Morneau collects 6 RBI as Rockies hang 16 runs on first-place Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw and a few of his teammates gathered on the couch, eyes glued to the flat-screen TV. They were rooting on Arizona against rival San Francisco.
No such luck, though. The Giants won and the National League West race just got a lot tighter.
Nothing went right for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
Justin Morneau tied a season high with six RBI, including five as part of an eight-run first inning against spot starter Carlos Frias, and the Colorado Rockies routed the Dodgers 16-2.
Los Angeles now leads the Giants by two games in the division.
Frias (0-1) gave up 10 hits, including seven straight to start the game, and eight runs before being pulled after recording only two outs. According to information provided to the teams by the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first pitcher in the modern era to allow 10 hits while getting less than three outs.
Still, manager Don Mattingly is contemplating bringing Frias back for another turn in the rotation. He doesn’t have many options if the sore left shoulder of Hyun-Jin Ryu isn’t better by next week. Ryu will test it out later this week in Chicago.
"You only have ‘X’ amount of starters for that spot," Mattingly said. "You choose what’s best for that spot and you move on."
The harder Frias seemed to throw, the harder the Rockies seemed to hit the baseball.
"It was a bad day," Frias said through a translator. "Can’t really chalk it up to anything other than a bad day.
"All I can do is put it behind me and look forward to the next outing."
Morneau hit a three-run homer and a two-run single in the opening frame as the Rockies chased Frias after only two outs. Morneau and Carlos Gonzalez are the only Rockies players to drive in five runs in an inning.
"You play this game a long time you see some things you’ve never seen," Morneau said. "Obviously, having guys on base is important. You wouldn’t expect us to come out against a guy like that who’s got really good stuff. He was a guy we were ready for and we were able to get some hits."
Charlie Blackmon went 5 for 5 with a solo homer as the Rockies took two of three from the Dodgers, who trailed 15-0 after six innings against the team with the worst record in the league.
Morneau had three hits and a sacrifice fly, raising his average to .320 and leaping over Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison for the NL batting lead.
Jorge De La Rosa (14-11) gave up two hits in six scoreless innings to improve to 10-2 at home this season.
"You’ve seen some strange things in this park," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "There’s a lot of game left, and Jorge did a good job of keeping them down."
The hard-throwing Frias didn’t record a traditional out, either, in his 38-pitch appearance. He got one when catcher Tim Federowicz threw out Corey Dickerson on a steal attempt and another when Wilin Rosario tried to score from third on a squeeze play.
"It’s almost like everything you call gets hit," Federowicz said. "Just one of those things."
This hardly looked like the same Dodgers team that was coming off a big series win in San Francisco that included a 17-0 romp over the Giants. Los Angeles is chasing Washington for the best record in the NL.
The Dodgers needed an eight-run sixth inning to get by the Rockies on Monday, and then stranded runner after runner Tuesday in a 10-4 loss.
Once the Rockies roughed up Frias, Mattingly steadily began taking out his position players as the Rockies set a season high for runs.
"I was just getting guys off their feet," Mattingly said.
Dodgers: SS Hanley Ramirez wasn’t in the starting lineup for a second straight day due to a strained right elbow. Mattingly said he thinks Ramirez will be ready to play in Chicago.
Rockies: 3B Nolan Arenado remains sidelined with a bruised chest and pneumonia.
Dodgers: RHP Zack Greinke (15-8) takes the mound Thursday to begin a four-game series in Chicago against the Cubs. The righty needs nine strikeouts to reach 200 for the season.
Rockies: LHP Yohan Flande (0-5) moves back into the rotation after spending the last month as a reliever. He’ll try for his first major league win when the Rockies host Arizona on Thursday.
ON THIS DATE
Former Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo threw the only no-hitter at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996, in a 9-0 win.