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Los Angeles at Colorado

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L.A. Dodgers (17-7) «4010200007140
Colorado (11-12)0000023106111

Dodgers start fast, hold off Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- As usual, the Los Angeles Dodgers got power and production up the middle. For once, center fielder Matt Kemp wasn't the one doing the heavy lifting.

Catcher A.J. Ellis homered and drove in three runs, shortstop Dee Gordon hit his first major league home run and second baseman Mark Ellis had four singles and made the game-saving play in the ninth inning to preserve a 7-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Their contributions helped Ted Lilly (3-0) pick up the win despite a shaky performance by the Dodgers bullpen. Lilly pitched six solid innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, but he left after throwing just 79 pitches because of a stiff lat muscle.

"We just didn't want to push it too far," said manager Don Mattingly, who watched his bullpen fritter away almost all of the 7-2 lead Lilly left his relievers.

Javy Guerra struck out Carlos Gonzalez with the potential tying run 90 feet away to end it.

"That was fun," Mattingly said. "That's the way it's supposed to be, right? CarGo with the game on the line?"

The Dodgers pounded out 11 hits off Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and then held on. The win capped a big day for the storied franchise, marking the end to the tumultuous Frank McCourt era.

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The $2 billion sale of the team to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson, was finalized Tuesday, just hours before the Dodgers improved to an NL-best 17-7.

"I think the fans of L.A. are pretty excited about the new ownership and what it's bringing. As long as L.A. is happy, I'm happy," Kemp said.

The Dodgers were even happier after this latest display of pinpoint pitching from Lilly and power at the plate that has propelled them to their best start since 1983.

Even with a 7-0 lead after five innings, they weren't exactly comfortable at Coors Field, however.

"Every inning we'd come in and say we need more runs, we need more runs," Mark Ellis said. "Nothing against our pitchers. That's just the way this is. And then that wind starts blowing a little bit and you know we need to score some more runs. And we held on."

Thanks in large part to the second baseman's play that robbed Marco Scutaro of a tying single up the middle with one out in the ninth and Wilin Rosario on second base.

"Just good scouting, I guess," Todd Helton said.

That, and tough luck.

Mark Ellis was shading toward the bag while jockeying with Rosario before the pitch, and then the thick grass slowed the ball down enough for him to make the play to throw out Scutaro and keep Rosario at third.

After falling behind Gonzalez 2-0, Guerra threw a backdoor slider and two cutters to strike him out.

The dramatic ending was a fitting bookend for the Dodgers. Gordon led off the game with his first career homer, a second-deck shot to right field.

"He was talking all day how he was going to hit a home run," Mark Ellis recounted. "And then he goes out there and hits a home run. It wasn't a short one, either. It was a bomb, too. He called it."

Gordon was surprised that his double-play partner revealed that bit of banter.

"I kind of hinted to Mark," clarified Gordon, who was homerless in his first 311 career at-bats. "I can swing the bat. I've got power. I just try to get on base, hit steady line drives, but he gave me a pitch that I could hit."

How could a guy who's generously listed at 160 pounds and who had never hit a home run in the majors be so sure of his power?

"Because I know me. I know what kind of power I possess. I've lived with me for 24 years," Gordon replied. "So, I just try to do what I can to get on base and I happened to hit a home run."

Lilly downplayed the strained lat muscle that cut his outing short. He called the injury "very minor" and said he hoped it wouldn't force him to skip a side session or his next start.

Chacin (0-3) gave up a career-worst seven earned runs. After allowing Gordon's homer and Andre Ethier's three-run shot in the first, he gave up an RBI double and a two-run homer to A.J. Ellis and left trailing 7-0 after 4 2-3 innings.

Lilly's only mistake was a fat fastball that Gonzalez sent into the right-field seats for a two-run homer, his fifth, in the sixth inning that made it 7-2.

The Rockies taggedJosh Lindblom for three runs on four hits in the seventh and Helton made it 7-6 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Notes

  • Over the last two seasons, Lilly is 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in five starts against Colorado.
  • The rubber game of the series Wednesday pits Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-0) against Drew Pomeranz (0-1).
 
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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The Dodgers' Ted Lilly allows two earned runs in six innings before leaving the game with a stiff back.  (US Presswire)
The Dodgers' Ted Lilly allows two earned runs in six innings before leaving the game with a stiff back. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Ethier
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dee Gordon, SS4111101 .209
Mark Ellis, 2B5140001 .280
Matt Kemp, CF4110122 .409
Andre Ethier, RF3123200 .289
James Loney, 1B5010005 .230
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF5220012 .268
Adam Kennedy, 3B4010123 .095
    Javy Guerra, P0000000 .000
A.J. Ellis, C4123002 .305
Ted Lilly, P3000011 .125
   a- Juan Rivera, PH1000000 .250
    Josh Lindblom, P0000000 .000
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .000
    Kenley Jansen, P0000000 .000
    Justin Sellers, 3B0000000 .176
Totals38714756  
a-grounded out for Lilly in the 7th
Batting
2B - Tony Gwynn Jr. (2, Chacin), A.J. Ellis (4, Chacin)
HR - Dee Gordon (1, Chacin), Andre Ethier (6, Chacin), A.J. Ellis (2, Chacin)
RBI - Dee Gordon (5), Andre Ethier 3 (27), A.J. Ellis 3 (10)
SB - Tony Gwynn Jr. (2, 2nd base off Chacin/Hernandez)
CS - Matt Kemp (3, 2nd base by M. Reynolds/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kennedy-Ellis-Loney
PB - A.J. Ellis (1)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ted Lilly (W,3-0) 6422141 1.38
Josh Lindblom 0.2433001 2.51
Scott Elbert (H,3) 0.1000000 4.26
Kenley Jansen (H,6) 1211010 2.87
Javy Guerra (S,8) 1100020 5.56
HBP - C. Gonzalez (by Ted Lilly)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 79-54, Josh Lindblom 20-13, Scott Elbert 6-4, Kenley Jansen 27-17, Javy Guerra 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 5-8, Josh Lindblom 1-1, Scott Elbert 1-0, Kenley Jansen 1-1, Javy Guerra 1-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 23, Josh Lindblom 6, Scott Elbert 1, Kenley Jansen 5, Javy Guerra 4
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., CF4110010 .286
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .000
    Matt Reynolds, P0000000 .000
   a- Wilin Rosario, PH1010000 .219
Marco Scutaro, 2B5020002 .267
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4112022 .300
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4110011 .281
Todd Helton, 1B2001100 .246
Michael Cuddyer, RF4000001 .284
Ramon Hernandez, C4130000 .279
Chris Nelson, 3B3111002 .232
   b- Jason Giambi, PH1000011 .176
    Jonathan Herrera, 3B0000000 .290
Jhoulys Chacin, P1000000 .375
    Josh Roenicke, P1000012 .000
   c- Tyler Colvin, PH-CF2112010 .310
Totals36611617  
a-singled for M. Reynolds in the 9th
b-struck out for Nelson in the 8th
c-homered for Roenicke in the 7th
Batting
2B - Marco Scutaro (5, Lilly), Ramon Hernandez (5, Lindblom), Chris Nelson (5, Lindblom)
3B - Troy Tulowitzki (2, Jansen)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (5, Lilly), Tyler Colvin (2, Lindblom)
SF - Todd Helton (1)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (20), Todd Helton (17), Chris Nelson (5), Tyler Colvin 2 (8)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Tulowitzki-Helton, Tulowitzki-Scutaro-Helton
E - Jhoulys Chacin (2, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jhoulys Chacin (L,0-3) 4.21177433 7.30
Josh Roenicke 2.1100110 3.77
Matt Belisle 0.2100000 2.38
Matt Reynolds 1.1100020 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Jhoulys Chacin 112-63, Josh Roenicke 34-24, Matt Belisle 13-9, Matt Reynolds 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jhoulys Chacin 6-4, Josh Roenicke 3-2, Matt Belisle 2-0
Batters Faced - Jhoulys Chacin 28, Josh Roenicke 8, Matt Belisle 3, Matt Reynolds 4
Game Information
Attendance - 26211
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Laz Diaz