Rally falls short after Matt Kemp pinch-hit home run as Dodgers fall, 6-5, to Rockies
Outhit, outpitched, outfielded. Give the Dodgers this Friday night, at least they were consistent.
Things started going the wrong way even before first pitch, when the Dodgers scratched Matt Kemp -- the lone dangerous bat in their lineup -- from the starting lineup as a precautionary measure because of a tight left hamstring.
Without him, a weak Dodgers’ offense went completely limp.
The Dodgers had only three hits through eight innings and might have been shut out for the second time in three days, save for Kemp pinch hitting in the ninth, blasting another monstrous home run and igniting a belated five-run comeback.
As it was, the Dodgers’ rally fell a run shy, the Rockies holding on for a 6-5 victory that marked the Dodgers’ third consecutive defeat and fourth in five games.
Right-hander Chad Billingsley needed to be nearly perfect to compete against the Rockies’ Jhoulys Chacin, and he was a long way from that.
After holding the Rockies to a Troy Tulowitzki solo home run through four innings, Billingsley suffered a complete meltdown in the fifth. He surrendered five runs on seven singles a pair of Dodgers’ errors. The Dodgers entered the game having made the fewest errors (27) in the majors.
The Rockies batted around in the inning, chasing Billingsley (5-5), who gave up a career-high 13 hits in his 4 2/3 innings. He gave up all six runs.
In his last three starts, Billingsley has surrendered 32 hits in 17 2/3 innings. Otherwise, he’s been on top of his game.
Billingsley is now 1-5 with a 7.88 earned-run average in seven games at Coors Field.
Kemp had easily been the Dodgers’ hottest hitter, and was allowed to pinch hit in the ninth largely to keep alive his major-league high streak of having played in 269 consecutive games.
There was zero doubt about his latest home run. It landed beyond the left-field bleachers and onto the concourse. It was his seventh home run in his last 10 games.
Without Kemp through eight innings, the Dodgers hardly made a sound. They had only three hits, all singles. Two were by Dee Gordon and one by Trent Oeltjen, a pair who last week were playing for triple-A Albuquerque.
Chacin (7-4) threw eight scoreless innings, holding the Dodgers to the three hits while walking three and striking out nine.
But Kemp’s league-leading 19th home run must have inspired, or a least awakened, the Dodgers’ offense. For the only time all night, the Dodgers started spraying hits.
A James Loney single, an error and a Tony Gwynn Jr. double scored one. At which point the Rockies went to closer Houston Street.
Except Aaron Miles greeted him with a two-run single. Pinch-hitter Rod Barajas’ single scored Miles, and suddenly the Dodgers were within a run.
Street ended the rally by striking out Oeltjen for his 19th save.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly replaces starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, who last only 4 2/3 innings against the Rockies on Friday night in Colorado. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press