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Three-run 11th pushes Rockies past Dodgers

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- It's April and far too early to panic, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said Friday night after the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 11 innings. However, there is concern about the way the team has played during its current homestand.

Three runs in the 11th inning lifted the Rockies to a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers before a crowd of 44,866 at Dodger Stadium.

"We always feel like we got a fighting chance," said Gonzalez, who went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his club-leading seventh home run of the season. "It hasn't been the best homestand, but it's still April and we've still got a winning record and we're right in there.

"We haven't played the best the last seven or eight games, but we're in a position where we can turn it around tomorrow and be in a good place."

Pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes doubled off the right-field wall with one out in the 11th against reliever Jamey Wright before outfielder Charlie Blackmon bounced a single up the middle off reliever J.P. Howell to score Barnes to give Colorado a 3-2 lead.

The Rockies added two more runs when Blackmon scored on a fielder's choice and first baseman Justin Morneau drove in third baseman Nolan Arenado in what turned out to be the difference.

Arenado extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the inning. He also had a defensive gem in the fourth, snatching a line drive off the bat of Dodgers catcher Tim Federowicz that saved two runs.

"It's tough to win extra-inning games on the road, so that's a big one," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.

The Rockies (13-11) handed the Dodgers (13-11) their second consecutive defeat and the fourth in the past five games. They also knocked Los Angeles, which is 3-5 in the last eight games at home, out of first place in the National League West and 1/2 game back of the San Francisco Giants.

"It's a long season. We were in last place at this point last year and we didn't panic, so I don't think there's any reason when you're a 1/2 game back," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez took reliever LaTroy Hawkins deep in the bottom of the 11th to close the margin to a run, but Hawkins regrouped and nailed down his seventh save. Reliever Rex Brothers (2-2) pitched a scoreless 10th. Wright (1-1) allowed a run and a hit in 1 1/3 innings.

Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett shook off a shaky start and retired the final 10 batters he faced. Beckett allowed two runs -- second-inning solo home runs to Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson -- and four hits with six strikeouts and no walks in eight innings.

"He was amazing," Gonzalez said. "Just pounding the strike zone and mixing his pitches real well."

Colorado starter Jordan Lyles was not shabby, either. Lyles worked seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits with four strikeouts and a walk. One of those hits was a solo home run to Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig in the first inning.

"I felt like he wasn't going to swing early and I didn't want to cut the plate too much," Lyles said. "He's a strong guy. He took it to the opposite field pretty far. But things kind of evened out."

Puig gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with one out in the first, driving the first pitch he saw from Lyles over the wall in center field for his third homer.

Tulowitzki took Beckett deep for his sixth home run in the second, hitting a 1-0 pitch into the seats in left to tie the score.

Center fielder Corey Dickerson homered to center with two outs in the inning for a 2-1 Colorado lead.

But it did not last long. Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon tied the score in impressive fashion, using his speed to manufacture a run with one out in the third.

Gordon hit a grounder that got under the glove of Colorado second baseman DJ LeMahieu. As LeMahieu retrieved the ball about 10 feet away, Gordon surprised him by bolting to second and beating LeMahieu's throw to Tulowitzki at second for a double.

Puig followed with a single to left to score Gordon for a 2-2 tie.

NOTES: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw allowed a run and two hits with six strikeouts and a walk in five innings of a rehab start on Friday night at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. The run came via a home run by shortstop Carlos Perdomo of the Lancaster JetHawks. ... Dodgers OF Andre Ethier did not start as manager Don Mattingly continued to rotate his outfielders in and out of the lineup. ... Struggling Rockies RHP Chad Bettis was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday. ... Los Angeles LHP J.P. Howell celebrated his 31st birthday.
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