DENVER (AP)—His team-record hitting streak halted, Michael Cuddyer went in the other day for a much-needed haircut and shave.
A new look for a new streak.
Sure, this one is only in its infancy—a mere two games—but coupled with his 27-game streak that was snapped on Tuesday, he’s now hit in 29 of his last 30 games.
The only pitcher to silence his bat was Clayton Kershaw when he kept Cuddyer hitless in four plate appearances.
“Ran into the best pitcher in baseball and he pitched like it,” said Cuddyer, who added a two-run double on Thursday as the Rockies avoided being swept by Los Angeles in the three-game series. “Throughout that whole streak, the whole season, really, I’ve treated each at-bat the same, every pitch the same. I’ve really been keeping my focus. Just because the streak ended, doesn’t mean my focus went anywhere.”
Manager Walt Weiss couldn’t agree more.
“Cuddy keeps on rolling,” he said. “He keeps on plugging away.”
As for his other outfielder, Weiss remains optimistic that Carlos Gonzalez will be fine after he left the game in the sixth inning with a strained upper back. Gonzalez apparently hurt his back while striking out in the fifth.
“He said he’s done it before. We’re not too concerned,” Weiss said. “It was enough of an issue to get him out of there.”
The Dodgers struggled to drive in runners against Jhoulys Chacin (8-3), a night after setting season highs in runs (10) and hits (17). The hard-throwing righty pitched out of trouble time and again, giving up four runs in 5 2-3 innings.
“Wasn’t my better game,” Chacin said. “But the team picked me up, scored runs for me.”
Yasiel Puig was in the lineup a day after leaving the contest early with a bruised hip after crashing into the wall. He finished 1 for 5 with an RBI as the Dodgers had their four-game winning streak halted.
Chris Capuano (2-6) had an uncharacteristic rough outing on the road, giving up six runs, five earned, and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings. Capuano had a 1.35 ERA away from Dodger Stadium before Thursday.
“It’s frustrating,” Capuano said. “I felt I was a pitch or two away from containing it.”
Mixing a four-seam fastball with a swooping slider, Chacin got off to a rough start before finding his rhythm to win his fifth straight start. He was taken out after allowing an RBI single to Puig in the sixth.
Colorado got to Capuano in the third, scoring four times to grab a 5-2 lead. Cuddyer had the big hit in the inning, a two-run double over Kemp’s head in deep center. But it wasn’t without some theatrics.
With Josh Rutledge holding in between second and third to see if Kemp caught the ball, Gonzalez nearly passed his teammate before applying the brakes. Gonzalez then followed closely on the heels of Rutledge all the way to the plate, sliding in at home just under the tag.
Kemp put the Dodgers up 2-1 in the second, when he hit an 80-mph slider over the fence in center. It was his second straight night with a homer.
For Chacin, the homer to Kemp ended a career-best streak of 16 scoreless innings. Los Angeles had a chance for more damage, but Chacin struck out Mark Ellis and Puig to end the threat.
Chacin also wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the third, striking out Nick Punto to end the inning. Punto threw down his helmet and bat in frustration.
“That was a big strikeout,” Weiss said. “We were at the point of the game, where it could’ve gone either way right there.”
The night before, Los Angeles received a momentary scare when Puig jumped up to make a catch in right and smacked his left hip on a padded column below the scoreboard. Puig stayed down on the warning track for several minutes before jogging around the outfield. He remained in the game, but was taken out as a precaution the next inning.
“When you play like that, you’ll end up getting banged up,” manager Don Mattingly said. “You anticipate some of that stuff.”
Puig is hitting .430 with eight homers since his debut on June 3. The 22-year-old has energized his teammates with his energy.
“Every day he impresses me,” Ellis said. “He’s been so big for us.”
NOTES: Dodgers RHP Carlos Marmol may soon report to Triple-A Albuquerque. Marmol was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. … Los Angeles will play in San Francisco on Friday night, with Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3) starting for the Dodgers. … Colorado begins a 10-game road swing on Friday in Arizona. … Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki went through a light round of batting practice on Thursday with minimal pain from his broken rib and thinks he could be back soon, maybe even before the All-Star break. Tulowitzki leads the fan voting at his position for the All-Star Game and will attend, even if he can’t play.