|L.A. Dodgers (76-71) «||0||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||3||7||12||1|
DENVER -- Contenders usually spend September with one eye on the out-of-town scoreboard. If the Los Angeles Dodgers keep playing this way, they can forget about other teams.
Billingsley (15-10) gave up two runs and six hits for the Dodgers, who have won three straight and 11 of 12. Los Angeles remained 3½ games ahead of Arizona, which beat Cincinnati.
"If we keep winning, we'll be all right," Billingsley said. "We're where we want to be, we want to keep playing well, and that's the only thing we can control."
Matt Holliday homered for the defending NL champion Rockies, who have lost six straight and are 9½ games behind Los Angeles in the NL West with 14 games remaining.
Last year, the Rockies surged in the final two weeks to win the Wild Card. Now they're watching the Dodgers rally toward a playoff spot.
"Things are going the way of the Dodgers right now," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "They are loaded in their bullpen and their pitching staff as a whole leads the league in ERA. They have a solid lineup overall."
Two weeks ago the Dodgers had lost eight straight and were 4½ games behind the Diamondbacks. They went to Arizona and took two of three games from the Diamondbacks, beating their top two pitchers. Since then Arizona is 4-9 and lost eight games in the standings to Los Angeles.
"The key for us was losing seven games in a row going into Arizona, losing that Friday night and being able to beat (Dan) Haren and (Brandon) Webb," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Now the Dodgers don't worry about the scoreboard as much.
"As a manager I watch it from April," Torre said. "At this point and time, that we're in front of them, we don't have to worry about any scoreboard. As long as we win, nobody can gain on us."
"We've jelled," Kemp said. "We're getting the job done on the pitching side and hitting side. Everything's just clicking for us right now."
"I struck out," Helton said. "I couldn't have looked that good."
Francis (4-10) allowed three runs and six hits with five strikeouts. Francis is 1-2 in six starts since coming of the DL on Aug. 7.
"I pitched well," Francis said. "He pitched better than I did."
The Dodgers took the lead for good when Nomar Garciaparra led off the fourth with a double and scored on Kemp's single to make it 3-2.
Manny Ramirez stretched the lead to 4-2 with an RBI single off the right-field wall in the seventh, and Loney's three-run double in the eighth made it 7-2.
"James Loney made it a lot better, for sure," Torre said.
|Matt Kemp starts the Dodger scoring with an RBI double in the second inning. He goes 2-for-5. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||1||0||1||0||3||.277|
|Andre Ethier, RF||5||1||2||0||0||1||3||.302|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.325|
|Scott Proctor, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Casey Blake, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.278|
|Cory Wade, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Juan Pierre, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.272|
|Nomar Garciaparra, 1B||2||2||1||0||1||1||0||.238|
|James Loney, 1B||2||0||2||3||0||0||0||.300|
|Matt Kemp, CF||5||1||2||2||0||0||1||.286|
|Blake DeWitt, 2B-3B||2||0||0||1||1||0||1||.266|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.231|
|Chad Billingsley, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.083|
|b- Delwyn Young, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.246|
|Chan Ho Park, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Scott Elbert, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chin-lung Hu, 2B||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.164|
|a-popped out for Wade in the 9th|
|b-walked for Billingsley in the 7th|
|2B - Nomar Garciaparra (6, Francis), James Loney (34, Corpas), Matt Kemp (37, Francis)|
|SF - Blake DeWitt (3)|
|RBI - Manny Ramirez (109), James Loney 3 (83), Matt Kemp 2 (71), Blake DeWitt (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez (45), James Loney 3 (29)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Chad Billingsley (2, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Chad Billingsley (W,15-10)||6||6||2||2||3||3||1||3.02|
|Chan Ho Park (H,4)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.94|
|Scott Elbert (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.79|
|Cory Wade (H,7)||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.32|
|HBP - Taveras (by Chad Billingsley)|
|WP - Chad Billingsley (10)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 96-59, Chan Ho Park 5-5, Cory Wade 14-10, Scott Proctor 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 9-6, Chan Ho Park 1-0, Cory Wade 2-1, Scott Proctor 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 28, Chan Ho Park 2, Scott Elbert 1, Cory Wade 4, Scott Proctor 3|
|Willy Taveras, CF||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.253|
|a- Seth Smith, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Clint Barmes, 2B||5||0||1||1||0||0||1||.286|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.330|
|Brad Hawpe, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.292|
|Garrett Atkins, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.290|
|Ian Stewart, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.280|
|Chris Iannetta, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.266|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.248|
|Jeff Francis, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.128|
|b- Todd Helton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.265|
|Jason Grilli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Speier, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Manny Corpas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Scott Podsednik, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.253|
|a-grounded out for Taveras in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Francis in the 6th|
|c-struck out for Corpas in the 9th|
|2B - Troy Tulowitzki (20, Billingsley)|
|HR - Matt Holliday (25, Billingsley)|
|RBI - Clint Barmes (35), Matt Holliday (84)|
|2-OUT RBI - Clint Barmes (18), Matt Holliday (24)|
|SB - Matt Holliday (27, 2nd base off Elbert/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Matt Holliday 1|
|DP - Stewart-Barmes-Atkins, Holliday-Stewart, Barmes-Tulowitzki-Atkins|
|E - Garrett Atkins (15, Throwing), Brad Hawpe (8, Misplayed grounder), Matt Holliday (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jeff Francis (L,4-10)||6||6||3||3||2||5||0||5.01|
|IBB - DeWitt by Ryan Speier|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 106-69, Jason Grilli 23-13, Ryan Speier 9-5, Manny Corpas 19-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 7-5, Jason Grilli 1-1, Ryan Speier 2-0, Manny Corpas 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 25, Jason Grilli 6, Ryan Speier 4, Manny Corpas 7|
|Attendance - 30147|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 61|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi|