LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies had the better of the two 11th-inning rallies to take the opener of a three-game weekend set, 5-4 over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Colorado scored three runs off three Dodgers relievers in the top of the inning, then the Dodgers rallied for two against Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins.
But the rally fell short and the Dodgers have dropped four of their last five games.
Jamey Wright retired the first four hitters he faced in relief before pinch hitter Brandon Barnes doubled to the base of the wall in right field with one out in the 11th inning. Birthday boy and left-handed pitcher J.P. Howell was brought in to face Charlie Blackmon, who entered the game hitting .410/.453/.692 but was 0-for-4 before his game-winning hit.
Nolan Arenado followed with a single, then Carlos Gonzalez reached on a fielder's choice when Adrian Gonzalez tried unsuccessfully to get the runner at home. A walk and a single against Brandon League brought home a third run, before a double play grounder finally ended the carnage.
Hanley Ramirez started the bottom of the 11th with a double, then was followed by a home run by Adrian Gonzalez, but Hawkins retired the next three to end the game.
Josh Beckett was great for eight innings, the longest any Dodgers starter has pitched this season. He allowed two runs on just four hits and struck out six with no walks, but got his fourth no-decision in as many starts this season, leaving with a tied game.
"I had a good feel of my changeup," Beckett said. "I threw a lot of breaking balls, and most of the changeups and splits I threw, most of them were quality. I got some easier outs - and there aren't many easy outs in that lineup - on the changeup."
Dodgers starters have allowed 21 runs in their last 11 starts, good for a 1.99 ERA, but the starting pitchers have just three wins to show for it during that span.
Home runs by Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson in the second inning gave Colorado a 2-1 lead, the first of which snapped Beckett's scoreless streak at 12 consecutive innings.
But after the home run by Dickerson, Beckett retired 17 of his next 18 batters, including 11 straight before DJ LeMahieu singled with one out in the eighth inning. LeMahieu stole second base but was left in scoring position as Beckett got Blackmon to ground out to end the threat.
Beckett over his last three starts has allowed just two runs in 18 innings, with seven hits, seven walks and 17 strikeouts.
"This was a step in the right direction for me personally. It showed me I can do some things I haven't done in a while," Beckett said. "I haven't been up and down six times in, I don't know, 400 days."
Beckett last pitched in the seventh inning of a game on April 14, 2013, a game in which he pitched 8⅓ innings in Arizona, 376 days ago.
Yasiel Puig drove in the first two Dodgers runs, the first on a solo home run in the first inning to the pavilion in right center field. The second came on a single to left to drive in Dee Gordon, who hit an amazing infield double.
The Dodgers threatened in the fourth and six innings, but for naught. Tim Federowicz's would-be two-run double down the left field line was caught on a great diving stab by 2013 Gold Glove Award winner Nolan Arenado at third base. Two innings later, Hanley Ramirez led off the frame with a double but was stranded at second.
Jordan Lyles allowed just two runs on six hits in his seven innings, with four strikeouts and a walk.
Matt Kemp was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, and was ejected for arguing the called strikeout in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Kemp is the first Dodger to be ejected this season. It was his seventh career ejection. "It's something we'll talk about internally," manager Don Mattingly said. "We only have four guys [on the bench]."
Puig was nearly scratched with tightness in his leg, but he said if he's in the lineup on Saturday he will be ready to play. Puig came out in the 11th inning on a double switch, but Mattingly said it had nothing to do with his leg.
Aside from his double, Gordon also struck out twice on fouled bunt attempts with two strikes, the first Dodger to do so twice in a game since Aaron Harang on May 17, 2012.
There have been 31 home runs hit at Dodger Stadium this season, 17 by the Dodgers, in 13 games. In 2013, the 31st home run hit at Dodger Stadium came in the 17th game (they also hit their 32nd in that game; 14 by the Dodgers, 18 by opponents).
The Dodgers have lost five of their six extra-inning games, and have been outscored 8-3 after the ninth inning this season.
This is the first April in at least a century the @Dodgers have played six extra-inning games. Just searched Baseball-Reference back to 1914— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) April 26, 2014
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (3), Adrian Gonzalez (7); Troy Tulowitzki (5), Corey Dickerson (2)
WP - Rex Brothers (2-2): 1 IP, 1 walk
LP - Jamey Wright (1-1): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout
Sv - LaTroy Hawkins (7): 1 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs