DENVER, CO - APRIL 30: Rockies fans cheer as Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers heads back to the dugout after he struck out against Esmil Rogers #48 of the Colorado Rockies with the bases loaded in the seventh inning at Coors Field on April 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Dodgers came up short in their road trip opener in Colorado Monday night, falling to the Rockies 6-2 at Coors Field. The Rockies scored three runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Troy Tulowitzki.
Matt Kemp opened the scoring with a line drive home run down the right field line with two outs in the first inning, for his major league best 12th home run of the season, setting a new Dodgers franchise record. The 23 team games in which Kemp reached 12 home runs is a new Dodgers record, two games faster than the old record held by Roy Campanella in 1953.
Though down 4-2, Aaron Harang had a chance to get through six innings but couldn't quite put away Ramon Hernandez. Harang didn't get a third strike call, then left a pitch up for an RBI double to end his night after 5 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh. Down 5-2, they loaded the bases with nobody out with Kemp and Andre Ethier due up. But both struck out, leaving Don Mattingly with the Sophie's choice of having James Loney face left-hander Rex Brothers or pinch hitter Juan Rivera facing a right-hander. The choice was Rivera, who popped out to shallow left center field off Edgmer Escalona to end the threat with no runs.
Mike MacDougal came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, and pitched like somebody who hadn't pitched in eight days, or perhaps someone who won't pitch for too many more days either. MacDougal walked a batter and allowed two hits, allowing one run, and was saved from further damage by a diving stab of a line drive by Mark Ellis.
Todd Coffey, who was activated from the disabled list before the game, pitched a scoreless eighth, helped out by Dee Gordon throwing out a runner at the plate on his second great relay throw of the night.
The Dodgers end April at 16-7.
Home Runs: Matt Kemp (12)
WP - Juan Nicasio (2-0): 6 IP, 9 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Aaron Harang (1-2): 5 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts