LA-Colorado: Vicente Padilla Wins Opener with Dodgers, 3-2

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LA-Colorado: Vicente Padilla Wins Opener with Dodgers, 3-2

The Los Angeles Dodgers have seen a 15 1/2 game lead dwindle to a slim three-game margin over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West, but on Thursday they added a game to the division lead in the rubber match of the series at Coors Field.

The Rockies (72-56) had the tying run on base in the six, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, but couldn’t convert as the Dodgers bullpen made an impressive statement in the 3-2 win.

Hong Chi-Kuo struck out the side in the sixth and George Sherrill struck out Seth Smith in the seventh.

Jonathan Broxton came on with two outs in the eighth to retire the final batter, and then struck out back-to-back hitters to end the game with runners on first and second.

When all was said and done, the bullpen worked four scoreless innings and preserved the one-run lead despite numerous pressure-filled situations.

As they have done all season long, and in each of the first two games in the series, the Dodgers (76-52) put runs on the board in the first-inning.

Rafael Furcal led off the game with a walk, and then Matt Kemp stepped up and launched a hanging breaking ball into orbit, his first of three hits on the day.

The high blast, Kemp’s 19th of the season, sailed high into the left-center field bleachers and put Los Angeles in front 2-0 before even recording an out.

With Kemp’s homer, the Dodgers have now outscored opponents 95-40 in the opening frame this season.

The Blue Crew failed to take advantage of a bases loaded situation in the fifth.

James Loney struck out looking on a fastball at the knees, much to his dismay, to strand three Dodgers on the base paths.

Last night, Loney hit a key three-run home run to break the game open and secure a 6-1 win.

The Dodgers left runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, and fifth, going 0-for-8, but finally broke through in the sixth.

Orlando Hudson got things going with a single and was advanced to second on a bunt by Brad Ausmus.

One batter later, Furcal, batting .167 in his past 17 games, bounced a single into center field to score Hudson and push the Dodgers in front 3-2, and put Vicente Padilla in position for the win. 

Padilla, who made his first start as a Dodger, had a cushion before he took the rubber.

The Rockies had a chance to mount a rally in the bottom of the first, but a base-running mistake by Todd Helton slipped Padilla out of a possible jam.

Colorado scored two runs in the third to knot the game at 2-2.

Smith lined a triple into the right field corner, and after a Helton walk, Tulowitzki blooped an RBI single into shallow left field between three pursuing Dodgers for the tying run.

Padilla worked five innings and gave up just the two runs on six hits, striking out four batters.

The Dodgers will now head to Cincinnati to face the Reds for a three-game weekend tilt, where Chad Billingsley (12-7, 3.73) will take on the Reds’ Homer Bailey (3-4, 6.82) in Friday night’s opener.

 

 

 

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WP: Padilla (1-0)

LP: De La Rosa (12-9)

SV: Broxton (28) 

 

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

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