Lowe pitched eight strong innings and got home run support from Jeff Kent, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in the Dodgers’ 8-2 win on Monday night, which sent the defending NL champions to their eighth consecutive loss and 13th straight on the road.
“You never ever feel bad for any team that has injuries, but you look at their club and you know it’s not the same,” said Lowe, one of three active players who have spent 10 or more years in the big leagues without going on the disabled list.
“When you lose as many important guys as they have, it’s got to be tough,” he said. “But you can’t go into any game and think that, just because they don’t have their regular lineup, you’re just going to throw your glove out there and have success. Those guys are major league players and you still have to go out there and execute a game plan.”
The Rockies were missing left fielder Matt Holliday, right fielder Brad Hawpe and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki—who combined for 89 home runs and 352 RBIs and batted a cumulative .308 last season. All three are on the disabled list along with middle infielder Clint Barmes.
“Truth be told, we’re probably a little bit short against some of the teams we’re playing,” manager Clint Hurdle acknowledged. “But every night we go out there with an opportunity to win a ballgame, so we need to stay focused on what we do have, not what we don’t have. And I’ve addressed this with the club in different ways.
“It doesn’t make any sense to make excuses. Nobody wants to hear them. I’ve never believed in them and I’ve never made them,” he added. “One of the traps you get into when you start making excuses is that you get good at it. And we’re never going to go there.”
Lowe (3-5) allowed a run and five hits, striking out three and walking one to get his first victory in eight starts since April 23. The right-hander, who turned 35 on Sunday, recorded 10 of his first 12 outs on ground balls— including a double play by Garrett Atkins, who drove in a run with a first-inning single.
“It’s been a long time,” said Lowe, who drove in a run with a suicide squeeze bunt in the second. “You’re going to go through good and bad spells. So you’ve got to believe in yourself that you can turn it around. But it’s been a long time, and eight runs will give you a better chance.”
Lowe, who had to settle for a no-decision last Wednesday at Chicago despite pitching seven scoreless innings against the Cubs, was staked to a 5-1 lead after three innings by a Dodgers offense that had averaged just 2.4 runs over its previous 10 games. He retired 21 of his last 25 batters before Scott Proctor finished up and allowed an RBI double by Yorvit Torrealba in the ninth.
Greg Reynolds (0-3) pitched five innings, allowing six runs—four earned— and seven hits including Kent’s sixth homer and Ethier’s fifth. It marked the fourth time in Reynolds’ five big league starts that the 22-year-old right-hander gave up two home runs.
“I’ve just to do a better job of keeping the ball down,” Reynolds said. “At this point, I don’t really know if it’s anything mechanical. I get in trouble when I’m not ahead and I’ve got a fastball count and I leave the ball up. If I’m ahead in the count, I probably don’t make those mistakes.”
In 28 1-3 innings overall, Reynolds has surrendered 18 earned runs, 25 hits and 18 walks. But he insists that he feels no added pressure from being the second overall pick in the 2006 draft.
“Nobody’s going to put more pressure on myself than I do. I hold myself to high standards, and I’ll take this outing real hard,” Reynolds said. “I know I can do it because I made some quality pitches at certain parts of the game, so I know I can make a big pitch when I need to.”
Ethier’s first-inning groundout drove in Kemp, who doubled over the head of left fielder Ryan Spilborghs and took third on a wild pitch. Kent added his 371st career homer, breaking a tie with injured teammate Andruw Jones and Brooklyn Dodgers great Gil Hodges for 64th place all-time.
Lowe threw 110 pitches. He hasn’t had a complete-game victory since June 22, 2006, when he beat Seattle 4-2 at Dodger Stadium. He went the distance three times last season—all resulting in losses. … Spilborghs made the defensive play of the game, a sliding backhanded grab of Ethier’s foul ball in the left-field corner with less than 10 feet separating the line and the field boxes. … Lowe reached the 1,800-inning mark—and 1,800 hits allowed—both in the opening frame. … Colorado is 18 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2005 season 67-95. The Rockies have lost 19 of their last 21 away from Coors Field.