Dodgers 8, Rockies 6, 10 innings
DENVER (AP)—Los Angeles needed nearly four hours and 23 players to hold off the Colorado Rockies.
It might be just what the Dodgers need in what has suddenly become a tight NL West race.
“That game tonight represents what the character of our club has been all year long,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “That’s just a tremendous comeback, that’s all you can say about it.”
After losing lost four of five, Los Angeles’ lead in the NL West over San Francisco dropped from six games to 2 1/2 . The Dodgers appeared to be headed toward another loss after trailing 6-1 in the second inning, but rallied to tie it on homers by Shawn Green and Milton Bradley, setting up Izturis’ hit in the 10th.
Shawn Chacon (1-8), the 43rd player to enter the game, started the final inning by walking Milton Bradley. He then issued a two-out walk to Robin Ventura, and Izturis followed with a double that just missed going over the wall in right.
Eric Gagne (7-3), Los Angeles’ seventh pitcher of the night, worked the final two innings in the 3-hour, 55-minute game for the win.
“We can’t lose anymore with the Giants winning,” Izturis said. “We have to do our job and try to win the series.”
Nomo didn’t do his job—again.
Pitching on the eight-year anniversary of his no-hitter at Coors Field—the only one in the 10-year history over the hitter’s haven—Nomo couldn’t even make it out of the second inning.
Royce Clayton took care of the no-hitter on Nomo’s eighth pitch with a single to right, and Vinny Castilla followed Todd Helton’s walk with a three-run homer to right. Brad Hawpe made it 4-1 with an RBI single.
Nomo’s command didn’t get any better in the second inning. After striking out pitcher Jamey Wright, he walked Aaron Miles on four pitches, threw a ball in the dirt that allowed Miles to steal second, and was pulled after Clayton’s run-scoring single put the Rockies up 5-1. Castilla added an RBI single off Elmer Dessens.
Nomo’s struggles can’t be good news for the Dodgers in a tight playoff race. He has won once in 14 starts and has allowed 17 runs in 17 innings since coming off the DL with an inflamed rotator cuff. Nomo was charged with six runs and five hits in 1 1-3 innings against the Rockies, the sixth time he’s allowed six or more runs this season.
“He didn’t locate his pitches,” Tracy said. “He fell behind hitters and he cannot afford to pitch from behind. He wasn’t’ effective tonight.”
Wright wasn’t a whole lot better.
The right-hander gave up a 446-foot homer to Green in the Dodgers’ three-run fourth inning, and Bradley tied the game at 6-all with a two-run shot off him in the fifth. Wright was lifted for a pinch hitter after that, giving up six runs and eight hits in five innings.
“He got some outs, but he wasn’t crisp,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was not a good game. We needed a good game out our starting pitcher and we didn’t get it.”
Castilla finished with four RBIs and has 125 on the season, four ahead of St. Louis’ Scott Rolen for the NL lead. The 37-year-old third baseman also has 33 homers, his most since 1999, and made a nice backhanded catch near the stands on Green’s popup in the first inning.
But he didn’t get much help—Colorado stranded 14 runners, including four in the eighth and ninth innings.
“When you’re up 6-1, you need to start putting a foot on somebody’s throat,” Hurdle said. “We didn’t come close to doing that.”
Rockies RHP Scott Dohmann will not be with the team this weekend so he can be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child. … Helton was 3-for-4 to end an 0-for-11 slump. … Castilla hit into a 9-4-6 fielder’s choice in the sixth inning after Bradley couldn’t come up with his popup in right and Helton hesitated going to second. … Izturis extended his hitting streak to 11 games.