Rockies 8, Dodgers 2

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Colorado Rockies shook things up with a seven-run inning. Then, the Los Angeles Dodgers shook up things in the clubhouse.

Darren Oliver won for the fifth time in six decisions and doubled home two runs as the Rockies beat the Dodgers 8-3 Wednesday night.

The Dodger fell 11 1/2 games out of first place, the largest deficit in the three seasons Jim Tracy has been their manager.

Two players were sent to the minors in the aftermath. Utility infielder Daryle Ward and left-handed reliever State Colyer were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas, while outfielder Bubba Crosby and right-hander Rodney Myers were called up from the 51s.

The Dodgers clubhouse door was closed to the media for more than 20 minutes while four coaches and 12 players slipped out one by one—including losing pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii.

The situation got so tense once the clubhouse was opened, reliever Paul Shuey lashed out indiscriminently at reporters because he thought he heard someone laugh when Ward walked from his locker toward the shower area.

Ward is 20-for-109 with no homers and nine RBIs in 52 games. He was subbing recently at first base for the injured Fred McGriff, but catcher Paul Lo Duca has been playing more first base lately because of the steady improvement of backup catcher David Ross.

“Over the course of the last few years, Daryle is a very proven major league hitter that, to this point, has been unable to get untracked,” Tracy said. “And the only way we’re going to get an opportunity to make that happen is to get him a series of at-bats on a daily basis—something that’s just not possible to do here right now. So we’ve got to find a venue for him to do just that.”

Oliver (8-6) allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings, while striking out nine and walking one. The last time he faced the Dodgers on May 20, he took a four-hit shutout into the seventh inning before losing a 3-1 decision to Kevin Brown.

“It’s a real good example of a veteran guy doing a great job to keep us in the ballgame,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He maintained his composure and gave a very solid effort. He’s just been very very consistent this year, and 75-80 percent of the time, he’s given us a chance to win the ballgame.”

Ishii (9-4) allowed six runs—five earned—and eight hits over five-plus innings and hit three batters in the fourth. The loss was Ishii’s first this season at Dodger Stadium in six decisions spanning 11 starts.

The Rockies loaded the bases three times in the first six innings against Ishii, who escaped the first jam unscathed and yielded only one run the second time. But the left-hander’s luck ran out in the sixth, as the Rockies tied a season high with seven runs in the inning to take an 8-2 lead.

Oliver, who flied out to the warning track with three on in the second, came up again with the bases full in the sixth—this time with none out. He lined a 1-0 pitch just inside the left-field line for a double that drove in Rene Reyes and Mark Bellhorn, who had tried to sacrifice Reyes to second and was safe when catcher David Ross’ high throw pulled first baseman Paul Lo Duca off the bag.

Ronnie Belliard chased Ishii with an RBI single and Juan Uribe greeted Guillermo Mota with a run-scoring hit off second baseman Jolbert Cabrera’s glove for a 5-2 lead. Preston Wilson had a two-run double and Reyes capped the rally with an RBI single that chased Mota.

“We kept getting guys on base and finally got that big hit,” Johnson said. “That big inning was huge for us. We needed an inning like that because we haven’t had one of those in a long time.”

Ishii, who leads the majors in walks allowed, hit three batters in the fourth to match his total in 113 previous innings this season. After plunking Larry Walker on the shoulder to opening the inning, the left-hander nicked Bellhorn on the left foot one out later and walked Oliver with two outs.

Ishii then hit Belliard on the right foot with a pitch in the dirt, but he wasn’t awarded first base until plate umpire Rob Drake saw him hopping out of the batters box. Walker scored—and Tracy seethed, getting into an argument with Drake before being ejected.

“I don’t see Trace get real emotional too often. So when he argues about something, he really believes it,” Ross said. “I was going down to block the ball, so my head was down. Then I saw Belliard hopping around and my teammates had a little bit of a shocked reaction. I checked the ball and there wasn’t anyshoe polish on it, but that doesn’t always mean anything, either.”


Colorado’s seven-run sixth matched the worst inning by a Dodgers pitching staff that entered with a major league-leading 3.10 ERA. … Reyes, called up from Triple-A when LHP Denny Neagle was put on the DL, was 3-for-5after getting his first big league hit on Tuesday night.

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