LOS ANGELES -- The matchup between the former high school teammates was televised live in their home country.
Jae Seo and Byung-Hyun Kim became the first Korean-born starting pitchers to meet in a major league game and the significance of the event wasn't lost on either of them.
Seo outpitched Kim with seven stellar innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers converted an error by Todd Helton into two unearned runs to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.
"To Korean fans, certain fans root for me and some for B-K. So it really didn't matter to them who won the game." Seo said through a translator. "It's just the fact that it's the first time Korean pitchers are throwing on the same field at the major league level. That became a really big issue in Korea, and I'm really proud. I'm proud of Korean players who play in the major leagues."
Seo (2-2) allowed an unearned run and six hits. The right-hander was coming off three straight no-decisions, and had allowed only one run over six innings in two of those starts. He is 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies.
Seo allowed the first four batters in the Rockies' third inning to reach base, but escaped the inning unscathed by getting Brad Hawpe to ground into a double play.
"We had a couple of shots at Seo early and weren't able to take advantage of them," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "After that he settled in. He challenged our discipline at the plate, threw a lot of strikes with his off-speed stuff and was very effective."
Seo was a year ahead of Kim in high school. Each said the other was better back then. Both pitched well Monday, but Kim had a more restless night than Seo.
"I dreamed last night that somebody pointed a knife at my neck," Kim said. "I told (Korean-born teammate) Sunny Kim, and he said `Be careful today.' I pitched OK tonight, but I had bad luck."
Kim (2-2) gave up three runs -- one earned -- and six hits in six innings. The right-hander, best remembered for the game-tying home runs he gave up to Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius of the Yankees in Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series while pitching for Arizona, held the Dodgers to a run and four hits over seven innings last Tuesday at Coors Field in a 5-1 victory.
The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the third on a bloop RBI single by Olmedo Saenz and a run-scoring groundout by J.D. Drew. Both runs were unearned -- the result of the error by Helton. The three-time Gold Glove first baseman charged Rafael Furcal's slow bouncer with one out and tossed the ball behind Kim as the pitcher got to the bag.
"I just didn't get the ball out of my glove cleanly and I didn't get a firm grasp on it," Helton said. "Furcal was flying there, but I probably had a little more time than I thought. It wasn't a very good play on my part."
Jeff Kent made it 3-1 in the sixth with an RBI double after Drew lined a leadoff single off Kim's glove. Helton prevented two more runs from scoring that inning with a diving stop of Seo's hard-hit grounder behind the bag.
Scott Dohmann walked all three batters he faced in the seventh before he was replaced by former Dodgers lefty Tom Martin, who turned Drew's comebacker into a 1-2-3 double play. Kent was intentionally walked, and Martin forced home a run with a walk to Willy Aybar.
The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth on an RBI single by pinch-hitter Ramon Martinez and Drew's second run-scoring groundout.
Hurdle tweaked his lineup, putting Jamey Carroll in the leadoff spot. Center fielder Cory Sullivan, who started 37 of Colorado's first 45 games in the one hole, was dropped to seventh in the order for the first time this season.
Carroll reached on a first-inning fielding error by Aybar at third base, and Garrett Atkins followed with a line single to center that was trapped by a diving Jose Cruz Jr. Carroll hit the second base bag awkwardly and sprained his right ankle, but stayed in the game and scored one out later on Holliday's sacrifice fly.
Carroll played one more inning in the field before the ankle injury forced him out. X-rays were negative.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first time two Japanese pitchers started against each other was May 7, 1999, at Yankee Stadium, when New York's Hideki Irabu beat Seattle's Mac Suzuki 10-1. ... Seo and Kim each hit a batter. ... Rockies setup man Jose Mesa, one of 19 pitchers with 300 career saves, turned 40 on Monday.