Dodgers-Rockies: Rafael Furcal Singles Home Lone Run, LA Wins 1-0

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJuly 1, 2009

The series trend of low-scoring games continued on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match between the Los Angeles Dodgers (50-29) and Colorado Rockies (41-37).

The Dodgers were unable to give Clayton Kershaw any run support, but still became the first team in the Majors to reach 50 wins.

Rafael Furcal singled home the lone run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Dodgers a 1-0 win.

Kershaw hurled five innings of one-hit ball without allowing a run, but left the game in a scoreless tie.

In his last four starts, including today, Kershaw has thrown three scoreless outings and has allowed only two earned runs in his past 22 2/3 innings.

In his career against the Rockies, Kershaw was 2-3 with a 7.30 ERA entering Wednesday, but had not faced them at Dodgers Stadium since last June.

Despite being wild at times, Kershaw actually had very good stuff on a warm day in Los Angeles.

The lone hit against him was a first inning two-out double by Brad Hawpe, but Kershaw got the next batter, Garrett Atkins, to pop out and end the inning.

He struck out five Rockies, but his pitch count was elevated by the free passes, throwing 97 pitches in five innings of work.

Young Clayton was ushered to the showers earlier than he would have liked because of a season-high five walks. He has walked four batters seven times this season.

Two of the base on balls issued came against opposing pitcher Jason Hammel.
In addition to reaching base twice, Hammel threw a gem of his own.

The 6’6” righty was a reliever earlier in the season and actually threw two scoreless innings against the Dodgers on April 18.

Since his move to the starting rotation, Hammel has excelled. In the month of June he was 5-0 entering Wednesday’s contest.

On Wednesday, Hammel was effective at keeping the Dodgers offense off-balance with a 12-to-6 curveball that he was throwing for strikes the entire day.

The highlight of his outing came when he struck out Orlando Hudson in the bottom of the fourth.

Hammel tossed a 3-2 breaking ball that appeared to be coming in at the letters, but as it crossed home plate, it broke nearly a foot downwards to catch Hudson looking.

After the first nine Dodgers went down in order, Juan Pierre reached base on a Troy Tulowitzki error at shortstop. The error added to a poor series performance for Tulowitzki, who despite hitting .321 in the month of June, went 0-13 with eight strikeouts in the past three games against the Dodgers.

Hammel finally lost the no-hitter when James Loney broke through for the Dodgers with a line drive double down the left field line to leadoff the fifth but was left on the base paths without crossing the plate.

The Rockies were just unable to provide Hammel with any runs. Hammel threw an eight-inning complete game, but took his fourth loss of the season despite allowing just one run on five hits.

Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso worked three innings of scoreless relief.

Belisario tossed two innings and has now allowed zero earned runs in his past 12 outings, spanning a period of 13 2/3 innings pitched.

Troncoso has not given up a run in 16 of his past 18 relief appearances. The two have turned into the workhorses for the Dodgers bullpen this season and are providing much needed middle and late-inning help for a struggling Dodgers offense.

The bullpen was spectacular in the series, throwing 12 scoreless innings while striking out 19 Rockies hitters.

Brad Ausmus got the start behind the dish for the Dodgers and went 2-for-3. Yesterday, AJ Ellis started at catcher.

Joe Torre is trying to give regular starter Russell Martin some much needed rest in order freshen his legs and allow him to come back be effective on the offensive side. 

Ausmus led off the eighth with a single to right field. After being moved up to second  on a sacrifice bunt by Juan Castro, Martin was sent in to run for the slower veteran catcher.

Rafael Furcal then pinch-hit for Troncoso and lined a breaking ball down the right field line for an RBI single, plating Martin and bringing and end to a 16 1/3 innings scoreless streak for the Dodgers.

Big Jonathan Broxton came on in the ninth and put the Rockies down one-two-three to secure his 19th save of the season.

The victory gave the Dodgers their first series win in nearly two weeks since they took 2-of-3 against the Los Angeles Angels from June 19-21.

              1      2      3       4       5       6       7      8       9            R     H    E
COL        0      0      0       0       0       0       0      0       0            0     3     1
LA          0      0      0       0       0       0       0       1      -             1     5     0

WP: Troncoso (2-0)
LP: Hammel (5-4)
SV: Broxton (19)

Notes from Wednesday afternoon:


Fanning The Rox
The Dodgers struck out 10 Rockies batters on Wednesday. Dodgers’ pitchers struck out 38 Rockies during the three-game series.


Manny Returning Just in the Nick of Time
Today marked the final game of Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension. His bat will be a welcome addition to a Dodgers offense that has gone quiet for the past week.

Since Andre Ethier’s three home run, six RBI output on Friday notched an 8-2 win against the Seattle Mariners, the Dodgers have scored just eight runs.

The run totals for each game have been one, two, four, zero, and one, respectively.

Manny will return to the lineup on Friday when the Dodgers travel to San Diego to take on the Padres at PETCO Park.


Looking Ahead

Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.77 ERA) will face off against Chad Gaudin (4-6, 4.97 ERA) on Friday night in San Diego.

The Dodgers will play a three-game weekend series against the Padres and then take Monday as a travel day so they can head out to the east coast and face the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers for three games apiece.

The Blue Crew won’t return to Dodger Stadium until after the All-Star break on July 16.


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