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Los Angeles at Colorado

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L.A. Dodgers (76-81) «200000001360
Colorado (83-73)000100000141

Rockies on brink after shut down by Lilly, Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Ted Lilly's masterful mix of pitches left the Rockies perplexed at the plate, prevented Ubaldo Jimenez from getting his 20th win and edged Colorado closer to elimination.

Lilly scattered four hits over eight innings Monday night in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 3-1 win over the reeling Rockies, who are five games behind idle San Francisco in the NL West and 4½ games behind wild card-leading Atlanta with just six games remaining.

"If we were ugly before this game, now we're bleeding," outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said.

More on Dodgers at Rockies

Just a week and a-half ago, the Rockies were within a game of first place and looked primed for another playoff run behind Jimenez and the 1-2 punch of Gonzalez and fellow MVP contender Troy Tulowitzki.

Now, they've lost seven of eight, and an offseason of uncertainty looms ever closer.

"It's just tough to lose, especially when you have Ubaldo on the mound. You want to be able to score some runs for him," Gonzalez said. "He just had a tough first inning and after that he battled the whole game. He pitched great."

Dodgers manager Joe Torre doesn't relish the role of spoiler but that's all the Dodgers have left in their skipper's final week at the helm of a team that also underachieved thanks to injuries and inconsistency. Los Angeles needs to win all its remaining games to avoid the team's first losing season since 2005.

"The only satisfaction is we're doing our job," Torre said. "It's not much of a role for us, but it's something that at least makes what we're doing important."

Casey Blake went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and scored Los Angeles' other run. His biggest hit struck Jimenez in the right foot and ricocheted over shortstop Tulowitzki's head for a two-run single in the first inning before Jimenez settled down and threw six straight zeros on the scoreboard.

Blake said he normally gets jumpy against a hard-throwing ace like Jimenez "to cheat the fastball" but not on this night, when he was calm and confident in the face of 98 mph heaters.

"I didn't feel like he could throw his fastball by me, and as a hitter that's a great feeling to have," he said.

Jimenez (19-8) has one more start, at St. Louis next weekend, to try to become the franchise's first 20-game winner.

"Hopefully, I get it," said Jimenez, who was 15-1 at the break, earning the starting job for the National League in the All-Star Game.

Back then, it seemed unfathomable that he might not reach 20 wins.

"I hope he gets it," Torre said.

So does Blake.

"He's had a rough go as of late but he seems like a great guy that has a really good attitude and he's had a solid year, so you want to see him get his 20th," Blake said. "[Just] not against us."

Jimenez has been victimized by poor run support, shoddy defense and his own control issues over the season's second half. And Monday night was another one in which Jimenez got very little support despite a stellar effort -- he gave up just three hits in seven innings with four walks and six strikeouts.

His inability to locate the plate with his fastball cost him during a 29-pitch first inning, too.

Lilly (9-12) was dominant. He had the Rockies either chasing his offspeed pitches or frozen by his deceptive fastballs. He walked two, and of his eight strikeouts, five were called.

Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first on a bloop leadoff single by Rafael Furcal and two four-pitch walks. Blake's two-out comebacker struck Jimenez on his right foot and ricocheted over Tulowitzki's head, allowing two runs to score.

"It hit my toe, but I was OK," Jimenez said.

The Dodgers added a run in the ninth when A.J. Ellis' line drive went off second baseman Clint Barmes' glove for an RBI single.

Lilly, who didn't give up a hit until Gonzalez deposited his knee-high fastball in the center field rock pile in the fourth for his 34th homer, said he made sure to release curveball down in the zone because it has a tendency to stay up at altitude.

"I don't think it was necessarily all that sharp and I got away with a few hangers," he said. "But we were able to get some big outs."

None bigger than the unassisted double play by first baseman James Loney in the eighth, when he snared Jay Payton's screamer down the line and doubled up Todd Helton.

If that ball gets through, it's probably kicking around the right-field corner and the game's tied.

"That play kind of changed the game right there," Lilly said.

And maybe the Rockies' fortunes.

"It's painful," Gonzalez said, "because we all thought we were going to be battling until the end. We thought it was going to be really close for everybody, but we're making it a lot easier for the other teams and more difficult for us."

Notes

  • Jimenez finished 8-2 at Coors Field this season. The Rockies were 11-3 in his home starts.
  • Dodgers OF Jay Gibbons sat out with a sore calf.
 
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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Ubaldo Jimenez is left in dismay as the Dodgers deny him win No. 20, and put the Rockies 4 1/2 back with six to go.  (Getty Images)
Ubaldo Jimenez is left in dismay as the Dodgers deny him win No. 20, and put the Rockies 4 1/2 back with six to go. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Blake
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Los Angeles

T. Lilly
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 8
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS4120000 .300
Ryan Theriot, 2B4100103 .270
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
Andre Ethier, RF4000032 .284
James Loney, 1B3000112 .269
Matt Kemp, CF3000121 .247
Casey Blake, 3B4132001 .247
Trent Oeltjen, LF3000034 .278
A.J. Ellis, C3011100 .276
Ted Lilly, P3000002 .037
   a- Jay Gibbons, PH0000000 .288
   b- Jamey Carroll, PH-2B1000001 .291
Totals3236349  
a-announced for Lilly in the 9th
b-popped out for Gibbons in the 9th
Batting
2B - Casey Blake 2 (28, Jimenez, Belisle)
SH - Rafael Furcal (2), Trent Oeltjen (2)
RBI - Casey Blake 2 (62), A.J. Ellis (16)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake 2 (31)
SB - James Loney (10, 2nd base off Jimenez/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ted Lilly (W,9-12) 8411281 3.71
Hong-Chih Kuo (S,11) 1000010 1.26
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 98-64, Hong-Chih Kuo 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 7-8, Hong-Chih Kuo 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 29, Hong-Chih Kuo 3
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., 2B4000002 .244
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .250
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
Dexter Fowler, CF4010000 .249
Carlos Gonzalez, RF4111011 .340
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000021 .318
Chris Iannetta, C4000031 .208
Todd Helton, 1B2020100 .258
Jay Payton, LF3000023 .385
Jonathan Herrera, 3B2000100 .280
Ubaldo Jimenez, P1000010 .108
    Franklin Morales, P0000000 .000
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1000000 .281
    Clint Barmes, 2B0000000 .232
Totals2914129  
a-flied out for Dotel in the 8th
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (18, Lilly)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (34, Lilly)
SH - Ubaldo Jimenez (4)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (115)
SB - Dexter Fowler (13, 2nd base off Lilly/Ellis)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Troy Tulowitzki (10, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,19-8) 7322460 2.99
Franklin Morales 0.2000020 6.51
Octavio Dotel 0.1000010 3.94
Matt Belisle 0.2211000 2.96
Joe Beimel 0.1100000 3.40
IBB - Ellis by Ubaldo Jimenez
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 124-77, Franklin Morales 11-8, Octavio Dotel 5-3, Matt Belisle 22-14, Joe Beimel 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 9-7, Matt Belisle 1-1
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 29, Franklin Morales 2, Octavio Dotel 1, Matt Belisle 4, Joe Beimel 2
Game Information
Attendance - 32085
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman