Estes, who fought for a spot in Colorado’s rotation, is the only Rockie to earn a victory thus far. In an Opening Day 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Estes outpitched Randy Johnson, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings.
The win was a relief to Estes, who entered the year with a 13-24 record over the past two seasons, including an 8-11 mark with the Chicago Cubs in 2003.
“I think the experience that I’ve had in this game really helped me relax. In the past I probably would have been over-amped coming into this game. I had a sense of ease, but I had a good shot of adrenaline at the same time.”
Colorado, though, has had trouble with the Dodgers regardless who’s pitching. Los Angeles has won the last nine meetings, including Saturday’s 7-4 victory. The Dodgers have outscored the Rockies 53-20 over the stretch. The Dodgers have also won 14 of the last 17 games against Colorado at Dodger Stadium, including six straight
Beltre, who had a career-high 23 homers last season, hit his third in five games in the sixth for a 7-2 cushion after Jeromy Burnitz homered in the top of the inning.
Getting his first save opportunity of the season, Cy Young winner Eric Gagne got out of his own jam in the ninth by getting Burnitz to ground out with runners on second and third to extend his major league-record to 64 saves in a row since Aug. 28, 2002.
Colorado could be without centerfielder Preston Wilson on Sunday. Wilson, who hit a career-high 36 homers last season and led the NL with 141 RBIs, left Saturday’s game with a sore left knee after striking out in the third inning.