Dodgers use all their parts to survive 11-7 victory over Rockies
Team work, ain’t it grand?
The Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies, 11-7, on Saturday night, and they had little heroes all over the place.
Ten Dodgers had hits, seven Dodgers scored, seven Dodgers drove in a run, starter Ted Lilly pitched five effective innings and Tony Gwynn Jr. made a game-saving, diving catch in the ninth inning. If the bullpen had only performed well, it would have been a complete effort.
As it was, the Dodgers built a 7-1 lead, hung on after the Rockies scored five times in the eighth to pull within one, and then scored four insurance runs in the ninth.
By the time it was over, the Dodgers had snapped their three-game losing streak by collecting 18 hits, four apiece by Aaron Miles and Jamey Carroll.
The only starter who did not collect a hit was shortstop Dee Gordon, and all he did was contribute the second-best defensive play of the game in the eighth inning after the Rockies had scored five times to make it a 7-6 game.
With one out and a runner on first, Gordon made a diving stop up the middle to take a hit away from catcher Chris Iannetta, and while sprawled on the infield dirt, flipped the ball to Miles at second base for the force out.
Matt Guerrier then struck out Jonathan Herrera to end the rally.
Matt Kemp returned to the lineup after missing one start with quadriceps tightness, and if he ran the bases somewhat gingerly and played the outfield almost unnaturally, he still managed to double in a run and score.
This being the Dodgers, of course, another starter was scratched. This time third baseman Casey Blake was held out with a stiff neck.
That did not stop him from pinch hitting in the third inning and doubling in three runs in the fifth to break a deadlocked 1-1 game. The Dodgers never would relinquish the lead.
The Dodgers added three more in the seventh -- two on a double by Miles -- survived the Colorado five-run eighth, and then added four insurance runs in the top of the ninth, two on a single by Carroll.
Rookie Javy Guerra pitched the shakiest one-run ninth (allowing four hits and a walk) the Dodgers ever want to see, but survived to nail down the victory when Gwynn made his diving catch with the bases loaded for the final out.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is congratulated in the dugout after scoring a run in the seventh inning against the Rockies on Saturday night in Colorado. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press