Rockies 8, Dodgers 7

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles Dodgers got plenty of offense Wednesday night only to be wrecked by bad rookie pitching.

Cory Sullivan had four hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Colorado Rockies won 8-7.

“This one is real bad,” Los Angeles starter D.J. Houlton said.

The Dodgers lost their second straight and dropped six games behind NL West-leading San Diego, tied for second with San Francisco.

“We have to win a number of our remaining games and we need some help,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “When you score seven, you like to think you got plenty to win, but obviously giving up eight is a substantial number.”

Los Angeles blew a chance to make up a game on the Padres before opening a four-game series at San Francisco on Friday.

“It’s tough to lose one game like that,” shortstop Oscar Robles said, “but we can’t do anything about it right now. We’re going to come back tomorrow and try to win the game.”

The Dodgers staked D.J. Houlton to a five-run lead and were still ahead after the first two times the Rockies scored.

“The most disappointing thing about tonight was we couldn’t hold them down,” Tracy said. “D.J. battled himself the whole time. He was inconsistent in the strike zone. They got hits with two outs as the game moved on.”

Sullivan hit the first pitch from Yhency Brazoban (4-9) over the wall in right-center field with two outs to give the Rockies their first lead of the game.

Sullivan’s four hits tied his career best, set Sept. 4 against Los Angeles at Coors Field.

“I wasn’t by any means trying to hit the ball out of the yard because Dodger Stadium is a big yard,” he said. “But I got the good part of the barrel on the ball and was fortunate that it traveled enough.”

Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 31 chances.

Garrett Atkins hit a grand slam off Houlton in the fifth as the Rockies closed to 5-4.

“After the at-bats I had the first two nights here, hitting the ball out was such a relief,” he said. “I was just happy I finally did something to help the team. And to do it here is special since I haven’t had too much success here. It took a lot of pressure off me.”

Houlton gave up singles to Sullivan and Matt Holliday, then walked Brad Hawpe to load the bases before Atkins sent a 2-1 pitch into the left field pavilion.

“It was a struggle all night to throw strikes and I just threw way too many pitches, getting behind in counts and having to throw fastballs,” Houlton said. “I paid the price for it.”

He allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, walked four and struck out three.

The Dodgers took a 7-6 lead in the seventh when Willie Aybar scored on a double-play grounder by Jeff Kent. Aybar drew a leadoff walk from Jamey Wright (7-16) and took third on a single by Robles.

Colorado’s Todd Helton tied the game 6-6 in the sixth on a two-run single.

Olmedo Saenz’s 15th homer extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-4 in the fifth.

Los Angeles led 2-0 in the first on Kent’s run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly by Ricky Ledee. The Dodgers added two runs in the second on a suicide squeeze by Jason Repko and a ground-rule double from Robles.

Repko led off the fourth with his seventh homer on a 1-2 pitch from Byung-Hyun Kim, making it 5-0.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said Kim tweaked his right hip at one point, causing his velocity to drop about 5 mph for two innings.

“He wasn’t himself, but he said he could get through it,” Hurdle said. “He really didn’t ‘fess up early, and then he told us the truth. But he wanted to compete and he wanted the ball.”

Wright worked two innings, giving up one run and one hit.

Kim gave up five runs and six hits in four innings.


Kent recorded his 100th RBI in the first inning, becoming the first player in major league history whose primary position is second base to have eight 100 RBI seasons. … Atkins’ grand slam was the second of his career; the first came on June 28 against Houston. He was previously 0-for-8 in the series. … Brazoban appeared in his 66th game of the season, leaving him one behind the franchise record for rookie appearances set by Duaner Sanchez last year. … U.S. Open doubles champions Mike and Bob Bryan of Camarillo, Calif., tossed out ceremonial first pitches, with Dodgers C Mike Rose catching one brother and INF-OF Mike Edwards handling the other.

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