The Dodgers managed two runs against Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ted Lilly made it hold up, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 win over the Rockies in the series opener at Coors Field. Jimenez has been great this season, so it has to be one of the high points of an otherwise dreary season that the Dodgers have beaten Ubaldo three out of four times this year.
While Jimenez didn't get his 20th win tonight, Lilly did get his ninth. The southpaw was very effective tonight, striking out eight in his eight innings, allowing just one run on four hits. It was Lilly's sixth win in 11 starts as a Dodger.
In the first inning, the Dodgers score two runs off Jimenez, literally. After a leadoff bloop single by Rafael Furcal and walks to Ryan Theriot and Matt Kemp, Casey Blake lined a ball off the leg of Ubaldo, careening over the outstretched mullet of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to score two runs.
Blake entered the game in a 6-for-58 slump with 27 strikeouts in his last 62 plate appearances, but aside from his two-run single added a pair of doubles. He scored an insurance run in the ninth inning, driven in by catcher A.J. Ellis
- Before tonight, Jimenez allowed three runs in 31 first innings this season, but the Dodgers scored two runs tonight in the opening stanza.
- Matt Kemp struck out against brief old friend Octavio Dotel in the top of the eighth inning, pushing his record against Dotel to six strikeouts in six plate appearances.
- The last game Blake had two extra-base hits was May 26 at Wrigley Field. No, it wasn't against Lilly (he pitched for the Cubs the next day), but rather Tom Gorzelanny and James Russell
- Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 11th save, and is three scoreless innings away from having the lowest ERA in the 127-year history of the Dodgers (minimum 50 innings). Three more innings for Kuo would give him an ERA of 1.200, just below Eric Gagne's 1.202 in 2003.
- Carlos Gonzalez accounted for the Rockies only run with a home run off Lilly in the fourth inning, his 34th of the season. Gonzalez has more home runs at Coors Field this season (26) than any Dodger has on the season (Kemp and Andre Ethier each have 23).
Hiroki Kuroda faces Jeff Francis in the middle game of the series tomorrow night.
WP - Ted Lilly (9-12): 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Ubaldo Jimenez (19-8): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv -(11): 1 IP, 1 strikeout