LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hoping for a nice push going into the All-Star break, the Dodgers’ hitters sputtered in the final three games of their series against the Rockies, with Los Angeles held to two runs in that span.
They lost 3-1 Sunday to split the series and fall back to .500 at 47-47.
“It seemed like we had a little bit of a funk the last couple days,” manager Don Mattingly said.
Still, the Dodgers won 17 of their last 22 games to climb into second-place in the NL West, 2 games behind Arizona. They were a season-worst 12 games under .500 on June 21.
“We’re in position and kind of have it in our hands,” Mattingly said.
The Dodgers’ lone run Sunday came on Adrian Gonzalez’s single with two outs that scored rookie Yasiel Puig, who had a pinch-hit single in the fifth. He wasn’t in the starting lineup to rest his sore left hip.
Puig finished second to Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman in fan voting for the last NL roster spot in the All-Star game. Freeman hurt his thumb on Saturday and won’t play in Tuesday’s game at Citi Field in New York.
“I just found out, but I’m not going, either,” Puig said through a translator.
His .391 batting average is the highest all-time for a Dodges player at the break, edging Hanley Ramirez, who hit .386 in the first half.
Ricky Nolasco (6-9) took the loss in his home debut with the Dodgers, giving up three runs and eight hits over five innings.
“He’s got a great slider,” said Michael Cuddyer, who had a two-run homer and drove in another run for the Rockies. “We watched his last game against Arizona, and he located well down and away. So we wanted to see the ball up, and we were able to get a few balls go through. I was able to hit the one ball that he hung.”
Nolasco said, “It was a little bit of a battle. Just had a little bit of control issues. Wish I could have that one pitch to Cuddyer back.”
The right-hander struck out four and walked three while pitching in front of a large contingent of family and friends from his nearby hometown of Rialto.
“Yeah, it was exciting, but the main thing is to win,” Nolasco said.
Jhoulys Chacin (9-4) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked three. The right-hander improved to 8-5 in his career against the Dodgers, his most wins against any one team.
Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth to earn his 15th save in 16 chances.
“Their pitching was just a little bit better the last two days,” Dodgers outfielder Skip Schumaker said.
Cuddyer’s 16th home run with two outs in the fifth extended Colorado’s lead to 3-0.
DJ LeMahieu grounded out to start the inning before Carlos Gonzalez got hit by a pitch from Nolasco and Troy Tulowitzki popped up. Cuddyer homered into the right-field pavilion.
Cuddyer hit an RBI single with two outs in the first gave Colorado a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: Los Angeles drew 206,930 during the four-game series — fifth-largest for such a series in stadium history. … The Dodgers expect to have CF Matt Kemp back from the DL a few days after the break ends. … Dodgers OF Carl Crawford came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth after missing two straight games with lower back stiffness. … Mattingly plans to return home to Evansville, Ind., during the break to visit his mother.