Dodgers find their Colorado power stroke, then hang on for 10-8 victory over Rockies
Power is not the Dodgers' friend. Sometimes, seems barely a fleeting acquaintance.
The Dodgers began Sunday's game ranked 20th in the majors with 49 home runs -- and 19 had come from one player, Matt Kemp.
So imagine their delight when they fairly exploded for three home runs against the Rockies, powering their way to a 10-7 victory -- which, with the game being played in Colorado, naturally required them to hang on.
Kemp got his seemingly daily home run, a solo shot in the fifth that pushed his National League-leading total to 20. And catcher Rod Barajas followed two outs later with another solo shot, his first home run since May 13.
The biggest blow, however, came from an unlikely source: James Loney.
After the Dodgers fell behind, 3-0, on a three-run, first-inning home run by Colorado’s Seth Smith, it was Loney -- who comes under constant criticism for his lack of power -- who struck the game's biggest blow.
With runners on first and second and two out in the third, Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez pitched around Kemp, walking him to load the bases and get to Loney.
Loney immediately made him pay, launching his second career grand slam. It was only his fourth home run of the season.
Jimenez (1-7) shut the Dodgers out on four hits June 1, but he was chased after 5 1/3 innings Sunday, giving up seven runs (two earned) on 11 hits.
The Rockies' shaky defense and the Dodgers' 17-hit attack was just too much for Colorado to overcome, though it certainly tried. In their last two games in Denver, the Dodgers had 35 hits and 21 runs.
The Dodgers were up, 9-3, in the bottom of the seventh when reliever Ramon Troncoso -- who almost silently had not given up a run in his six appearances since he was recalled May 19 -- gave up two two-run homers in the bottom of the inning to Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
Mike MacDougal came out of the Dodgers' battered bullpen to calm the storm, helping to preserve the victory for rookie Rubby De La Rosa (3-0), not that it was easy. Not that it's ever easy in Colorado.
Blake Hawksworth started the ninth and gave up a solo home run to Todd Helton. The Rockies had four home runs. Hawksworth was one strike away from his first career save when Tulowitzki singled. That brought the call to Scott Elbert, who got the final out for his first career save and ended the Dodgers' latest exhausting game in Denver.
De La Rosa left the game in the top of the sixth holding his right index finger. The Dodgers said he had a right forearm cramp. He gave up three runs on six hits and struck out six, including Tulowitzki in the third on a 100-mph fastfall.
The Dodgers ended their 10-game trip 5-5.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, being congratulated by third base coach Tim Wallach, joined the home-run parade on Sunday against the Rockies in Colorado. Credit: Chris Humphreys / US Presswire