The Los Angeles Dodgers found a way to overshadow another stinging loss — recall their phenom from the minors.
After falling 7-2 to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, the Dodgers announced their plan to bring up outfielder Yasiel Puig from Double-A Chattanooga.
Puig, a 22-year-old Cuban defector, is hitting .313 with eight homers and 37 RBIs for the Lookouts.
”He’s got power. He’s got speed. He’s got an arm,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”It’s a tooled-up package, but then on the back side of that, you still say it’s a young player. You don’t want to build him up to the point where it’s impossible to live up to expectations.
”So you’d like him to just be able to be a young player and be like every young player who comes up.”
To make room for Puig on the roster, the team optioned right-hander Matt Magill following a forgettable spot start on Sunday. Magill (0-1) was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to step in for lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was a late scratch with a bruised left foot.
Magill struggled all day as he allowed seven runs – six earned – in six innings. He also allowed four homers and walked nine, before being pulled for a pinch hitter after throwing 110 pitches.
”I just couldn’t find the zone,” Magill said. ”It was just one of those days. I didn’t have legs on anything, and I just couldn’t find it.”
Dexter Fowler hit two homers off Magill and Jorge De La Rosa pitched seven effective innings, helping the Rockies take two of three from the slumping Dodgers. Helton and Michael Cuddyer added solo homers.
De La Rosa (7-3) couldn’t find his command early in the game, but settled down as he allowed six hits and struck out five for his first career win against Los Angeles. He was 0-8 entering the game.
The lefty insisted he didn’t do anything special Sunday. Well, he threw his blazing fastball more, but that’s about it.
”Last time, I think they were waiting for my changeup,” De La Rosa said. ”Tried to use more of my fastball. That worked.”
Skip Schumaker drove in both runs for the Dodgers, who return home after a 1-4 stretch on the road. They beat Colorado on Friday, only to drop the next two. They haven’t won a series at Coors since Sept. 27-29, 2010.
The news of Puig’s upcoming appearance with the Dodgers pushed the latest loss to the backburner. Mattingly wouldn’t say whether Puig — who signed a $42 million, seven-year contract last summer — would play right or center when he was officially recalled Monday.
Mattingly also tried to downplay high expectations.
”You’re still looking at a young player — obviously with huge potential but you’re still looking at a young player,” Mattingly said. ”He is a guy who can make a big impact.”
Helton rediscovered his power against Los Angeles, hitting a solo shot in the fourth on Sunday and a pinch-hit homer in the ninth on Friday. He had just three homers before the weekend.
”Better,” Helton said of his swing. ”But it’s always a work in progress. Just stay with the process.”
Fowler led off the game with a homer, the sixth time in his career he’s accomplished that feat. It was also his first homer since April 29, when he hit a solo shot off the Dodgers to begin the game.
He wasn’t done there, though, lining a two-run homer in the sixth. He also was walked twice, including one intentionally.
Fowler was picking up where he left off the day before, when his single in the 10th brought home the winning run.
”See ball, hit ball. When I think too much, that’s when I get in trouble,” Fowler said.
For the moment, the Dodgers are taking a wait-and-see approach with outfielder Carl Crawford, who left the game Saturday with a left hamstring injury. The team wants to see how he progresses before a move is made.
However, that left the already injury-riddled Dodgers even more short-handed on the bench. Before the game, L.A. placed catcher A.J. Ellis (left oblique strain) on the 15-day disabled list to make room for Magill. This after already putting outfielder Matt Kemp on the disabled list last week with a strained right hamstring.
Just another ailment to deal with for Mattingly, who’s filling out his lineup card more by who’s healthy than who’s on a hot streak.
”We’ll get through it,” Mattingly said before the game. ”We’ve got to tread water, be able to fight and get as many wins as we can, keep ourselves in this thing and count on getting some bodies back. … Get back to semi full-strength and get hot. That’s all.”
Notes: INF Hanley Ramirez (strained left hamstring) went 1-for-4 in a rehab stint for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. Ramirez was given the day off Sunday. … The last time Colorado hit four homers in a game was June 9, 2012.