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Los Angeles at Colorado

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L.A. Dodgers1400000005111
Colorado «00002240x870

Helton blasts two out of Coors Field for Rockies record

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- With one home run for the record and another for the win, Todd Helton brought some long-missing magic back to Coors Field, at least for a day.

It helped that Helton and the Colorado Rockies were facing the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of those rare teams that has more problems than the Rockies do right now.

Helton broke the franchise home-run record with a shot to the upper deck, then broke a tie game with a three-run homer in the seventh inning, leading the Rockies to a come-from-behind 8-5 victory Thursday.

"I care more about what it did to help us win this game," Helton said about his eighth and ninth homers of the season. "That's more important than breaking a record that someone else is going to break someday."

Helton's first shot was just the 26th to make the upper deck at Coors Field. It trimmed a one-time 5-0 deficit to 5-3 in the sixth inning and gave him 259 homers for his career to break the record he had briefly shared with Larry Walker.

An inning later, Helton made it 8-5 with a shot off Franquelis Osoria in a sequence that encapsulated just how snakebitten the injury-riddled Dodgers have been this season.

With the left-handed Helton coming up, manager Jim Tracy came out to get left-hander Kelly Wunsch from the bullpen. But as Wunsch threw his last warmup pitch, he sprained his right ankle and had to be carted into the clubhouse.

"From an injury standpoint, that's probably about the tip of the iceberg," Tracy said.

Just this week, the Dodgers have placed J.D. Drew (wrist) and Cesar Izturis (hamstring) on the disabled list and lost Jeff Kent to a hamstring injury that has left him "day-to-day." Wunsch's injury, which will be re-evaluated Friday, simply added to the misery and may have been the strangest of all.

"That's a first for me," Tracy said.

With Wunsch unavailable, Osoria, a right-hander, came in on short notice and delivered the home-run pitch, making a loser out of Giovanni Carrara (6-3).

The win went to Mike DeJean (4-1), who pitched a scoreless inning after being signed earlier in the day by the Rockies.

Colorado's only All-Star, Brian Fuentes, pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 tries and capped Colorado's biggest comeback victory of the season.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle attributed the rally to the "anger factor," possibly the result of being held to one hit over the first four innings by Dodgers starter Derek Lowe. After his strong start, Lowe allowed five runs in six-plus innings and failed to earn his first road win of the season.

"They don't stop playing," Hurdle said. "They haven't stopped playing all year. Some days they play better than others, but they play the game, and they play the game until it's over."

While the Rockies still have the worst record in the National League, nobody is feeling much lower than the Dodgers right now. After the split of the four-game series in Denver, they have lost 16 of 23, with the injuries still piling up.

Helton, meanwhile, is pulling out of arguably the biggest slump of his career in a big way. He finished with two hits and is now 24-for-59 over the last 16 games. He is batting .281, still 58 points below his career average, but about 20 points better than a month ago.

"I feel good at the plate," Helton said. "I feel like I have a chance when I step into the box now, where earlier in the year I didn't feel good when I stepped in."

His homer was part of a wild sequence that included the freak injury to Wunsch, a warning to both benches when Osoria nearly hit Garrett Atkins after Helton's homer and, in the next inning, the near injury to Rockies owner Dick Monfort, who got nicked by a bat that went flying into the stands when Dodgers pinch hitter Hee-Seop Choi lost control.

"I didn't even get to keep the bat," Monfort joked.

The Colorado comeback got Rockies starter Joe Kennedy off the hook. Still, Kennedy allowed five runs in the first two innings and saw his ERA balloon above 7 -- not a good sign for the opening-day starter whose days in the rotation, or maybe on the roster, could be numbered.

Jason Repko had a career-high four hits, all singles, for Los Angeles.

Notes

  • Kent didn't play and stayed stuck on 1,998 career hits.
  • Oscar Robles went 2-for-4 for Los Angeles to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
  • Helton joined Adam LaRoche of Atlanta as the only two players to reach the upper deck this season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Todd Helton follows through his swing for a three-run homer in the seventh inning. (AP)
Todd Helton follows through his swing for a three-run homer in the seventh inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
Los Angeles

J. Repko
AB 5
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Oscar Robles, SS4221100 .343
Jason Repko, CF5040010 .227
Jayson Werth, LF3000223 .262
Olmedo Saenz, 1B5011004 .296
Antonio Perez, 2B4010003 .314
Mike Edwards, 3B4110001 .304
Cody Ross, RF4111021 .167
Mike Rose, C4000002 .172
Derek Lowe, P3111000 .176
    Giovanni Carrara, P0000000 .000
    Kelly Wunsch, P0000000 .000
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .000
   a- Hee Seop Choi, PH1000010 .232
    Scott Erickson, P0000000 .154
Totals3751143614 
a-struck out for Osoria in the 8th
Batting
2B - Antonio Perez (8, Kennedy), Cody Ross (1, Kennedy), Derek Lowe (2, Kennedy)
RBI - Oscar Robles (6), Olmedo Saenz (33), Cody Ross (1), Derek Lowe (4)
2-OUT RBI - Olmedo Saenz (11)
SB - Jason Repko (4, 2nd base off Carvajal/Closser)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Antonio Perez (7, misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe 6553232 3.99
Giovanni Carrara (BS,1; L,6-3) 0.1122000 4.28
Franquelis Osoria 0.2111001 4.91
Scott Erickson 1000000 6.14
HBP - Sullivan (by Giovanni Carrara)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 83-53, Giovanni Carrara 12-7, Franquelis Osoria 9-6, Scott Erickson 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 14-2, Giovanni Carrara 1-0, Franquelis Osoria 1-1
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 26, Giovanni Carrara 3, Franquelis Osoria 3, Scott Erickson 3
Colorado Rockies
Cory Sullivan, CF3110010 .296
Aaron Miles, 2B4111012 .289
    Jay Witasick, P0000000 .000
    Dustan Mohr, LF0000000 .188
Todd Helton, 1B4224010 .281
Garrett Atkins, 3B4000000 .306
Bradley Hawpe, RF3121100 .294
Jorge Piedra, LF4100002 .250
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Desi Relaford, SS4100001 .237
J.D. Closser, C3111100 .210
Joe Kennedy, P1000000 .172
   a- Eddy Garabito, PH1001000 .313
    Marcos Carvajal, P0000000 .000
    Mike DeJean, P0000000 .000
   b- Luis Gonzalez, PH-2B0000000 .281
Totals31878235 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Kennedy in the 5th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for DeJean in the 7th
Batting
2B - Bradley Hawpe (8, Lowe)
HR - Todd Helton 2 (9, Lowe, Osoria), Bradley Hawpe (8, Lowe)
SH - Luis Gonzalez (4)
RBI - Aaron Miles (18), Todd Helton 4 (38), Bradley Hawpe (39), J.D. Closser (18), Eddy Garabito (8)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Relaford-Miles-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Joe Kennedy 51055230 7.04
Marcos Carvajal 1100100 4.37
Mike DeJean (W,4-1) 1000000 6.08
Jay Witasick (H,10) 1000010 2.60
Brian Fuentes (S,11) 1000020 2.48
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kennedy 101-60, Marcos Carvajal 17-9, Mike DeJean 9-5, Jay Witasick 14-9, Brian Fuentes 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kennedy 7-4, Marcos Carvajal 2-1, Jay Witasick 2-0, Brian Fuentes 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Kennedy 26, Marcos Carvajal 5, Mike DeJean 3, Jay Witasick 3, Brian Fuentes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21739
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 93
Umpires - Home - Mike Fichter, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Bill Hohn