Rockies slip past Dodgers 3-2 in 10 innings

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—The start of the game was rough for Colorado’s Jason Hammel(notes) when he allowed a first-inning run to score on his second wild pitch to Andre Ethier(notes).

Dodgers reliever Octavio Dotel(notes) did him one better.

Melvin Mora(notes) scored the go-ahead run on one of Dotel’s three wild pitches in the 10th, and the Rockies nailed a runner at the plate for the final out Wednesday night to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2.

“It’s just tough, that’s all I can tell you,” manager Joe Torre said. “He was just wild, and unfortunately it cost us. We came away empty and wasted good pitching.”

After Dotel’s wild flings put the Rockies ahead, they preserved it with two good throws.

With two outs in the bottom of the 10th and Reed Johnson(notes) on first base, Scott Podsednik(notes) blooped a single in front of center fielder Dexter Fowler(notes).

The ball skittered away, but Fowler recovered quickly and threw to strong-armed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki(notes) near the second-base bag.

Third-base coach Larry Bowa frantically waved home Johnson, but Tulowitzki’s relay to catcher Miguel Olivo(notes) beat the sliding Dodgers runner by several feet.

“We were shading Scotty a little deeper than normal, obviously, because we didn’t want the ball driven over any of our outfielders’ heads in that situation and give them an easy tying run,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “But it got between the infielders and outfielders, and we had to recover, find the ball very quickly and get it in.

“We had to make that type of a throw, and that accurate of a throw, or Reed Johnson was going to score. That is a lethal throwing arm at shortstop. Actually, either (Clint) Barmes or Tulowitzki could make that throw. But if you have a choice in that situation, from an arm strength standpoint, the right guy threw the ball to the plate.”

The last out wrapped up a night of stellar defensive plays.

Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez(notes), who began the day third in the NL batting race, left with a bruised right knee after slamming against the fence and robbing Casey Blake(notes) of an RBI double to end the sixth inning.

Gonzalez was down on the warning track for several minutes with the ball still in his glove, surrounded by Tracy and two trainers. Gonzalez left the field under his own power and exchanged high-fives in the dugout with his teammates.

“We had an incredible catch in right field that may have been the difference in the game,” Tracy said. “More than likely, Gonzalez will not be available for us tomorrow, but we’re very hopeful of the fact that we will have him back on Friday. That’s what I was just told.”

The game was 2-all in the 10th when Dotel (2-3) walked Mora with one out. Mora stole second on a strikeout by Eric Young(notes), then advanced on a wild pitch to Fowler, who eventually walked.

Jason Giambi(notes) pinch-hit for Ryan Spilborghs(notes), and Mora came home as Dotel bounced another pitch past rookie catcher A.J. Ellis(notes). Dotel uncorked one more wild one before retiring Tulowitzki on a grounder.

Rafael Betancourt(notes) (3-1) got the win, striking out both batters he faced in the ninth. Huston Street(notes) got three outs for his ninth save in 12 chances.

The Rockies’ clubhouse was anything but celebratory, because it was Brad Hawpe’s(notes) final game with the club he spent his first seven big league seasons with.

“I got my release,” Hawpe said. “It’s sad to be leaving this team, but that’s part of the game. In six weeks I was not going to be under contract and was going to be a free agent, and things weren’t going to work out for me to be here. So we had a bunch of discussions over the last few days.”

Hawpe, one of the cornerstones of the Rockies’ 2007 NL championship team and a first-time All-Star last season, cleared waivers on Wednesday amid talk he would be released. He’s hitting .255 with seven homers and 37 RBIs, and he ended his Rockies career with a pinch-hit single in the seventh. The move doesn’t become official until Thursday, when rookie reliever Matt Reynolds is expected to be activated.

“They said: ‘We’ve got guys that have got to play in the outfield who are younger and are going to be with the team next year. So you can either continue to play or we can give you an opportunity to find another team that would need you in their lineup.’ So I’m taking that opportunity and running with it. But I’m going to be sad, obviously,” Hawpe said.

Tracy declined to talk about Hawpe’s impending departure after the game, but had nothing but praise for him during batting practice.

“He’s been an integral part of this ballclub for a long period of time and he’s done a lot of very special things and had some very special moments here,” Tracy said. “He has been a huge guy in our clubhouse, as far as setting the tone as to how a winning major league player conducts himself. He gets all of that, which is why this situation is so very difficult for me. It’s really hard.”

Hammel allowed two runs and two hits over six innings, striking out four and walking four.

Notes: Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal(notes) had a setback in his rehab from a strained lower back than has sidelined him since Aug. 3. He will be re-examined on Thursday and undergo a bone scan. “I’m trying to play, trying to get it fine, but I haven’t felt good the last couple, three days,” Furcal said. “I feel bad.” … Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez(notes) (calf injury), began a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday night with high Class A Inland Empire. But there’s no timetable for his return. “It’s going to have to eventually be him telling us,” Torre said. “He has to test it to the point of feeling comfortable going out there, because we don’t have the DH in this league and he is going to have to play (left field).”

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