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Los Angeles at Colorado

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L.A. Dodgers (16-7)100001000290
Colorado (11-11) «10030110x6100

Kemp homers again in Dodgers' loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Juan Nicasio has done more than just come back from his frightening broken neck. He has come back strong.

Nicasio pitched six solid innings, Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run double and the Colorado Rockies overcame Matt Kemp latest homer, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 Monday night in the first of 18 meetings this season between the NL West rivals.

"Every time he takes the mound is pretty special, knowing that he was real close to losing his life and he's still getting to pitch and live out his dream, which is pretty neat," Tulowitzki said. "But it's more than that. We needed a performance like that. The bullpen has been getting a lot of innings and some guys needed rest out there and he picked the team up big-time."

Continuing his remarkable comeback from the C-1 vertebra fracture he suffered last August when he was hit in the head by a line drive against Washington, Nicasio (2-0) gave up two runs and nine hits. He struck out four and walked two in helping the Rockies cool off the streaking Dodgers, who were coming off a series sweep of the Nationals.

Kemp hit his major league-leading 12th homer for Los Angeles, which owns the best record in the NL at 16-7.

"We've got to be happy where we're at. But it's way too early to be thinking anything other than we've got off to a good start," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We played well. We've won some close games. We've showed some good things, but we've just got to keep going."

The Dodgers put themselves in position to do just that but the Rockies escaped a bases-loaded, none-out threat against the middle of the batting order in the seventh inning.

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Nicasio faced two batters in the seventh, giving up consecutive singles to Jerry Hairston and Dee Gordon before being relieved by Esmil Rogers, who walked Mark Ellis to load the bases. That brought up Kemp, who homered in his first at-bat, driving the first pitch he saw from Nicasio over the yellow border atop the right-field wall.

Rogers fanned Kemp in a tense, seven-pitch at-bat, getting him to swing through a slider for the final strike.

Rogers was relieved by Rex Brothers, who struck out Andre Ethier. Edgmer Escalona got James Loney to pop up, allowing the Rockies to wriggle out of the jam unscathed.

"I was happy," said a beaming Nicasio, who watched the dramatic confrontations unfold from the dugout. "They got out of there with no runs."

Said Brothers: "That's one of those points in the game where it could have went south, but we executed some pitches and did some good things, so hopefully we get a little momentum and keep things rolling."

Kemp said the Dodgers had their chance.

"We didn't get the job done. That's it, man. They got us out," he said.

Colorado padded its lead in the bottom half when Michael Cuddyer drew a leadoff walk, Marco Scutaro singled and, one out later, Carlos Gonzalez singled for his second RBI of the night.

Trailing at the outset, the Rockies tied it in the first when Scutaro led off with a double and scored on successive groundouts by Jonathan Herrera and Gonzalez.

The Rockies went in front with a three-run fourth off starter Aaron Harang (1-2), who went 5 2-3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits.

Herrera singled and Gonzalez walked ahead of Tulowitzki's go-ahead double that rolled into the left-field corner. Tulowitzki went to third on the throw home and, one out later, Ramon Hernandez lifted a sacrifice fly to the center-field warning track.

After Juan Uribe drove in Loney with a sixth-inning single that pulled the Dodgers to 4-2, Hernandez delivered his second RBI of the night in the bottom half with a two-out double to rebuild a three-run cushion for the Rockies.

Notes

  • Kemp extended his team record for most homers in April with his first-inning solo shot.
  • Rockies left-handers Jorge De La Rosa (elbow) and Josh Outman (strained oblique) have left extended spring training for minor league rehab assignments. No specific timetable has been set for their return to the big leagues.
  • With a second-inning walk, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis has reached safely in 14 consecutive games.
  • Dodgers RHP Todd Coffey was reinstated from a 16-day stay on the disabled list because of inflammation in his right knee. RHP Nathan Eovaldi was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga.
 
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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Troy Tulowitzki's two-run double in the fourth inning gives the Rockies a lead they would not relinquish against the Dodgers.  (Getty Images)
Troy Tulowitzki's two-run double in the fourth inning gives the Rockies a lead they would not relinquish against the Dodgers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dee Gordon, SS5010020 .207
Mark Ellis, 2B4010100 .247
Matt Kemp, CF4111113 .417
Andre Ethier, RF4010024 .276
James Loney, 1B3110001 .232
   a- Juan Rivera, PH1000003 .254
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Juan Uribe, 3B4011010 .267
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF3010000 .250
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .000
    Adam Kennedy, 1B0000100 .059
A.J. Ellis, C3010112 .291
Aaron Harang, P2000023 .000
    Jerry Hairston Jr., LF2010001 .300
Totals3529249  
a-popped out for Loney in the 7th
Batting
2B - James Loney (6, Nicasio)
HR - Matt Kemp (12, Nicasio)
RBI - Matt Kemp (25), Juan Uribe (7)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Kemp (10)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jerry Hairston Jr. 1
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Harang (L,1-2) 5.2655150 5.72
Scott Elbert 0.1100000 4.50
Mike MacDougal 1211100 7.94
Todd Coffey 1100110 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 100-63, Scott Elbert 8-6, Mike MacDougal 21-12, Todd Coffey 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 5-7, Todd Coffey 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 24, Scott Elbert 2, Mike MacDougal 6, Todd Coffey 4
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Marco Scutaro, 2B4120001 .259
Jonathan Herrera, 3B4110004 .290
Carlos Gonzalez, LF3222100 .303
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4112003 .282
Todd Helton, 1B4000003 .254
Ramon Hernandez, C3012010 .246
Tyler Colvin, RF3010020 .300
    Edgmer Escalona, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Young Jr., PH1000010 .294
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
Dexter Fowler, CF3000112 .239
Juan Nicasio, P2010010 .222
    Esmil Rogers, P0000000 .000
    Rex Brothers, P0000000 .000
    Michael Cuddyer, RF1110101 .299
Totals32610636  
a-struck out for Escalona in the 8th
Batting
2B - Marco Scutaro (4, Harang), Troy Tulowitzki (4, Harang), Ramon Hernandez (4, Harang), Michael Cuddyer (9, Coffey)
SF - Ramon Hernandez (1)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (18), Troy Tulowitzki 2 (13), Ramon Hernandez 2 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Ramon Hernandez (9)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Tulowitzki-Helton
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Juan Nicasio (W,2-0) 6922241 4.40
Esmil Rogers (H,2) 0.1000110 6.00
Rex Brothers (H,3) 0.1000010 3.00
Edgmer Escalona (H,1) 1.1000120 8.31
Rafael Betancourt 1000010 0.90
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Nicasio 115-71, Esmil Rogers 12-6, Rex Brothers 5-3, Edgmer Escalona 20-11, Rafael Betancourt 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Nicasio 7-6
Batters Faced - Juan Nicasio 28, Esmil Rogers 2, Rex Brothers 1, Edgmer Escalona 5, Rafael Betancourt 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25227
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Tim Welke