De La Rosa pitched five effective innings before exiting with a forearm cramp and James Loney(notes) hit his second career grand slam, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers salvage a split in the four-game series with a 10-8 win over the Rockies on Sunday.
Asked if he needed to drink more water next time out, De La Rosa grinned and simply responded, “Si.”
But he didn’t think there was anything to worry about. De La Rosa and his 100 mph fastball should be ready for his next outing.
This entire series was quite a slugfest as the Dodgers and Rockies combined for 63 runs and 107 hits. The 63 runs were the most in a four-game series since the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles combined for 66 in August 2009.
“This is Colorado for you,” Carroll said. “It’s a tough field to play, a lot of hits can fall in. It’s a tough place for some pitchers.”
De La Rosa (3-0) was zipping his fastball with more velocity than his All-Star counterpart Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) (1-7), who in a season in which he’s struggled set a new dubious mark by surrendering a career-high three homers.
Blake Hawksworth(notes) recorded two quick outs in the ninth before giving up a solo homer to Todd Helton(notes) and a single to Tulowitzki. Lefty Scott Elbert(notes) got Seth Smith(notes) to hit a ground out for his first career save.
De La Rosa struck out six and limited the Rockies to three hits. His only mistake was a fastball over the plate that Smith drilled for a three-run homer in the first.
The right-handed De La Rosa consistently hovered around 95 mph with his fastball. On a strikeout of Tulowitzki in the third, he hit 100 mph on the stadium’s radar.
And don’t think he didn’t notice.
“Every time I pitch I look at the velocity,” he said through a translator.
He began shaking his hand following a pitch to Tulowitzki in the sixth. After a visit from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the 22-year-old sauntered off the mound and into the dugout.
This was De La Rosa’s second career start after being called up from Double-A Chattanooga on May 24. He pitched well in his first outing, holding Philadelphia to one run in five innings.
De La Rosa collected his first base hit in the third, a dribbler that eluded the glove of Jimenez and set the stage for a five-run inning in which the Dodgers sent 10 batters to the plate.
The big blow was Loney’s grand slam over the auxiliary scoreboard in right.
The Dodgers remained red hot at the plate a day after collecting a season-high 18 hits. They had 17 on Sunday, including three each from Carroll, Uribe, Loney and Barajas.
Gonzalez had his fourth straight multihit game, finishing 3 for 5 with a double and his ninth homer of the season.
Jimenez pitched early from an uncustomary position—with a sizable lead.
The Rockies haven’t given much run support to Jimenez, averaging just 2.31 runs over his last seven appearances. But that was eclipsed on one swing by Smith.
Maybe on the road, where Jimenez has a 2.06 ERA, that would’ve been enough. But at home, where his ERA was 7.67 entering Sunday, Jimenez couldn’t make it stand up.
“The miscue that we made in the third inning, a very makeable play and more than likely a double play,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “A lot of ramifications about extra hitters coming to the plate that shouldn’t be up there — we paid for that today. It’s that simple.”
Jimenez lasted 5 1-3 innings as he gave up 11 hits and seven runs, but just two earned. He also surrendered solo homers to Kemp and Barajas in the fifth.
That’s quite a change from the last time he faced the Dodgers, when he pitched a shutout for his only win this season.
“I don’t think there was a big difference. The last time he was hitting his spots real well,” Loney said. “For the most part today, he was trying to get ahead of guys. We just put some good swings early on.”
Before this performance, Jimenez was showing signs of returning to the form that made him one of the league’s most dominant pitchers in 2010.
“I tried to do everything within my means; it just didn’t happen,” Jimenez said.
NOTES: INF Casey Blake(notes) (sore neck) didn’t start for a second straight day. He entered as a pinch hitter in the ninth and grounded out. … Carroll went 15 for 30 on the 10-game trip. … Loney had his other grand slam at Coors Field as well, on Sept. 28, 2006.