Ball doesn't bounce Ubaldo's way in loss
Deflected RBI hit spoils Rox righty's bid for seventh win
LOS ANGELES -- A fastball around 100 mph and devastating breaking pitches are pretty much givens when the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez pitches. They were present Sunday. Yet, for the first time in seven starts this season, he lost.
"My glove," Jimenez said. "It betrayed me."
Jimenez struck out five and held the Dodgers to two hits in seven innings, but one of the hits bounced off his glove to drive in the only run against him. Russell Martin added an eighth-inning home run off Matt Daley as the Dodgers won, 2-0.
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (2-2) struck out nine and held the Rockies to two hits, but to say there was much difference in effectiveness between him and Jimenez (6-1) would be splitting hairs.
"You could make a case for the fact that Ubaldo Jimenez would have hit for himself in the eighth inning and would have gone out to hit for himself in the bottom of the eighth with a no-hitter," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who watched Jimenez throw his no-hitter against the Braves on April 17. "He left a changeup up to Blake DeWitt, and the comebacker that Jamey Carroll hit, we've seen him field hundreds of them."
The loss left the Rockies 4-5 on a National League West road trip. They return to Coors on Monday to begin a seven-game homestand (three against the Phillies, followed by four against the Nationals) at 15-16.
It's not where preseason forecasts had them, but no one anticipated being without starting pitchers Jeff Francis (left shoulder), Jorge De La Rosa (left middle finger) and Jason Hammel (right groin), as well as closer Huston Street (shoulder) right fielder Brad Hawpe (left quadriceps) at this point.
The injury situation will improve this week with Hammel and Hawpe returning and Francis and Street moving closer. There could be another hiccup, however; shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left Sunday's game with a right quadriceps strain and is listed as day-to-day.
Both hits off Jimenez came in the third inning. DeWitt's led off the inning. Had Jimenez fielded the Carroll hit, chances are DeWitt would have been erased at third base. As it turned out, he was able to make it home before Rockies second baseman Clint Barmes could retrieve the redirected ball.
"That's just part of the game; you're going to win or lose," said Jimenez, who was trying to become the first Major League pitcher to reach seven wins. "That's too bad."
The Rockies had their chance against Kershaw, who demonstrated Sunday why he is always on the list of baseball's top young pitchers along with Jimenez. Kershaw had given up seven runs and five hits in 1 1/3 innings to the Brewers in his previous start.
"This kid is special," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "And the indication of that is how he rebounds from disasters.
"He's got the ability to be that guy. He's still got some maturing. When I say maturing, I'm not talking about emotionally. I'm just talking about knowing his ability."
In the first inning, Kershaw walked Dexter Fowler with one out and, after striking out Todd Helton, gave up a Tulowitzki bunt single and walked Ryan Spilborghs. Kershaw caught Ian Stewart looking at a curveball that the Rockies thought was inside. After that 30-pitch first inning, he gave the Rockies little chance.
The other Rockies hit off Kershaw was Stewart's infield roller to DeWitt at second base in the fourth. It wasn't until Barmes flied to center to open the eighth that the Rockies forced an outfielder to make a play behind Kershaw.
The Rockies put runners at the corners in the ninth, but Jonathan Broxton (third save) coaxed a fly ball from Stewart.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.