A disastrous seventh inning gave the Rockies a 9-7 win over the Dodgers in the first game of a four-game series at Coors Field. Colorado sent 11 men to the plate in the 38-minute bottom of the seventh, scoring five runs, turning a 7-3 Dodger lead into an 8-7 deficit. For the second straight game, Clayton Kershaw allowed no runs through five innings, then imploded in the sixth and seventh. But it wasn't all him.
Kershaw faced three batters in the seventh, but didn't retire any of them, leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out. Scott Elbert faced three batters, retiring the one right-hander but allowing both lefties (who happened to be Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton) to reach base. Which brought us to...
Mac The Ninth (on the bullpen depth chart in a perfect world)
On the surface, Mike MacDougal's 2.14 ERA looks pretty good, but it has been a mirage. In 21 innings this year, MacDougal has 16 strikeouts but also has 14 walks. Don Mattingly keeps trotting MacDougal out there with inherited runners, and MacDougal keeps letting them in of late. MacDougal faced three batters tonight, didn't record an out, and allowed all three inherited runners to score. He has allowed seven of his last eight inherited runners to score, and 11 of 24 on the season. Opposing batters are hitting .274/.400/.370 off MacDougal. There have been 159 National League pitchers to throw 20 innings this year, and only three have allowed a higher on-base percentage than MacDougal.
At Least There Is Matt Kemp
The Dodgers built a 7-3 lead thanks in large part to MVP contender Matt Kemp, who homered for the fifth time in his last six games. But Kemp wasn't done there, as he drove in two runs with a "triple" in the fifth inning (it really should have been a double, with Kemp advancing on the throw; Charlie Blackmon didn't play the ball very well), and doubled in the seventh.
The triple prompted Vin Scully to say during the broadcast, "The Rockies continue to go after Kemp, and he continues to make them pay." It's a sentiment that has been truly baffling, as Kemp continues to get pitched to despite having excrement hitting behind him. Dodgers' fifth-place hitters are hitting .220/.277/.328 this season with five home runs.
However, Kemp's night, even though he didn't get the single he needed for the cycle (he struck out in the ninth inning), put him in select company. There have only been nine L.A. Dodgers with a double, triple, and home run in the same game.
|LA Dodgers With Double, Triple, & Home Run In Same Game|
- Dee Gordon and Kershaw each had two hits on the night, sparking a pair of three-run rallies in the fifth and seventh innings.
- Even with Gordon and Kershaw, the Dodger offense once again boiled down to Kemp & Andre Ethier 6-for-9, everyone else 6-for-29.
- Blake Hawksworth, who stopped the bleeding by retiring the final two batters of the seventh inning, has retired all eight batters he faced since returning from the disabled list.
- The Dodgers are now 9-2 when they score seven runs in a game this season.
- In Rancho Cucamonga facing Visalia, the rehabbing Hong-Chih Kuo started and pitched one inning. He allowed a leadoff double, then had a strikeout and two groundouts.
- In Mississippi with the Chattanooga Lookouts on his rehab assignment, Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out all three batters he faced.
Chad Billingsley faces Jhoulys Chacin in the second game of the series on Friday night.
WP - Rafael Betancourt (2-0): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Scott Elbert (0-1): 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Huston Street (18): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout