Dodgers 2, Rockies 1
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Brett Tomko didn’t know what to expect in his first appearance of the season and first start since last June. So he decided to slow himself down.
The strategy worked wonders.
The 34-year-old right-hander left with a 1-0 lead, and while he didn’t receive credit for the victory, that didn’t seem to damper his mood.
“It was one of those nights, you go out there, have fun, get good results,” Tomko said. “It was a good first time out. I knew I felt strong, I just tried to back off and not pitch full-speed. When I do that, I usually do better. I feel like if I make my pitches, it’ll all take care of itself.”
Tomko walked three, struck out nine and threw 92 pitches before being relieved by Chad Billingsley to start the seventh.
“He was real effective,” Colorado’s Garrett Atkins said of Tomko. “He was locating his fastball and keeping it down. The umpire was giving him that low strike and the just stayed down there the whole game and pitched really well.”
Tomko held the Rockies hitless until Matt Holliday doubled off the center-field fence to open the fifth. He then worked out of trouble by striking out Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki and, after an intentional walk to Yorvit Torrealba, fanning Colorado starter Rodrigo Lopez to end the inning.
“He did an outstanding job keeping hitters off-balance,” said Martin, the Dodgers’ catcher. “When he fell behind, he used his changeup real well.”
“He’s not a strikeout pitcher,” Martin said of Kim. “I was being patient, just waiting for something I could hit in the air.”
Beimel, the third Dodgers’ pitcher, worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth by starting an inning-ending double play on Holliday’s grounder to the mound.
“Joe Beimel’s strength is throwing sinkers,” Martin said. “Sinkers produce ground balls.”
Said Holliday: “That’s not a good pitch for me to hit in that situation. There’s a difference between being aggressive and being smart.”
Takashi Saito retired the Rockies in order in the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.
Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead against Lopez in the first when Martin singled, stole second and scored on a single by Nomar Garciaparra. The Rockies tied it against Billingsley in the seventh on a one-out double by Hawpe and a two-out, RBI single by Torrealba.
Lopez was nearly as effective as Tomko, giving up five hits and one run in six innings with two walks and two strikeouts. Colorado starters have worked at least six innings in each of the team’s eight games this season, and allowed two runs or fewer in the last seven.
“It’s the first time in organizational history that we’ve been able to do that,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “They have the ability to do it, and now it’s about building up consistency. A week doesn’t make a month and a month doesn’t make a season. We need to stay consistent throughout the season.”
Tomko retired the first 11 Colorado batters before hitting Atkins with a pitch. Todd Helton then flied out to deep center, ending the fourth.
Lopez worked out of a jam in the bottom of the inning. Martin singled and took third on a double by Garciaparra. Jeff Kent grounded out and, after Luis Gonzalez was walked intentionally, Lopez retired Wilson Valdez on a fly to shallow right and Andre Ethier on a ground ball.
The Dodgers placed OF Matt Kemp on the 15-day DL because of an injured right shoulder, and recalled RHP Chin-hui Tsao from Triple-A Las Vegas. Kemp was injured in Monday’s 6-3 loss to the Rockies when he banged into the auxiliary scoreboard in right field trying to catch Jeff Baker’s RBI triple. … Rockies LHP Jeff Francis dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension and began serving it Tuesday night. Francis, the winning pitcher Monday, was suspended for throwing at San Diego’s Kevin Kouzmanoff in an exhibition game March 13. … Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt, who came out of Monday’s game in the fifth with tightness in his right hamstring, said he felt fine and would take his regular turn Sunday night against San Diego. … Helton struck out in the first—just his second strikeout of the season. He entered the game having swung and missed only once in 44 swings.