Tuesday, June 17, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dee Gordon lined a pitch from Tyler Matzek into the corner in left field that got past Charlie Blackmon, and then it was off to the races.
Gordon circled the bases on the play for the Los Angeles Dodgers' first run, and they went on to beat Colorado 6-1 on Monday night with a 15-hit barrage and snapped the Rockies' season-beat five-game winning streak.
Blackmon had trouble picking up the ball twice. First, he stumbled while bending down for it against the lower fence in foul ground and had to chase it back into fair territory — where he missed on his second attempt to grab it. By the time he relayed it back to the infield, it was way too late to get Gordon, who was credited with his major league-leading seventh triple.
"I thought it was an inside-the-park homer, to be honest, because I didn't think he touched it," said Gordon, who had four hits. "It just scooted away from him. But it is what it is and I'll be all right with what I got."
Matt Kemp singled home a run later that inning and doubled home another run on the sixth. He started in the cleanup spot for the fifth time this season, and the Dodgers have won every time. Regular cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez got the night off while Scott Van Slyke played first base.
"I think it's fun, for us to have a little hit party here and there and enjoy it.," Kemp said. "We've had a tough little stretch, but that happens in baseball. Hopefully we don't hit one of those again and we stay consistent and keep grinding it out."
Hyun-Jin Ryu (8-3) allowed a run and three hits in six innings and struck out six in his 13th start. In his first 13 starts last season — his first in the major leagues — the left-hander was 8-5 with a 2.85 ERA. This was the ninth time this year that Ryu has allowed fewer than three earned runs, and he is 7-0 in those games.
"This guy's pretty impressive in the fact that he's seen those guys a bunch this year," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "They battled him really hard tonight. That was probably the hottest team in the National League right now coming in here, but he had command of all of his pitches and used both sides of the plate extremely well — especially to the left-handed hitters. It's a dangerous team, and he did a great job staying out of the middle of the plate."
Ellis, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig had RBI singles. Ryu and four relievers retired 16 of the final 17 Colorado batters after Wilin Rosario's two-out homer in the fourth.
Gordon, who leads the majors with 36 stolen bases, was thrown out for the sixth time — by Rosario in the first inning. The Rockies' 22-year-old catcher trimmed the Dodgers' lead to 2-1 in the fourth with his seventh homer, driving an 0-2 pitch into the pavilion in left field with two outs.
But Ellis got that run back in the fifth with just his second RBI of an injury-plagued season in which the Dodgers' No. 1 catcher missed 34 games because of knee surgery and sat out another 18 with a sprained right ankle. Ellis' two singles raised his average from .196 to .222.
"Maybe a lot of that time on the DL has been a blessing for me, to kind of mentally kind of figure out who I am and what my skill set should be as an offensive player," Ellis said. "While I couldn't run, I was still able to do a lot of work in the cage these last couple of weeks. I got back to swinging the way I know I'm supposed to swing and being the hitter I've been my whole career — a guy who works the count, takes a lot of pitches, uses the middle of the field and tries to be a really tough out."
Matzek (1-1) allowed three runs and 10 hits through five innings in his second big league start and did not strike out a batter, five days after giving up two runs over seven innings and fanning seven in an 8-2 victory over Atlanta at Coors Field.
"It wasn't the same. The slider wasn't there as much and I was falling behind hitters early," Matzek said. "Ten hits, obviously, is disappointing. I realize that. But I thought I did a pretty good job keeping runs off the board."
NOTES: A moment of silence was observed for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday at age 54. Gwynn's brother Chris and son Tony both played for the Dodgers. "He was just a genius with the bat," Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said. ... Perhaps the biggest of Gwynn's 140 career hits at Dodger Stadium came on Sept. 28, 1996, when his tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning off Mark Guthrie helped clinched a postseason berth for the Padres. ... Forget about RHP Chad Billingsley rejoining the Dodgers' roster before the end of the season. He has a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, which will require surgery next Tuesday. Billingsley hasn't pitched in a major league game since April 15, 2013, nine days before he underwent Tommy John surgery. ... The Rockies optioned struggling RHP Juan Nicasio to Triple-A Colorado Springs and promoted OF-1B Kyle Parker from the Sky Sox. Parker, selected in the first round of the 2010 draft, made his big league debut in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.