Cuddyer homers in Rockies’ 3-1 win over Dodgers

Michael Cuddyer tuned up for his first Home Run Derby with a

two-run shot, the kind of boost that he’s been giving Colorado in

the first half of the season.

Cuddyer also drove in another run to help the Rockies defeat the

Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 Sunday in the teams’ last game before the

All-Star break. The right fielder made his second All-Star team as

an NL reserve, and will compete in the Home Run Derby on

Monday.

He had a career-best and club-record 27-game hitting streak from

May 28-June 30, going .372 with 19 RBIs, six homers and 17 runs

scored.

”I hope I bring a lot to the table,” Cuddyer said. ”The whole

first half individually was a lot of fun, and the fact that we’re

still in it made it even better.”

The clubs split their four-game series, leaving Colorado with a

46-50 record. The Rockies are in third place in the NL West, 4 1/2

games back of first-place Arizona.

”We’re healthy again, and we’ve weathered this last road trip,

so I think that we’ve got some momentum going into the second

half,” said Cuddyer, who snapped an 0-for-7 skid that included

four strikeouts in two previous games in the series.

His 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 Ricky Nolasco and Troy

Tulowitzki popped up. Cuddyer homered into the right-field

pavilion.

He had an RBI single with two outs in the first for Colorado’s

first run.

”We held the Dodgers to just two runs in the last three games,

and that’s a team that’s been going better than anybody in the

game,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ”So it’s a big win and a

nice way to end the first half.”

Jhoulys Chacin (9-4) allowed one run and six hits in six

innings, struck out six and walked three to win for the sixth time

in his last seven starts. The right-hander improved to 8-5 in his

career against the Dodgers, his most wins against any one team.

”It was a very impressive outing by Jhoulys,” Weiss said. ”In

the sixth inning when they had runners at first and second, I just

went out there to tell him `This is your game. If you get through

this inning, we win the game.’ And that’s exactly what he

did.”

Chacin’s nine victories at the break are the most for a Rockies

pitcher since Ubaldo Jimenez’s 15-1 record in the first half of

2010. Chacin succeeded at the plate, too, going 2 for 2 with a

walk.

”Before I was just trying to just throw it hard,” he said,

”but now I’m just trying to make my pitch, get them to hit it and

get themselves out and get out of the inning with the least amount

of damage.”

Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth to earn his 15th save in 16

chances.

”The Dodgers had been on a real offensive tear prior to this

series, so it was nice to see our pitchers be pretty successful

against them,” Tulowitzki said. ”That’s what it’s going to take

if we’re going to make any noise in the second half. It’s going to

be a big factor. The pitching’s got to be good, and they were this

series, that’s for sure.”

The Dodgers fell back to .500 at 47-47 after winning 17 of their

last 22 games to climb into second place, 2 1/2 games back.

Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he

entered as a pinch-hitter in the fifth. He singled and then scored

on Adrian Gonzalez’s single with two outs.

”We’re in position and kind of have it in our hands,” manager

Don Mattingly said.

Nolasco (6-9) gave up three runs and eight hits over five

innings of his home debut with the Dodgers. 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.

”It was a little bit of a battle,” Nolasco said. ”Just had a

little bit of control issues. Wish I could have that one pitch to

Cuddyer back.”

NOTES: Rockies 1B Todd Helton went 2 for 4 for the 700th

multi-hit game of his career, fourth-most among active players.

He’s hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games against the Dodgers. …

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. … The Rockies’ 426 runs scored are the

most since 2010, when they had 430 in the first half. …

Colorado’s 879 hits are the most since 2003, when they had 901

before the break. … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly plans to return

home to Evansville, Ind., during the break to visit his mother.