Giving up extra-base hits to a Rockies shortstop hasn't exactly been newsworthy in recent years, but Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium was a little different. Josh Rutledge, filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki, drove in three runs with two doubles, leading Colorado over the Dodgers 3-1 at Dodger Stadium.
One night after getting shutout on five hits by four Rockies pitchers, the Dodgers on Tuesday managed just four hits against five Colorado pitchers. Now the Dodgers find themselves a game and a half behind San Francisco in the National League West.
The last time a shortstop hit two doubles against the Dodgers was August 19, 2011, when Tulowitzki turned the trick himself at Coors Field. Rutledge on Tuesday went 4-for-5 and is hitting .356 in his rookie season, with 16 extra-base hits in 22 games.
Eric Young Jr. was the first batter faced by Aaron Harang on Wednesday, and was also his last batter faced on the night. But in all four trips against Harang, Young reached base, scoring twice. Young singled in his first three at-bats then walked, scoring in the fifth and seventh innings on doubles by Rutledge.
Young is 6-for-9 in the series with a walk and four runs scored.
With one out in the second inning, Hanley Ramirez fouled a ball off his left foot and immediately began hopping around home plate, struggling to put weight on his injured appendage. Trainer Sue Falsone and manager Don Mattingly ran onto the field to attend to Ramirez, who though wincing in pain was able to remain in the game.
Two pitches later, Ramirez hit a sharp grounder past Jordan Pacheco at third base for a single, and was clearly favoring his foot while running the bases.
Ramirez came up in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded, and battled from down 0-2 to work a full count against Alex White, but flew harmlessly to left field to end the frame.
|Worst Strike % vs. Dodgers, 2012|
|Gio Gonzalez||Was||Apr 29||51.14%|
|Jason Marquis||SD||Jul 15||52.48%|
|Alex White||Col||May 13||52.63%|
White had trouble finding the strike zone but didn't have much trouble keeping the Dodgers off the scoreboard. He walked five and struck out only two on the night, and both strikeouts were of Harang. White threw 42 strikes and 38 balls in his four scoreless innings, the third worst strike percentage against the Dodgers this season.
White is also fourth on the list for his May 13 start, also at Dodger Stadium. He has 13 walks and five strikeouts in 15 innings against the Dodgers this season.
Josh Roenicke followed the same formula from Monday to a tee, backing up the four-inning starter with three scoreless innings of his own. Roenicke, who picked up the victory in relief, leads all MLB relievers with 69 1/3 innings pitched this season.
The Dodgers didn't get on the board until the eighth inning, when Mark Ellis hit a pinch hit double into the left field corner that Ramirez, sore foot and all, had no trouble scoring on from first base. That cut the Rockies' lead to 3-1, but Rafael Betancourt was able to retire the Dodgers in the ninth inning for his 19th save of the season.
Don Mattingly said after the game that in-game x-rays of Ramirez's foot were negative, and that his shortstop was fine.
The last 23 games for the Dodgers have gone like this: lost four straight, won five straight, lost three, won three, lost three, won three, and now lost two in a row.
Adam Kennedy was to play second base Tuesday night on a rehab assignment with Triple A Albuquerque, then third base Wednesday night, but those plans went awry as the Isotopes were rained out. Albuquerque will play a doubleheader on Wednesday with a pair of seven-inning games. Chris Jackson of the Albuquerque Examiner caught up with Kennedy before Tuesday's non-game.
The Dodgers look to avoid a sweep on Wednesday night, sending red-hot Chad Billingsley to the hill against former and current Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis.
Home Runs: none
WP - Josh Roenicke (4-0): 3 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
LP - Aaron Harang (7-7): 6+ IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Rafael Betancourt (19): 3 up, 3 down