Rox battle back, but fall in 13 frames
Taveras scores tying run in 9th; Jimenez lasts 2 1/3 frames
LOS ANGELES -- After 4 hours and 38 minutes, 13 innings and another close loss -- 8-7 to the Dodgers -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle was not in position to wrap his mind around the pressing issue that arose on Friday night.
The game, in front of 53,205 at Dodger Stadium, ended with Russell Martin's bases-loaded sacrifice fly. It included strong Rockies relief pitching and a steady comeback, but it also featured late-innings double-play grounders from two big Rockies hitters -- Matt Holliday in the ninth and Garrett Atkins in the 11th -- and an error by shortstop Clint Barmes that opened the door for the winning run in the 13th.
However, the beginning of the game left Hurdle with a big decision that he wasn't ready to make after the game regarding right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez's future in the starting rotation after giving up six runs in 2 1/3 innings and forcing the bullpen into heavy labor.
"I don't have any comment on that right now," said Hurdle, whose team has lost four of its last five games even though it had opportunities to win them all. "I really haven't had much time to think about it. I haven't gone there."
The Rockies spotted Jimenez leads of 1-0 and 4-1, in a ballpark where runs are often scarce. But Jimenez coughed up both advantages and gave up six runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batsman -- with three wild pitches, one of which let a run score.
Jimenez had the three-run lead going into the third, only to retire just one of the eight men he faced. He left after Juan Pierre's two-run single gave the Dodgers a 6-4 lead. It occurred on a night when even a mediocre performance would have been enough against Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings.
"I wasn't able to execute a pitch down in the strike zone," Jimenez said. "They kept hacking. They got me."
Jimenez hasn't gone more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his starts. Most of the time, he has had several dominating innings before running into trouble. Friday, he threw a quick first inning, then his evening unraveled quickly.
Kip Wells held the Dodgers to one run in 2 2/3 innings and the bullpen pitched the rest of the way without an earned run. Taylor Buchholz (1-2), who yielded one hit and two walks (one intentional) in 2 2/3 innings, took the loss after Matt Kemp reached on an error to open the bottom of the 13th.
The teams combined for 30 hits, 16 by the Dodgers. Martin went 4-for-4 and walked twice. The Rockies' Todd Helton reached five times, on two hits and three walks.
The Dodgers took a 7-6 lead into the ninth, but Ryan Spilborghs drew a leadoff walk from Takashi Saito. Pinch-runner Willy Taveras took third on Scott Podsednik's double and scored on catcher Gary Bennett's passed ball. Saito, however, intentionally walked Helton and forced Holliday into a double-play grounder.
Winning pitcher Chan Ho Park (1-0) walked Helton and gave up a Holliday single to open the 12th, but Atkins, who had three hits, grounded into a double play. Park intentionally walked Brad Hawpe then forced a groundout from catcher Yorvit Torrealba -- who cut down Pierre, Rafael Furcal and Martin on steal attempts when the Dodgers were attempting to move the potential winning run into scoring position.
"We battled, but we had plenty of opportunities to win and we didn't execute," Hurdle said.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.