Dodgers 9, Rockies 7
Troy Tulowitzki slammed his helmet in disgust and impaled the
handle of his broken bat into the ground behind home plate.
The bat stayed in the ground as he walked off the field after
striking out to end the game, knowing his Colorado Rockies are out
of the pennant race.
Casey Blake homered twice, Rafael Furcal had two triples and the
Los Angeles Dodgers helped eliminate the Rockies from playoff
contention with a 9-7 victory Tuesday night.
The Rockies were eliminated from the NL playoff race with their
loss and wins by Atlanta and San Francisco on Tuesday. Atlanta’s
3-2 win over Florida knocked Colorado out of the wild card and the
Giants’ 4-2 win over Arizona finished them in the NL West.
”It’s been a tough stretch,” Todd Helton said. ”Just a tough
The Rockies were within a game of first place nine days earlier
with a chance to sweep the Dodgers in L.A. But they couldn’t hold
onto a 6-1 lead and lost in extra innings.
They’ve now lost eight of nine, including four of the first five
on this crucial homestand.
”We’ve been losing a lot lately because we haven’t played
well,” outfielder Seth Smith said. ”Great teams who are not
playing well find ways to win games.”
They almost found a way in Tuesday’s game. They had a man on
first and Tulowitzki, their hottest hitter, at the plate with two
outs in the ninth against reliever Kenley Jensen. But Tulowitzki
struck out swinging to end Colorado’s last hope.
”He made sure the first guy got a hit in the ninth so he could
go through the three and four hitters,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre
said of Jensen, who picked up his second save.
Los Angeles, which was eliminated from the race already, has
played spoiler by beating the Rockies three straight.
”They are professionals,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ”If
you’re already going home you want to take somebody with you.”
The Dodgers blew a four-run lead Tuesday, but came back in the
eighth off reliever Octavio Dotel (3-4). A.J. Ellis doubled to lead
off and Furcal tripled home pinch-runner Chin-lung Hu to make it
7-6. One batter later, Andre Ethier’s sacrifice fly gave L.A. a
The Rockies got one back on Chris Iannetta’s bases-loaded walk
in the eighth, but Ryan Spilborgh struck out to end the inning.
Blake hit his second homer, and 17th of the season, leading off the
ninth to restore the two-run lead.
Down 6-2 after James Loney’s solo homer in the top of the
seventh, the Rockies rallied against starter Hiroki Kuroda. Melvin
Mora led off with a single and Helton belted his eighth homer to
make it 6-4.
Iannetta drew a one-out walk to end Kuroda’s night and reliever
Ronald Bellisario gave up a two-run homer to Dexter Fowler to tie
”We get back into the game with the help of Helton’s home run
and the Fowler home run and then they hit our bullpen
immediately,” Tracy said. ”When those things like that happen and
you keep asking your offense to come back, it’s hard to do.”
Bellisario (3-1) got the win, pitching two-thirds of an
The Dodgers jumped on starter Jeff Francis in the third. Kuroda
led off with a single and Furcal followed with an RBI triple.
Mora’s throwing error on Ryan Theriot’s grounder scored Furcal, and
one out later Matt Kemp and Blake hit back-to-back homers to make
Francis allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits, striking
out just one in three innings. It was the third consecutive short
start for Francis since coming off the disabled list on Sept.
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first on Chris Nelson’s
double and Carlos Gonzalez’s single.
Notes: Helton, 37, said after the game he is coming back next
season. ”I signed a three-year deal. When was it that (retirement)
ever crossed my mind?” … Tracy said 2B Eric Young Jr. will have
an MRI on his sore right shin and will probably not play again this
season. Tracy also confirmed that veteran Jason Giambi will be shut
down for the final week of the season. … Rockies 2B Clint Barmes
left the team early Tuesday to be with his ailing father. … Torre
said after the game that left-hander Clayton Kershaw will be shut
down for the rest of the season. Carlos Monasterios will start in
Kershaw’s place against the Rockies.