After months of getting no run support, Hiroki Kuroda was staked to a big lead for the second game in a row Friday night, as the Dodgers dispatched the Rockies 8-2 in the opener of a three-game weekend series at Coors Field in Denver. The game ended amid growing rainfall, but the Dodgers did their best to wash away Jason Hammel and the Rockies early in this one.
Almost before anyone was able to ask why Justin Sellers was hitting second and Aaron Miles third in Friday night's starting lineup, those two connected for a run in the top of the first inning. Sellers doubled to right field off Hammel, and Miles followed with a single to left field to give the Dodgers the lead.
When the Dodgers tacked on another run in the second inning, and another run in the third inning, the Dodgers were putting up a picket fence on the scoreboard. But with two runners still on base in that third inning, Rod Barajas made sure that picket fence came crashing down. Barajas crushed a slider down the left field line with home run distance, but it was foul. The next pitch from Hammel was a fastball, and Barajas hit this one a similar distance, only this one was fair for a three-run home run and the Dodgers had a 6-0 lead.
Hammel was done after three innings, and has had a nightmare season against the Dodgers. In four starts against L.A. this year, Hammel has allowed 20 runs (19 earned runs) and 29 hits in 17 2/3 innings, including four home runs, with 11 walks and just seven strikeouts.
Edgmer Escalona relieved Hammel, and was greeted by Tony Gwynn Jr. hitting his second home run in three days, a line drive over the scoreboard in right field. After Gwynn's home run, Escalona gave the Rockies some much needed outs in the middle innings, retiring nine straight at one point as he pitched into the seventh. However, Escalona tired in the seventh, allowing two singles and a walk as the Dodgers tacked on another run.
Kuroda was a bit wild, issuing three unintentional walks for just the fifth time this season, but he was effective. He allowed two runs in six innings, striking out five. It was the first win for Kuroda while allowing a run since April 24 at Wrigley Field.
- Andre Ethier was held out of the lineup with infected right big toe. He was removed from Thursday's win in Milwaukee early and had an ingrown toenail cut due to pressure from running, and the cut became infected, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Ethier is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday.
- The home run by Barajas was his second in as many games. The catcher has five multi-hit games in his last nine contests.
- Barajas did leave the game after grounding out in the top of the sixth inning, diagnosed with a mild right groin strain.
- Miles drew two walks in a game for the first time since September 1, 2008, when Miles was with St. Louis, against Arizona.
- Trent Oeltjen picked up a pinch hit single in the top of the eighth inning, his first hit since July 1, snapping an 0-for-19 skid.
- Matt Kemp struck out three times for the second straight game, the fourth time in his career he has had such a two-game stretch. Kemp was ejected by first base umpire Ted Barrett for arguing a check swing strikeout in the top of the ninth inning.
- Vin Scully during the broadcast commented on Ubaldo Jimenez getting traded by the Rockies to the Indians: "What’s that they say about Cleveland? That it’s Detroit without the glitter?"
- Ted Lilly and Esmil Rogers face off Saturday afternoon in the theater of our minds, as the game will only be available live via audio.
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (9-14): 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Jason Hammel (7-12): 3 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout