LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Dodgers’ pitching has carried the team most of the season. Suddenly, the team’s dormant offense is coming to life, producing 28 hits and 15 runs scored in two straight victories.
“We know we’re a good hitting team,” Loney said. “You got to put together big hits at the right time. It’s been tough for us to not do as well as the pitching has been.”
Chad Billingsley(notes) (4-4) allowed one run and a career-high 11 hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked two. The right-hander improved to 2-2 in his sixth home start after his teammates produced the kind of run support that he had been lacking, getting just 1.29 runs—third-lowest in the majors—in his previous home games. Billingsley lowered his home ERA to 1.71.
“The leadoff guy was always getting on, but I was able to make pitches when I needed to,” he said. “Guys are swinging the bats well right now. It was a fun game.”
Not so much for the Rockies.
“Even when we got down, there were baserunners out there and opportunities to get back in it,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “But that big hit just continually seems to elude us right now. We just have to keep fighting our way through it. It’s painful, and it gets more painful by the day.”
Jason Hammel(notes) (3-5) gave up a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked one in his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander is winless since April 30 against Pittsburgh, a span of six starts.
The Dodgers took a 4-0 lead in the third. They loaded the bases with no one out on singles by Billingsley and Rafael Furcal(notes) and an infield hit by Jamey Carroll(notes). Ethier drove in Billingsley and Furcal with a single up the middle, just beyond the reach of Hammel and diving second baseman Eric Young(notes) Jr. Hammel took off his glove and pounded it on the mound in frustration.
“That was a dagger right there. I thought I should have had that, and you saw my reaction,” Hammel said. “I pride myself on my fielding. That could have changed the whole game. It was a big, big play. I’m very frustrated, along with the whole team.”
Matt Kemp(notes) followed with a sacrifice fly to center, with center fielder Dexter Fowler(notes) and left fielder Carlos Gonzalez(notes) converging on it. The ball touched Gonzalez’s glove first and then they collided as the ball dropped, allowing Carroll to score. Loney added an RBI single.
“It seems to be contagious when guys start swinging the bat,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It feels good to be able to put some games together, but it’s got to be consistent over time. We’re a club that consistently hasn’t put up runs.”
The Rockies scored in the fourth on Wigginton’s fourth homer of the season off the first pitch from Billingsley.
The Dodgers extended their lead to 7-1 in the fifth. Carroll led off with a triple and Ethier had an RBI single. Loney hit a two-out, two-run homer off the first pitch from Hammel, who then walked Rod Barajas(notes) before getting yanked.
NOTES: Helped by a $1 Dodger Dog promotion, the team had its largest walkup crowd of the season with more than 4,200. … The Rockies fell to 1-6 on the road against NL West opponents. … Hammel had tossed at least six innings in each of his previous nine starts. … The Dodgers have won 8 of their last 11 on Memorial Day, having not played on that day in 2003 and ’07. … Colorado is 11-8 on the holiday. … Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda is recovering from a bacterial infection that caused the 83-year-old to be hospitalized for four days last week. He currently serves as a special adviser to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.