Chad Billingsley gives innings, not results in 5-3 loss
Billingsley was just good enough Sunday against the Colorado Rockies to give the Dodgers and their depleted bullpen what they needed -– seven-plus innings -- and what they did not, a 5-3 loss in Denver.
And in the process, kept James Loney from making his debut as a pitcher.
Coming off a Saturday game that lasted more than five hours and in which he used every pitcher in the bullpen, Manager Don Mattingly identified Loney as his emergency reliever prior to Sunday’s game. They were serious enough that Loney practiced in the bullpen before the game.
Loney, who was a standout pitcher in high school, somehow at least seemed to benefit from all this as a hitter. He went four for four, driving in the Dodgers’ first run with a double and later hitting a solo home run that provided Billingsley with a 4-3 lead.
After giving up a first-inning single to Mark Ellis and a two-run homer to Carlos Gonzalez in the first inning, Billingsley (10-10) did not allow another hit through the next five innings.
It was Colorado’s third and last hit of the day.
The Rockies added an insurance run in the eighth on another walk, Dioner Navarro's throwing error and Troy Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly.
It was enough to snap an odd, if embarrassing, streak by Colorado. The Rockies had lost a major league-record 17 consecutive games on Sunday.
Loney’s RBI double in the second off Kevin Millwood pulled the Dodgers to within a run, and Matt Kemp’s RBI double in the third tied it. Loney hit his third home run at Coors Field this year -– he has only two all season at Dodger Stadium -– to put L.A. in front in the fourth.
Millwood went seven innings, to pick up his first victory with the Rockies. It was the second consecutive day the Rockies rallied late to edge the Dodgers.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Starter Chad Billingsley delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Dodgers’ loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. Credit: Barry Gutierrez / Associated Press