Rockies beat error-prone Dodgers 4-3

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Colorado Rockies were handed a game by the error-prone Los Angeles Dodgers, whose four miscues were committed by three players who hadn’t started many games at their respective positions.

Brad Hawpe had three RBIs, including singles that drove in the tying and go-ahead runs, and the Rockies beat the Dodgers 4-3 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

“If teams are going to give you extra action on the bases, you need to try to take advantage of it,” said Matt Holliday, who scored the deciding run.

The Dodgers showed the Rockies a different look defensively with Gold Glove catcher Russell Martin making his eighth start at third base, Danny Ardoin his 12th behind the plate and third baseman Casey Blake his second at first. Manager Joe Torre rested first baseman James Loney, 1-for-15 against Colorado starter Jeff Francis, but it all backfired.

“We gave away too much. We gave them too many outs,” Torre said after the Dodgers fell two games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West. “You can’t be giving up the outs that we gave them, especially a ballclub that can beat you up offensively.”

Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton (3-5) hit Holliday with a pitch to open the ninth. He stole second, continued to third on a throwing error by Ardoin and scored when Hawpe lined a single just over leaping second baseman Jeff Kent with the infield in.

“Broxton’s got a good fastball and he throws strikes, so I was just looking for a fastball over the plate and try to stay in the middle of the field and get Matt in,” Hawpe said.

Taylor Buchholz (6-3) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Brian Fuentes did likewise in the ninth for his 24th save.

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed two runs and five hits over six innings and struck out six. The right-hander left with a 3-2 lead before Colorado tied it in the seventh with an unearned run against Chan Ho Park.

Martin, Ardoin and Blake all made critical plays in the fifth, when the defending NL champions loaded the bases with no outs but managed only one run to make it 3-2.

Francis led off with a double and was forced at the plate after Martin fielded Holliday’s grounder. Blake’s fielding error on Hawpe’s slow grounder eliminated the possibility of another forceout at home, allowing Omar Quintanilla to score. But Garrett Atkins followed with another grounder to Martin, who started a 5-2-3 double play.

Martin committed throwing errors in the sixth and seventh on grounders behind the bag—pulling Blake off first both times. The second miscue was costly because it preceded a broken-bat single by Holliday and an RBI single by Hawpe.

“I have a problem with the errors, but I don’t have any problem with the comfort of watching them out there,” Torre added. “I’m very comfortable watching those guys play those positions, and we’ll do it again when we think the situation calls for it.”

Martin has 12 errors, three at third base.

“I was just trying to get rid of it quickly,” he said. “I with I could take back those couple of errors, but it’s already over with. We lost the game, but there’s nothing I could do now. I’m totally comfortable over there, and I’m giving it everything I’ve got when I go out there. I just had a tough night tonight.”

Francis allowed three runs—one earned—and nine hits in six innings. An error by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the second allowed two runs to score, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Tulowitzki hit his fifth homer in the fourth.

“We didn’t help ourselves in a lot of different areas, but we scratched out a win and that was pretty impressive,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Offensively, we did enough things to score more runs than them. We’re just trying to find away to win ballgames.”

Notes

RHP Matt Herges was placed on the 15-day DL by the Rockies, retroactive to Aug. 18, because of lower back stiffness. The former Dodger is 3-4 with a 5.09 ERA in 51 games. RHP Ryan Speier was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … Francis has allowed 20 first-inning runs in his 20 starts, more than he has in any other inning this season. … The four errors were the most by the Dodgers since they made four on Aug. 13, 2005, against the New York Mets.

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