LOS ANGELES (AP)—Just when it appeared the National League’s worst pitching staff was about to implode once again, something out of the ordinary happened.
The Colorado Rockies started getting people out.
And they never stopped.
Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer, three Colorado relievers combined to retire the final 11 batters, and the Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Thursday night in the rubber game of the three-game series.
The Dodgers had 10 hits, five walks and a hit batsman in the first 5 1-3 innings before their offense suddenly disappeared. It all began with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, when Scott Dohmann struck out Olmedo Saenz and Jayson Werth to preserve the Rockies’ 5-4 lead.
“He painted himself into a corner and pitched himself out,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of Dohmann, who walked the first two batters he faced before getting the two big strikeouts.
The Rockies have an NL-high 5.33 ERA.
Dustan Mohr and Aaron Miles also homered off Brad Penny (6-8) to help the Rockies win a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time since Aug. 28-30, 2001. They entered the series with a 7-24 record in their last 31 games in Los Angeles, including an 0-3 mark this season.
Colorado’s 16-43 road record is the worst in the majors, but the Rockies have won six of their last nine games away from home and three straight road series to match a franchise record.
Aaron Cook (3-1) allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings to win his third straight start.
“It wasn’t my best,” he said. “You take the good with the bad; sometimes the bad is good enough.”
The loss was the fourth in five games for the Dodgers and dropped them a season-worst 13 games below .500. They trail NL West-leading San Diego by 6 1/2 games.
“I don’t care if the Rockies beat us, or the Padres or the Astros, or whatever,” Penny said. “It doesn’t matter who beats you. They’re going to win some games. They’re due. I mean, even the worst team in the league is going to win two out of three.”
Mohr hit his team-leading 16th homer in the second to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead, and Holliday’s towering drive over the center-field fence with two on in the third made it 4-0. Holliday’s 13th homer followed two-out walks to Cory Sullivan and Todd Helton.
“If I don’t walk those guys, they don’t score five runs,” Penny said. “If they get three runs, we end up winning the game. A couple of pitches were close and could have gone either way. Unfortunately, they didn’t go my way.”
The Dodgers got a run back in the bottom of the inning on doubles by Jose Valentin and Oscar Robles, but Miles hit Penny’s first pitch of the fifth into the right-field pavilion for his second homer to make it 5-1.
Werth’s two-out RBI single in the last of the fifth made it 5-2, and the Dodgers drew within one run by scoring twice off Randy Williams in the sixth on RBI singles by pinch-hitter Antonio Perez and Robles.
The first six Los Angeles batters in the sixth reached base on four walks and two hits, but Perez was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings and stranded two in the fifth.
“We had our chances to win that game. We had the stage set,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “A two-out base hit would have put us ahead, and we weren’t able to get it. The consistency of that just hasn’t been happening for us on enough of a regular basis.”
Penny was lifted for a pinch hitter after allowing five runs and four hits in six innings. He issued a season-high four walks and struck out eight.
Dodgers OF Milton Bradley, probably facing season-ending surgery on his left knee, was placed on the 15-day disabled list. INF-OF Mike Edwards was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League to replace Bradley on the 25-man roster. … Rockies 2B Luis Gonzalez, who sustained a bruised right index finger when hit by a pitch Tuesday, didn’t start for the second straight night, but entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. … Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis missed his third game due to lower back soreness and will undergo an MRI on Friday. Izturis said he was too sore to swing a bat and unable to bend over to field ground balls. … Choo Freeman, who popped out as a pinch hitter in the seventh, became the 18th rookie to play for Colorado this season—most in the majors. … Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent singled in the fifth to snap an 0-for-13 drought. … The eight starting position players for the Dodgers had one hit each in the first five innings.