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Dodgers' bats back Capuano in 6-1 win over Rockies

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly has seen both sides of Chris Capuano so many times this season that he knows the signs when they're presented.

They come early in the game, maybe the first few batters, and with that, Mattingly will know whether to brace himself or sit back and kick his feet up on the dugout railing.

On Thursday night, Mattingly could have busted out a lounge chair.

Capuano had his best start of the year, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded 13 hits in a 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.

The Dodgers, who have collected 55 hits in their last four games, have won 16 of 19 and five straight as the lineup has lifted the pitching.

Not that Capuano needed a boost Thursday.

The hot-and-cold starter pitched a scoreless 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out a season-high eight as he bounced back from back-to-back shellackings. Capuano, who allowed five runs in each of his previous two starts, went five-plus innings and gave up one run or none for the fifth time this year.

"It seems like early on, he's hot early or cold early," Mattingly said. "It's not that he's really hot and then loses it -- it's more that he's pitching really good or getting hit around. Today he was really good, and really what we needed."

Coming off a 14-inning win at Arizona on Wednesday, the Dodgers just hoped Capuano would eat up some innings, much less dominate a talented Colorado lineup.

"We needed this," Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis said. "He came out against a really good lineup and pitched the ball well. He did exactly what we needed against them."

Capuano got more than enough support from the hot-hitting Los Angeles lineup. Five Dodgers had multiple hits, led by Ellis, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Uribe.

Ellis had three hits -- all singles -- and four RBIs, including an eighth-inning single that scored two. Hairston had two hits, two runs and an RBI, and Uribe had two hits and two runs.

"It's been up and down and I think we saw that tonight," Mattingly said. "We saw Jerry get a big hit for us, Juan got a couple hits. We're seeing good at-bats up and down. The meat of the order getting hits really sets the tone for the rest of the guys, takes the pressure off."

Yasiel Puig raised his average to .397 with two hits. He left game in the eighth inning with soreness in his hip but he's expecting to play on Friday.

Adrian Gonzalez also had two hits for the Dodgers, who lead the National League in July runs, batting average and slugging.

"We've got bats healthy and our lineup is real deep," Gonzalez said. "We keep putting guys on base -- you saw today, I don't think we had a lot of hits with runners on base but eventually you break through."

Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez added to his National League home run lead with a ninth-inning solo shot off Brandon League. It was his 25th home run of the year and fourth off the Dodgers.

Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz (0-3) allowed seven hits and walked five in four innings as the Dodgers built a 3-0 lead.

"We've got to try to make adjustments," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "He started out pretty well, ran into a lot of trouble in the fourth. Pitches mounted up, he struggled with command, and it's back to the drawing board. It's about getting good counts. That's the key for any pitcher up here -- you struggle with command, it makes it tough."

Capuano struggled with little on Thursday.

The up-and-down Capuano dazzled the Colorado lineup through the first six innings, allowing just four hits while striking out eight.

The Dodgers gave Capuano a little early cushion from a pair of unlikely sources.

Hairston opened the scoring in the second inning with an RBI double, driving in Uribe. Uribe scored again in the fourth inning along with Hairston on Ellis' two-run single.

"Our whole team is deep," Gonzalez said. "Even the guys who are platooning for us or coming off the bench, they're really guys who can play every day. We're just so deep."

NOTES: Colorado activated SS Troy Tulowitzki and CF Dexter Fowler from the disabled list, and they each went 0-for-4. Tulowitzki had been out since June 14 with a fractured rib on his right side. Fowler missed the minimum 15 days due to a bone bruise in his right hand. The Rockies optioned OFs Tyler Colvin and Corey Dickerson to Triple-A Colorado Springs to clear roster spots. ... Carlos Gonzalez, who is nursing a finger injury, won't participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby. Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez will take his place. ... Dodgers C A.J. Ellis got the night off after a 14-inning game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Ellis is riding a nine-game hitting streak and batting .421 since July 2. ... Puig made his first start in center field for the Dodgers. ... Colorado won the first two series this season against Los Angeles, both 2-1, but the Dodgers earned a 2-1 series win at Colorado, July 2-4.

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