Rockies walk 10 and 6 score in loss to Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) Colorado's pitching staff walked 10 batters, all during a span of five innings, and six of them scored. Without those runs, the Rockies might have avoided a three-game sweep by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Alex White issued consecutive walks in the fifth to load the bases and Bobby Abreu followed with a three-run double, chasing the right-hander and putting the Dodgers ahead to stay. Matt Reynolds walked another later that inning, and A.J. Ellis made him pay with a three-run homer that helped Ted Lilly send the Rockies to an 11-5 loss on Sunday.
"There's no way of saying it nicely. That's awful," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "There's not a whole lot else to say. You walk nine guys form the fifth inning on, I don't care where you play, you're going to lose."
White (0-2) was charged with six runs, five hits and three walks over 4 1-3 innings in his second start of the season for the Rockies, who are languishing a season-worst 9 1/2 games off the pace.
Abreu, who signed with the Dodgers on May 4 after he was released by the Angels, was the only Dodger who had ever faced White in a regular-season game previously. His clutch opposite-field hit to left-center came on a 2-0 pitch.
"Sometimes he throws sinkers and changeups. But he didn't have good control today, so you have to be patient and wait for him to leave the ball up," Abreu said. "I was just looking for a fastball, something I could drive to the outfield, and he threw me a fastball middle-away."
Reynolds relieved White and threw a called third strike past cleanup hitter Andre Ethier, who was ejected by umpire Mark Carlson for arguing about it. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came to his defense and was tossed as well. It was the second career ejection for Ethier, who came in leading the NL with 32 RBIs. But Ellis' homer more than made up for it.
The Dodgers didn't spend much time celebrating the victory, though. All their attention was focused on whether slugger Matt Kemp will miss any time. Kemp, who leads the club with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning.
Lilly (5-0) overcame a shaky start, allowing five runs - four earned - and six hits over 6 1-3 innings after giving up singles to each of his first four batters. The 36-year-old left-hander, who began the season on the disabled list because of a strained neck, has won his first five decisions for the first time in his career.
Tony Gwynn Jr., whose father won five Gold Gloves as a right fielder with San Diego, shifted from left to center after Kemp's departure and robbed Carlos Gonzalez of extra bases with a fully extended dive for a backhand grab in left-center.
"The ball always seems to find you, whether it's a defensive substitution or moving over from left to center. It's funny how that works," Gwynn said. "It's almost like a test, to see if you're paying attention. I'd be lying if I said I knew I was going to have a shot to catch it, because I was playing over in right-center. Once you leave your feet, you're just hoping the ball will stay in your glove."
Notes: Colorado CF Dexter Fowler left the game after in the fourth inning because of blurred vision, the result of a throw to second by catcher Ellis that struck him as he advanced on White's bunt in front of the plate. ... Rockies regular cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki batted fifth for the first time this season with Todd Helton getting the day off. Tulowitzki has gone 10 games and 41 at-bats without an RBI since his two-run double against Aaron Harang on April 30 at Coors Field. ... Helton, whose 45 home runs against the Dodgers are more than he's hit against any other team, is homerless in his last 31 at-bats against them since his solo shot against Lilly at Coors Field on Aug. 20, 2011. ... Four of the position players in Colorado's starting lineup came in with a career average below .200 against Lilly - Fowler (3 for 22), Tulowitzki (4 for 29 with 11 strikeouts), Michael Cuddyer (2 for 12) and Marco Scutaro (2 for 14). ... White's second-inning double was the second extra-base hit by a Rockies pitcher. The other was a home run by Drew Pomeranz, who was optioned to Triple-A on Friday. ... Lilly, who allowed an average of 27 home runs over the previous nine seasons, has given up only one in a span of 317 batters and 80 2-3 innings. The only blemish was a two-run shot by Gonzalez on May 1 at Coors Field.
Updated May 13, 2012