Mark Ellis, like the rest of the Dodgers hitters, is feeling good at the plate.
Good enough to bat cleanup?
"We should probably drop Hanley (Ramirez) down a little bit," Ellis joked after driving in a season-high-tying four runs in Los Angeles’ 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night, the Dodgers’ fifth victory in a row.
"Guys are coming through in spots where maybe they weren’t earlier in the season," said Ellis, who played in his 1,300th career game.
The Dodgers might have been excused for dragging their feet. They didn’t arrive in Los Angeles until 4 a.m. after beating Arizona 7-5 in 14 innings. They skipped batting practice Thursday.
Instead, they moved above .500 for the first time since April 15. They are 16-3 since June 22, when they were a season-worst 12 games under .500.
"We’re confident and we’ve got momentum," manager Don Mattingly said. "It’s a good time to kind of keep it rolling knowing there are going to be days when it’s not like this."
Chris Capuano pitched shutout ball for 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits. The left-hander (3-6) struck out a season-high eight and walked none to earn just his second win at home and first since beating Miami 5-3 on May 12.
"Capuano made some good pitches. I mean, you look at some of our better hitters in our lineup, they didn’t have great games, either," said Troy Tulowitzki, who was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game since June 13. "Capuano was on top of his game and did a great job keeping us off-balance. It was an ugly game."
Capuano made a slight mechanical adjustment between starts to keep the ball down instead of in a lateral position.
"It was pretty obvious the last two starts that I needed to make some sort of adjustment," Capuano said. "Tonight was the best I felt this season."
Drew Pomeranz (0-3) gave up three runs and seven hits in four innings, struck out four and walked five in his third start of the season.
"Walks killed me. The fourth inning I was just missing in off the plate," he said. "They had some bleeder hits, some hits that found a hole or fell in or whatever, but if I’m not walking those guys, they’re not going to score. So I hurt myself."
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig, who finished second in the fan voting Thursday for the final NL roster spot in next week’s All-Star game, went 2 for 4 with a strikeout before being replaced in center field by Andre Ethier in the eighth.
Mattingly said Puig had tweaked his left hip in his previous at-bat, so he was removed for precautionary reasons.
"It had been bothering me since I ran into the wall in Colorado," Puig said through an interpreter.
He bruised the hip on July 3 making an outfield catch.
Asked if he was upset about being removed, Puig said, "The team won so why wouldn’t I feel good?"
Ellis went 3 for 4 with a walk, the fourth time he has had three or more hits in a game this season.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the eighth when he singled off Wilton Lopez to make it 5-0. Ethier’s sacrifice fly added another run.
Los Angeles had taken a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Ellis’ two-run RBI single. Pomeranz gave up three consecutive walks to open the inning before Capuano struck out and Ellis singled to left.
The Dodgers led 1-0 on Jerry Hairston Jr.’s RBI double in the second after Juan Uribe slid into catcher Wilin Rosario, causing the ball to pop loose.
Colorado’s lone run came on a ninth-inning homer by Carlos Gonzalez off Brandon League.
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was activated from the 15-day DL and played for the first time since June 13 when he broke a rib. He will wear a protective vest under his jersey. Also coming off the DL was CF Dexter Fowler, who had a bone bruise in his right hand. … The Rockies optioned OF Tyler Colvin and OF Corey Dickerson to Triple-A Colorado Springs. … The Rockies fell to 3-8 in their last 11 games. … Colorado is 0-21 in games when they don’t score first. … Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez went 2 for 5 with a strikeout on his bobblehead night. … The announced crowd of 52,740 was the Dodgers’ ninth sellout this season.