Rockies return to winning ways
DENVER (AP) – Alex White delivered a win, and a much-needed day off for some of Colorado’s relievers.
White gave the overworked Rockies bullpen a bit of rest, pitching shutout ball into the seventh inning Sunday in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Rockies took two of three from the NL West leaders. White (2-3) gave up two runs and two hits in 6 2-3 innings.
“That’s the best game he’s pitched since he’s worn a Rockies uniform. He was terrific,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. “He broke bats, got ground balls. A lot of what you saw today is what is capable of coming out on a regular basis once we get to that point.”
White, acquired last July in the deadline deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland, made his 13th start for the Rockies and sixth this year.
White said “fastball command without a doubt” was the difference between this and his past starts. Not going over his head with his hands in his delivery, White said, helped him to stay balanced and be “better able to consistent in my delivery.”
After reliever Rex Brothers gave up a hit in the seventh, Matt Belisle retired the four batters he faced.
Rafael Betancourt, pitching for the first time in six days, set down the side in order in the ninth to earn his 10th save. A.J. Ellis, who had homered earlier, was the second batter Betancourt faced and drove a fly to deep left that Carlos Gonzalez caught on the warning track.
Asked whether he thought he just yielded a game-tying homer, Betancourt said, “Here in Denver, sometimes you never know.”
“I started looking at that ball and I was watching Carlos and when I saw him kind of slow down and get to the warning track, I said, “OK, that ball is in the park.”‘
Colorado starters had combined for a total of five innings in the first two games of the series. Josh Outman reached a pitch limit after 3 1-3 innings in his first start this season Friday, then a knee injury forced Juan Nicasio out after 1 2-3 innings Saturday.
White restored some order to the rotation.
“He’s kind of a spray painter. He’s not a guy that’s sitting there hitting spots,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “His ball just has movement.”
The Rockies scored an unearned run in the first, aided by Ellis’ passed ball, and added two more runs in the sixth with two out on a single by Todd Helton and a double by Jordan Pacheco.
Nathan Eovaldi (0-2) lost in his second start since being recalled to replace injured Ted Lilly in the Dodgers’ rotation.
White held the Dodgers scoreless until the seventh when he walked James Loney with one out and Ellis hit a two-run homer down the left-field line.
After White issued his season-high fifth walk to Adam Kennedy with two outs, he was pulled. Brothers gave up an infield hit to Dee Gordon and Belisle came on to face pinch hitter Alex Castellanos.
Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, shading Castellanos up the middle and on the edge of the outfield, made a backhanded stop of his hard grounder and pumped his fist after throwing to first for the final out of the inning.
White held the Dodgers hitless until Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded a single into left field with two out in the fourth. In the sixth, White walked Bobby Abreu with two out, and he stole second. But White retired Andre Ethier on a fly out.
The Rockies’ unearned run in the first was scored by Dexter Fowler, who led off with a single and stole second. After moving to third on a passed ball, Fowler scored when third baseman Elian Herrera made a sprawling stop of Marco Scutaro’s hard grounder but had no play at home and instead threw to first.
Fowler’s hit was the Rockies only one through four innings.
Pacheco’s double in the sixth finished Eovaldi, who threw 102 pitches in 5 2-3 innings. White came within one out of matching his career high of seven innings and got 13 outs on ground balls.
NOTES: The Rockies stopped the second rehab assignment of pitcher Jorge De La Rosa because of a slight fluid buildup in his repaired left elbow. Trainer Keith Dugger said this sort of inflammation is not uncommon when coming back from Tommy John surgery, which De La Rosa underwent one year ago Sunday. He will undergo a precautionary MRI on Monday and must be idle for a week before beginning another rehab assignment. His initial rehab assignment was halted May 19 due to left forearm inflammation. … Nicasio (strained left knee), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday will undergo a precautionary MRI on Monday. … Gordon was back in the leadoff spot for the Dodgers on Sunday for the first time since May 19. He had been switched to No. 8 in the order but was returned to the top spot after batting .308 in the last 10 days. … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said outfielder Juan Rivera, on the 15-day disabled list since May 9 with a hamstring strain, could be activated as soon as Monday, when the team opens a four-game series against the Phillies.
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