers, who are 27-18 pending the outcome of their game with the Yankees later tonight. Los Angeles is 18-7 in May after going 15-8 in April. ...The Dodgers clinched the series win, improving their series record on the season to 10-4-2 overall.