DENVER -- When the postseason begins, Ricky Nolasco will be the fourth starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They acquired him in July to add depth to their rotation, but he has given them an embarrassment of pitching riches.
With Nolasco allowing two runs in six innings Tuesday night, the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4.
Since coming to the Dodgers on July 6 in a trade with the Miami Marlins, Nolasco is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 11 starts. He has been even better lately, winning six consecutive decisions in a seven-start stretch from the beginning of August, posting a 1.83 ERA in that span. Nolasco improved his overall season record to 12-9.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (13-8) gave up three runs in the second inning but settled down and pitched seven innings, allowing just one more run.
Carlos Gonzalez returned after nearly one month on the disabled list and played left field in the eighth inning, saving a run with a strong throw. Gonzalez, who wasn't able to play a final rehab game Monday because of swelling and discomfort in his sprained right middle finger, was due to lead off the eighth but didn't bat.
Josh Rutledge pinch-hit for Gonzalez and homered, cutting the Dodgers' lead to 4-3.
Charlie Culberson took over in left field in the eighth, and with the bases loaded and two outs, he tracked a ball hit by Mark Ellis in deep left-center only to have the ball go off of his glove, an error that allowed three runs to score.
Rockies closer Rex Brothers gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases before Culberson's error cleared gave the Dodgers some breathing room.
Todd Helton's groundout netted a run in the ninth for the Rockies.
The Dodgers led 4-0 before Chacin helped himself with a run-scoring single with two outs in the fifth.
The Rockies cut Los Angeles' lead to 4-2 in the sixth. DJ LeMahieu led off with a double and took third when left fielder Carl Crawford had trouble picking the ball up in the corner. LeMahieu scored on Troy Tulowitzki's groundout.
Nick Punto went 4-for-5 for Los Angeles. Carl Crawford added three hits, including a two-run single in the second inning, and Tim Federowicz added two hits and a first-inning sacrifice fly.
LeMahieu had two hits for the Rockies.
NOTES: Rockies CF Dexter Fowler was in the lineup for the first time since he twisted his left knee Aug. 26. He went 0-for-2 with two walks ... Colorado RHP Tyler Chatwood will throw a bullpen session Wednesday to determine whether he makes his next start Saturday at San Diego. He suffered a bruised right thumb last Sunday when hit with a line drive and had to leave in the third inning. ... The Rockies recalled RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Manuel Corpas, RHP Collin McHugh and INF Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... The Dodgers recalled RHP Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque. ... OF Matt Kemp (left ankle), who had been playing at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, will continue his rehab Wednesday at the Dodgers' facility in Glendale, Ariz., where he can get 10-12 at-bats daily for at least four days before possibly returning to the Dodgers. ... Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said his lineup Wednesday night would not include OF Andre Ethier and Crawford and possibly 1B Adrian Gonzalez against Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa.