Dodgers 5, Rockies 0

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—Dave Roberts took one for the team, and the time it took for him to gather himself was all Los Angeles needed to get Colorado pitcher Denny Stark off his game.

Jeromy Burnitz’s two-run single keyed a four-run sixth as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-0 Saturday night—after being no-hit by Stark for five innings.

“Most of the time, if you look at the track record, if a guy loses a no-hitter, either the game gets out of whack in a hurry—or he throws a one-hit shutout,” Dodgers reliever Paul Shuey said. “It can go either of two ways. It’s just the nature of the beast. Even if you’re going good, it can go that far south.”

Roberts broke up the no-hit bid with a single to shortstop Juan Uribe, who raced to his left to smother the grounder and couldn’t get the throw to first in time.

“The ball was a bullet,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “Juan slid to his left, lost it on the turn, but did everything he could to get him out.”

Roberts stole his team-high 35th base—but his head collided with second baseman Ronnie Belliard’s left knee, and Roberts rolled over grabbing the back of his neck. He was attended to for several minutes by assistant trainer Matt Wilson before play resumed, but came out with a sprained neck after the four-run rally.

“He jarred his neck pretty good,” teammate Shawn Green said. “It’s always scary when that happens to the head or neck, and it’s one of the dangers of going in there headfirst.”

The delay apparently affected Stark—who walked Paul Lo Duca and Green to load the bases before issuing a one-out walk to Adrian Beltre. Two pitches later, Burnitz hit a liner to right that scored two more and chased the right-hander. Cora then greeted Aaron Cook with an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

Stark (2-3), who entered with a 3-0 record and 1.60 ERA against the Dodgers, was charged with four runs, two hits and a season-high six walks in 5 1-3 innings.

Guillermo Mota (4-2) got the victory in relief of Kazuhisa Ishii, helping the Dodgers extend Colorado’s road losing streak to seven games and remain within 1 1/2 games of Florida and Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race.

Mota, who leads all NL relievers with 87 innings, retired all six batters he faced and struck out four while lowering his ERA to 1.55 in 62 appearances.

“Mota’s been there for us all year. I don’t think he’s had any bad slumps at all,” said Shuey, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. “He’s a solid three-pitch guy who’s been able to eat through a ton of innings for us. And a lot of them have been key innings.

“He’s got electric stuff. He’s gone out there every time throwing 95-98 and putting it where he wants to. He’s got a nasty changeup that really does rival Eric Gagne’s, and he’s got a nasty slider to boot.”

Ishii, activated from the disabled list after missing a month with a sprained left knee, threw 96 pitches over five scoreless innings and allowed three hits in his first start since July 29. The left-hander struck out five, tied a career high with six walks and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth before he was removed for a pinch hitter.

“When he got into trouble, he would bear down and made pitches he had to make and held us at bay,” said Jay Payton, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts after hitting a pair of two-run homers against Kevin Brown in Friday night’s 6-4 loss.

Belliard led off Colorado’s fifth with a ground-rule double, then stayed put as Ishii knocked down Uribe’s comebacker and threw late to first. Todd Helton walked, but Preston Wilson fouled out and Larry Walker took a called third strike.

“We had our chances with Ishii. He had six walks. But as wild as he was, he had resolve and found ways to get outs when he needed to,” Hurdle said.

Robin Ventura drove in the Dodgers’ fifth run with a seventh-inning singleagainst Cook.


Helton, whose .355 average is second in the league behind Albert Pujols, walked all four times. … LHP Victor Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to clear a roster spot for Ishii, who didn’t make any minor league rehab starts before returning to the rotation. … The game was held up for several moments in the third after Dodgers C Paul Lo Duca took a foul tip off the base of the mask with Preston Wilson up. … The Rockies have lost 25 consecutive road games in which they scored fewer than three runs. The last time they won under those circumstances was last Sept. 24 at Dodger Stadium,when Stark allowed one hit over seven innings in a 1-0 win over Odalis Perez.

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