Dexter Fowler nearly cost the Rockies the game in the 12th inning, but redeemed himself in the 13th inning with a two-out RBI single off Blake Hawksworth to give Colorado a 7-6 win over the Dodgers Saturday in Denver. It was a wild end to wild game, the Dodgers' longest game of the season at five hours, seven minutes.
The Dodgers used 19 players, while the Rockies used 22 players.
The Dodgers got a pair of home runs in the top of the 12th from unlikely sources. Aaron Miles took Matt Reynolds over the wall in left field, his second of the season, to give the Dodgers the lead, and Trent Oeltjen hit a ball to center field that got by the ill-fated dive of Fowler for an inside-the-park job to give the Dodgers an insurance run.
However, Javy Guerra suffered his first blown save of the season, allowing two runs in the bottom of the inning, with the key at-bat a 15-pitch battle with Todd Helton that ended with an RBI double. Eliezer Alfonzo drove in the tying run with a groundout to third base.
For the second straight game, the Dodgers jumped on the Rockies starter early, putting multiple runners on base in each of the first four innings against Esmil Rogers. The Dodgers plated two runs in the first and two more in the fourth, though it seemed like they could have added much more. Rogers allowed 12 hits and a walk, but was able to last six innings, retiring seven of the last eight batters he faced.
Ted Lilly was ahead 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning when he walked Fowler to put runners on first and third. It was the third walk of the game for Lilly, the first time he has ever walked that many as a Dodger, which prompted a mound visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. They were soon joined by Dodger trainers, and Lilly left after just 72 pitches with a stiff neck. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times explains:
Lilly woke up a few days ago in Milwaukee with a stiff neck. Condition worsened throughout the game.
Hong-Chih Kuo replaced Lilly, and Kuo had his finest outing of the season. The Rockies had runners at first and third base with two outs, with Carlos Gonzalez up, having driven in a run in each of his first two at-bats. Kuo struck out Gonzalez to end the threat, then began the sixth inning with strikeouts of Troy Tulowitzki and Helton. Three batters faced, three strikeouts for Kuo, easily the brightest moment in a dark season for the southpaw.
The Rockies put a runner on third base with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, thanks in part to a wild throw by Dioner Navarro after a wild pitch that would have erased Helton at third base. Mike MacDougal then intentionally walked Chris Iannetta and Chris Nelson to load the bases, but amazingly got out of it with a pair of ground balls.
Chip Off The Old Block
On June 30, 1996, former Dodger Eric Young ran wild for the Rockies against his former club. Young stole six bases in a 16-15 win by Colorado, which still stands as the Rockies record for most steals in a game. On Saturday, Eric Young Jr. had the game of his life.
Junior walked on five pitches to open the bottom of the first inning, and with Lilly on the mound it was only a matter of time before Young ran. With Carlos Gonzalez up, Young stole second and third base on consecutive pitches, though it sounded from the radio broadcast like Young may have been out at third base had Aaron Miles not dropped the throw. Young scored on a groundout by Gonzalez.
In the third inning, Young walked again, this time on four pitches and with one out. He stole second again, but didn't get a chance to steal third base as Lilly threw a wild pitch, which allowed him to advance. Gonzalez drove in Young again, this time on a single to left field, which gave Colorado a brief 3-2 lead.
That Young ran wild on Lilly isn't surprising; after all, runners attempting to steal off Lilly have been successful in 29 of 31 attempts this season. But everything else was surprising. Lilly hardly walks anyone, never walking more than two batters in any of his 37 starts as a Dodger before today, and the wild pitch was just his second of the year.
Young didn't steal a base in the fifth inning, but that's because he hit a triple. Young also made a pair of highlight catches in left field, robbing Sellers in the second inning and diving to catch a potential hit off the bat of Jamey Carroll in the fifth inning. For good measure, Young also delivered an RBI single to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In addition to the three steals by Young, Lilly allowed a solo home run to Helton in the second inning. That ran Lilly's season totals to 27 home runs and 29 steals allowed. The last major league pitcher to allow 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season was Gavin Floyd in 2008. No Dodger has ever allowed 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in one season, though four others have allowed 25 of each.
|Dodgers Pitchers To Allow 25 HR & 25 SB|
- Kuo had three strikeouts in one appearance for the first time since October 1, 2010.
- The Dodgers are now 6-1 in extra-inning games this season.
- The home run by Trent Oeltjen was the first inside-the-park home run by the Dodgers since Blake DeWitt against the Mets on May 6, 2008.
- With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Tony Gwynn Jr. was running to second when Justin Sellers singled to center field. Gwynn never stopped running and scored all the way from first base on a single, beating the relay throw from Troy Tulowitzki.
- All nine Dodgers starters, including Lilly, had at least one hit. The top five hitters had two hits apiece.
- Matt Kemp was caught stealing twice on Saturday, the latter on a pickoff play in the 12th inning. It was the first game this season that Kemp has been caught stealing twice.
- The home run by Helton was his fifth long ball hit on his birthday, having also done the same in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.
- Helton on his 38th birthday saw a total of 38 pitches in his six plate appearances.
- The 12 hits allowed by Rogers tied Tyler Chatwood of the Angels for third-most hits given up to the Dodgers by one pitcher this year. On May 29, Florida's Ricky Nolasco allowed 15 hits in five innings, the most against the Dodgers this season.
- Coming into the top of the seventh inning, the Rockies' radio broadcast came back on air with I Touch Myself by Divinyls as the bumper music.
Chad Billingsley starts on Sunday for the Dodgers, facing Kevin Millwood.
WP - J.C. Romero (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit
LP - Blake Hawksworth (2-4): 2/3 IP, 2 hits, 1 run