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Fowler's defensive gem buoys Rockies

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Dexter Fowler broke into a sheepish grin, as if he stole something he wasn't supposed to.

Maybe he did.

Fowler sprinted, leaped and snagged a would-be three-run home run from Adrian Gonzalez, and the Colorado Rockies marched through the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen to take the 7-3 win and the series Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Having already hit a two-run home run in the first inning, Gonzalez strolled to the plate in the third with Nick Punto on second base and Hanley Ramirez on first. Gonzalez smashed a Juan Nicasio offering to the deepest part of Dodger Stadium, back, back, back and ... caught, by a high-flying Fowler.

"I actually thought it was an alley-oop; it was a sick lob Adrian Gonzalez had," Fowler said. "You make a catch like that, especially with runners on, that's a game-changer right there. ... I like to see the opponents' face after I do something like that.

"It's like dunking on somebody."

Fowler's heroics may have drawn the oohs and aahs, but Colorado's consistent approach at the plate and reliance on a hot bullpen earned the Rockies their second win in the three-game series.

Colorado banged 12 hits against seven Dodgers pitchers. Josh Rutledge led the way with three hits, including an RBI single in the seventh inning that put the Rockies up 7-3. The heart of the Colorado lineup delivered routinely, as Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer each had two hits and two RBIs.

The Dodgers managed eight hits but struggled to manufacture runs, leaving seven runners on base. The Rockies bullpen dominated the Los Angeles lineup as it did throughout the series; Colorado's relievers did not allow an earned run in 24 innings, and they held the Dodgers to three hits in five scoreless innings Wednesday.

Nicasio allowed three runs and five hits in four innings. He struck out six. Josh Outman (1-0) threw two innings of one-hit ball to take the win.

"I think it's all about the approach for everyone; we go in and try to pound the bottom of the strike zone and get outs however we can," Outman said. "We had some great defense throughout the series, and that's what you want."

Added Colorado manager Walt Weiss: "We have a bullpen that is throwing the ball really well. If our starting pitching can give us a chance, with the way our bullpen is throwing, the way our offense can score runs, we're going to win some games."

Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett (0-4) allowed five runs, four earned, in four innings. He struck out six but walked three. Kenley Jansen, who entered the game with an 8 1/3-scoreless innings streak, allowed two runs and did not record an out.

"I don't think there was an easy inning out there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It was a battle out there tonight for us."

Added Weiss: "I thought Beckett was commanding his stuff. He's throwing a lot of pitches on the black, and our guys just battled through their at-bats. That's the beauty of having an offense like we have -- you don't have to be perfect, you can outslug sometimes."

Carlos Gonzalez broke a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning with a two-run double, scoring Rutledge and Eric Young Jr.

Back in the lineup after a couple of days off nursing a strained shoulder, Tulowitzki put the Rockies up with a two-run double in the first inning, and Cuddyer followed with a sacrifice fly to stake Colorado to a 3-0 lead.

Adrian Gonzalez responded with a two-run homer, scoring Ramirez, and the Dodgers tied it up in the third when Punto scored on a wild pitch after Fowler's catch.

"Really, their 'pen was the story for us," Mattingly said. "We just didn't do anything after the third. We had the one inning late when we get a guy on first, but we hit a line drive, and I think at that point we're down four. We had a chance. ... Our guys did a pretty good job, but at the end of it, we couldn't hold it down."

NOTES: Colorado announced the trade of INF Chris Nelson to the New York Yankees for cash considerations and a player to be named. ... LHP Chris Capuano threw 5 1/3 innings of two-run, seven-hit ball in a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque, and he could return for the Dodgers early next week. ... LF Carl Crawford was a late scratch from the Dodgers' lineup Tuesday with tightness in his hamstring, and he missed Wednesday's game as well. ... The Dodgers might place 2B Mark Ellis (strained quad) on the disabled list Friday, when LHP Clayton Kershaw is expected to come off the bereavement list and make his scheduled start at San Francisco. ... Los Angeles is the only team in the National League with two players ranked among the top five in strikeouts, Kershaw (tied for second, 47) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (tied for fourth, 46). ... Colorado's 267 hits in April -- tops in the major leagues -- were the second most in club history for that month. The Rockies had 286 hits in April 1998.

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