Colorado at Los Angeles

L.A. Dodgers
W: T. Saito (4-2) L: J. Mesa (0-5)
HR: COL - M. Holliday (21)   LA - A. Ethier (11)

Lofton drives in game-winning run, Dodgers move into first place

CBS wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- On a team saturated with impressive rookies, Kenny Lofton has become an inspiration on and off the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lofton singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Dodgers moved into first place in the NL West, defeating the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Thursday night.

"He's been around long enough to know how to play the game and he's been on teams that have won, so it's nice to have him," Dodgers reliever Brett Tomko said. "He's usually the guy who gets traded for the stretch run. He knows what he needs to do to help the team, whatever it is."

The Dodgers, whose 11-game winning streak ended with a 3-1 loss Wednesday night, are a half-game ahead of San Diego and Arizona.

This is the first time the Dodgers have had sole possession of first place since June 26. They were as many as 7½ games off the pace on July 26 after losing 13 of 14 games following the All-Star break.

Jose Mesa (0-5) gave up a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Julio Lugo and a single to Rafael Furcal before Lofton sliced a 2-0 pitch to left field for the game-winner. Takashi Saito (4-2) got the victory despite giving up the tying run in the ninth.

Dodgers rookie Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning against Ray King, after Colorado manager Clint Hurdle brought in the left-hander to replace impressive rookie reliever Manny Corpas.

"We had that inning drawn up as soon as the inning started," Hurdle said. "We were get let Corpas pitch to (Jeff) Kent and have King come in to face Ethier. Ethier hadn't hit a home run all year off a left-hander, and King hadn't given up one to a lefty all year. Obviously, it didn't work -- and it didn't work in the ninth, either."

Kings acknowledged that he made the wrong pitch.

"Tonight was a lesson I learned," King said. "I looked at tape of him, and he's a kid who's diving the whole time, so I threw a fastball away and he beat me. So from now on, no matter how many more times I face him, he's going to have to beat me on a pitch in."

The Rockies made it 3-all in the ninth when Todd Helton tripled over the head of right fielder Jason Repko and continued home when Kent's throw to third skipped into the dugout for an error. The blown save was the first in 13 opportunities for Saito, who replaced the injured Eric Gagne as closer.

For the second time in this four-game series, a Rockies pitcher was ejected after Hurdle removed him from the game. King, who was upset about a previous pitch to Wilson Betemit, held both arms out to the side -- before and after Huddle made the pitching change -- and was tossed by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. On Monday night, Sam Holbrook ejected Josh Fogg under the same circumstances.

"I guess I looked at him the wrong way," King said. "I didn't say a word to him. Before that, I asked him, `Where was that pitch?' and he got all bitter about it. The manager comes out and tells me, `Don't say a word.' I didn't say anything and I still get tossed."

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed a run and three hits over five innings, struck out three and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third. All of his six walks came during a span of 10 batters, but none of those baserunners scored.

The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Nomar Garciaparra's sacrifice fly, but Colorado tied it in the sixth against reliever Aaron Sele with a two-out RBI double by Sullivan.

Garciaparra, who came in 4-for-20 lifetime against Colorado starter Jason Jennings, singled his first two times up. But in the seventh, he flied out to end the inning after a pair of two-out walks.

Furcal led off the Dodgers' first with a triple and scored on Lofton's groundout. The Rockies tied it in the second when Matt Holliday led off with a drive that struck the right-field pole. It was the 21st homer this season for the first-time All-Star, who ended an eight-game RBI drought.


  • With Gagne, fellow reliever Yhency Brazoban and OF Jayson Werth on the disabled list for the rest of the season, the Dodgers have only eight players on their 25-man roster who played for them last season.
  • Helton reached on a strikeout-wild pitch in the seventh. It was the 37th wild pitch by the Dodgers' staff, one more than their entire total last season.
Copyright 2017 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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Kenny Lofton doesn't have to run hard to first, as this single brings home Julio Lugo and a victory.  (AP)
Kenny Lofton doesn't have to run hard to first, as this single brings home Julio Lugo and a victory. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Sullivan
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
Los Angeles

K. Lofton
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Colorado Rockies
Jamey Carroll, 2B5000013
Todd Helton, 1B3110210
Garrett Atkins, 3B4010121
Matt Holliday, LF4111112
Brad Hawpe, RF4010121
Yorvit Torrealba, C3110104
Clint Barmes, SS3010110
Cory Sullivan, CF4021014
Jason Jennings, P2000003
   a- Jorge Piedra, PH1000011
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000
    Ray King, P-DH0000000
    Jose Mesa, P0000000
a-struck out for J. Jennings in the 8th
2B - Cory Sullivan 2 (, Sele, Tomko)
3B - Todd Helton (, Saito)
HR - Matt Holliday (, Billingsley)
SH - Jason Jennings ()
RBI - Matt Holliday (), Cory Sullivan ()
2-OUT RBI - Cory Sullivan ()
SB - Yorvit Torrealba (, 2nd base off Sele/Martin)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Carroll-Helton
E - Jamey Carroll (, )
Colorado Rockies
Jason Jennings 7622350
Manuel Corpas 0.1000010
Ray King 0.1111001
Jose Mesa (L,-) 0.2211110
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Jennings 104-60, Manuel Corpas 5-3, Ray King 9-5, Jose Mesa 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Jennings 11-5, Ray King 1-0, Jose Mesa 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Jennings 30, Manuel Corpas 1, Ray King 2, Jose Mesa 5
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3220210
Kenny Lofton, CF4032100
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B3021002
Jeff Kent, 2B4000024
Andre Ethier, LF4111011
Wilson Betemit, 3B4010000
Russell Martin, C4000012
Jason Repko, RF4000021
Chad Billingsley, P1000000
   a- J.D. Drew, PH1000000
    Aaron Sele, P0000000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000
   b- James Loney, PH1000000
    Brett Tomko, P0000000
    Takashi Saito, P0000000
   c- Julio Lugo, PH0100100
a-grounded out for Billingsley in the 5th
b-grounded out for Beimel in the 7th
c-walked for Saito in the 9th
2B - Wilson Betemit (, J. Jennings)
3B - Rafael Furcal (, J. Jennings)
HR - Andre Ethier (, King)
SF - Nomar Garciaparra ()
RBI - Kenny Lofton 2 (), Nomar Garciaparra (), Andre Ethier ()
SB - Rafael Furcal (, 2nd base off J. Jennings/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Garciaparra-Furcal-Billingsley, Furcal-Kent-Garciaparra
E - Jeff Kent (, )
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley 5311631
Aaron Sele (BS,) 1.2311030
Joe Beimel 0.1000100
Brett Tomko 1100020
Takashi Saito (BS,; W,-) 1111020
WP - Aaron Sele ()
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 96-49, Aaron Sele 36-26, Joe Beimel 6-2, Brett Tomko 23-15, Takashi Saito 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 4-6, Aaron Sele 3-0, Joe Beimel 1-0, Brett Tomko 1-0
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 22, Aaron Sele 9, Joe Beimel 2, Brett Tomko 4, Takashi Saito 4
Game Information
Attendance - 48699
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Angel Hernandez