After embattled closers Brandon League and Rafael Betancourt canceled each other out, the Dodgers came out on top with a 7-5 win in 10 innings over the Rockies on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field.
Ramon Hernandez, who was designated for assignment by the Rockies at the end of spring training, opened the 10th inning with a single, his second hit of the night. Pinch runner Carl Crawford eventually scored, thanks to a single by Skip Schumaker and RBI ground out by Luis Cruz off of Betancourt. Juan Uribe added a single to plate Schumaker to give the Dodgers back the two-run lead they also held one inning earlier.
In the ninth inning League allowed a two-run home run to former Rockie Todd Helton, the culmination of an 11-pitch at-bat that tied the game at 5-5 and undid nearly all of the work done earlier by Clayton Kershaw and the gang.
Kershaw not only pitched into the eighth inning but also had two hits, including a two-run double in the fourth inning to help his own cause.
The Dodgers lineup, already missing Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp, was without Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis as well on Friday, but it still managed a three-run third inning and a two-run fourth.
The third inning started with Jon Garland hitting Cruz on the right hand, an injury that looked serious at first. But after conferring with trainers Cruz headed to first, and was soon on his way home on a double by Uribe, his fifth double in his last seven games, over just 19 plate appearances. Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez followed with RBI singles for a 3-0 lead.
Scott Van Slyke led off the fourth with a double and it looked like he might get stranded. Uribe was intentionally walked to get to Kershaw, who made Garland pay with a double to the gap in left center field to widen the lead to 5-0.
Four straight singles off Kershaw gave the Rockies two runs in the fourth, but that was all he would allow until the eighth inning. After singles by Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki to open the eighth, Kershaw was removed in favor of Kenley Jansen.
Jansen hit Cuddyer to put the tying run on base and load the bases with nobody out, but he got out with minimal damage. Wilin Rosario bounced into a double play to shortstop, and Jordan Pacheco bounced out to second to end the inning and keep the Dodgers' lead at 5-3.
Batters this season are 0-for-25 with runners in scoring position against Jansen, with 11 strikeouts, one intentional walk and on hit by pitch.
- Ronald Belisario retired the Rockies in order in the 10th inning for his first save of the season and fourth of his career.
- Schumaker went 2-for-5 to complete a May that saw him hit .300/.344/.367, including .364 (16-for-44) in his last 18 games.
- Uribe stole second base in the 10th inning, his first stolen base since July 4, 2011. Two of Uribe's three steals as a Dodger have come at Coors Field.
- Mark Ellis, batting leadoff for the first time all season, had a hit, two walks, and a stolen base.
- Gonzalez drove in a run in the third inning with a single, and on the season is hitting .455 (20-for-44) with runners in scoring position.
Zack Greinke takes the mound as the Dodgers open a new month, while the Rockies will start Jhoulys Chacin in the first of two straight weekend afternoon starts.
Home run: Todd Helton (4)
WP - Brandon League (1-2): 1 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs 1 strikeout
LP - Rafael Betancourt (1-3): 1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Ronald Belisario (1): 3 up, 3 down