Blackmon came inches away from snagging Guerrero's slam off Betancourt
By Dargan Southard
DENVER -- One strike away from a doubleheader sweep. One strike away from another comeback win. One strike away from no longer owning sole possession of last place.
That's what the Rockies' ninth-inning agenda looked like as veteran reliever Rafael Betancourt prepared to deliver a two-out, two-strike pitch to Dodgers utility man Alex Guerrero with the bases loaded. But the fastball caught the plate. Charlie Blackmon's leaping effort was not quite enough, and Guerrero's first career grand slam was the crushing blow in the Rockies' 9-8 loss on Tuesday at Coors Field.
DENVER -- Trailing by three, Alex Guerrero launched a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning off Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt, handing the Dodgers an improbable 9-8 comeback victory over Colorado in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader at Coors Field.
With closer John Axford unavailable after saving Game 1, the Rockies turned to Betancourt (2-2) with an 8-5 lead, and things quickly turned sour for the veteran reliever. The Dodgers opened the inning with three straight singles, but Betancourt managed to retire the next two hitters without giving up a run.
DENVER -- Michael McKenry homered, doubled and drove in three runs on Tuesday, while Jorge De La Rosa pitched six innings in a quality start as the Rockies beat the Dodgers, 6-3, in the first game of a doubleheader, making up a May 9 rainout.
"I swung at a bad pitch [earlier in the count], and I was just telling myself to slow down," McKenry said of his home run. "A curveball was left up, and I was able to drive it. I was very fortunate."
Wednesday's series finale at Coors Field will feature a matchup of starting-pitching surprises this season -- Colorado's Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.96 ERA) against the Dodgers' Mike Bolsinger (3-1, 1.15).
Los Angeles acquired Bolsinger from Arizona for cash in the offseason, and he's been a fantastic find. The Dodgers right-hander hasn't yielded more than two runs in any of his five starts this season, and his 1.15 ERA tops all of the club's starters, including Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
A cut on his left middle finger scratched the Rockies left-hander from two starts last week, but De La Rosa finally returned to the mound in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. He sifted through a treacherous fifth inning with limited damage and ultimately pitched six quality frames, propelling Colorado to a 6-3 win over the Dodgers at Coors Field.
Arenado picked up nearly 270,000 votes and moved up one spot since last Wednesday's update. He's currently fourth among National League third basemen after passing the Mets' David Wright, but Arenado still trails the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter by nearly 1.4 million votes.
Fighting plantar fasciitis, Rox outfielder remains without timetable after running
By Dargan Southard
DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson ran the bases on Monday, but there is still no immediate timetable for his return as he continues to work his way back from the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
"It went pretty well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before Tuesday's doubleheader against the Dodgers. "But other than that, we don't have anything mapped out for him."
DENVER -- The Dodgers broke loose with a six-run sixth inning, and starter Clayton Kershaw continued his pitching dominance, helping Los Angeles to an 11-4 victory over the Rockies in Monday's series opener at Coors Field.
Tied at 2, the Dodgers sent 12 men to the plate and banged out seven hits in the sixth -- the most emphatic coming on Joc Pederson's three-run homer off reliever Christian Friedrich. That gave Los Angeles a 7-2 lead and was more than enough cushion for Kershaw (4-3), who yielded just five hits and two runs over seven innings.
In the fourth inning, Arenado launched a 95-mph fastball from Clayton Kershaw into the center-field seats for an emphatic two-run homer. The blast was projected by Statcast™ to land 431 feet from home plate and signaled Arenado's sixth homer in his last eight games.
DENVER -- Not a ton of balls were hit particularly hard off Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick, and the ones that were did minimal damage to the scoreboard.
But the Dodgers rattled the right-hander early with two solo home runs and did enough in the sixth inning to knock Kendrick out before opening the floodgates in the Rockies' 11-4 loss on Monday night at Coors Field, which also brought an end to Kendrick's recent string of successful starts.
DENVER -- The Rockies placed right-hander Jordan Lyles on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a sprained left toe -- a move that came just one day after his second consecutive injury-shortened start. Colorado also recalled right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Lyles originally sprained his toe on May 23 against the Giants, causing him to exit after just four innings. His next start was scheduled for last Friday in Philadelphia, but Lyles was pushed back to Sunday, where he faced just six hitters before leaving the game.
DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss on Monday confirmed that right-hander David Hale will start one of the games in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Dodgers as the 26th man, but Weiss wasn't sure which game it would be.
"Hale and [Jorge] De La Rosa [will start on Tuesday], but I'm not sure in what order yet," Weiss said before Monday's series opener.
DENVER -- Rockies outfield prospect David Dahl was "resting comfortably" Monday night after undergoing surgery to remove his spleen, his agents announced.
Dahl suffered a lacerated spleen in a collision with a teammate on Thursday while playing a home game for Double-A New Britain and underwent surgery. However, he decided to have the splenectomy because he hopes to return this season. Dahl likely would have missed the remainder of the season had he waited for the repaired spleen to heal.
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies left-hander Chris Rusin replaced injured starter Jordan Lyles and held the Phillies scoreless for 4 2/3 innings of a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.
"I knew I was going to be the first guy out of the 'pen, so I was already aware, stretched and ready to go," said Rusin (1-0). "It was tough, but I was fortunate enough to throw strikes, keep the ball down and get early contact."
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies closer John Axford dealt with a couple of baserunners and had catcher Nick Hundley needing to spring from his crouch to catch a couple of his ninth-inning pitches on Saturday. Yet, the game never felt like it was slipping, and Axford earned his ninth save in as many chances in the 5-2 victory over the Phillies.
Going into Sunday, Axford earned saves in the Rockies' last four wins, and had appeared in three straight games and five of the last seven.
PHILADELPHIA -- Eddie Butler may not have expected to start Saturday, but his performance proved he was ready.
Thanks in large part to the efficient work of Butler, who was a last-minute substitution for scheduled starter Jorge De La Rosa, the Rockies continued their winning ways Saturday, defeating the Phillies 5-2.
Butler faced the Phillies' Ryan Howard with two out and two on in the third inning, after a walk to Chase Utley. Howard had bested Butler for a first-inning RBI double, and homered off him when the teams met earlier this month. Catcher Michael McKenry checked Butler's temperature.
PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Paulsen was ready to help the Rockies when they summoned him from Albuquerque, partly because his Triple-A manager, Glenallen Hill, wanted him to do something more than just wait for a phone call.
"The last week I was down there in Triple-A, he challenged me as a hitter to be on balance," Paulsen said. "Even if you're fooled, be on your legs. He challenged me, saying, 'I don't care if you're 0 for your next 15 at-bats, I want you to really be on balance.'"
PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies on Saturday scratched left-hander Jorge De La Rosa for the second straight start because of a cut on his left middle finger. Righty Eddie Butler, who was originally scheduled to pitch Monday, started in his place this afternoon against the Phillies.
De La Rosa (1-2, 6.51 ERA) suffered the cut during a pregame bullpen session before a start against the Phillies on May 21, and he lasted just 4 1/3 innings after giving up three runs on five hits in a no-decision. The Rockies pulled De La Rosa from his scheduled start Tuesday at Cincinnati. The Rockies called up lefty Chris Rusin from Triple-A Albuquerque, and he held the Reds to one earned run, four hits, four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
PHILADELPHIA -- If Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is awful in warmups, look out.
An awful bullpen before Sunday's start against the Giants preceded a performance in which he took a shutout into the ninth. Of Friday night's pregame bullpen, Bettis said, "This was by tenfold worse. Coming into the game, there was nothing that was working for me."
PHILADELPHIA -- The problem with breaking down Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's season-long slump and home run drought is he has the power to change things quickly.
Tulowitzki entered Friday with a .266 batting average and no homers in 91 at-bats, 96 plate appearances. By the third inning, he had hit two solo homers, and he finished 4-for-5 in the Rockies' 4-1 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis took a perfect game into the seventh and no-hitter into the eighth as the Rockies defeated the Phillies, 4-1, at Citizens Bank Park on Friday.
Bettis (2-0), who took a shutout into the ninth inning Sunday, but gave up two runs in a win over the Giants was even more special Friday -- allowing two hits in eight scoreless innings, with seven strikeouts. For a while, he was bidding to join ex-Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez as the only Rockies members of the no-hit club. Jimenez threw his on the road against the Braves on April 17, 2010. Bettis finished with 66 strikes in 104 pitches.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies clarified on Friday that outfield prospect David Dahl underwent surgery Thursday to repair his spleen, but did not have a concussion or a broken rib as feared.
Dahl, the Rockies' No. 2 prospect this season according to MLB.com and the team's No. 1 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, collided with a teammate while chasing a popup while playing for Double-A New Britain in a home game Tuesday. Dahl left the field under his own power, but later was rushed to a local hospital, where surgery was performed.
PHILADELPHIA -- Brandon Barnes had been a Major Leaguer since 2013 and Wilin Rosario since '12, yet each was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque this season. Such a demotion challenges a player's attitude and work ethic, but both came through it better players.
Sent down to begin the season because the Rockies decided to go with four outfielders, Barnes batted .205 with Albuquerque, but he used the time to become comfortable with new batting mechanics. He has hit .429 with a 1.074 OPS, and he has a hit in seven of his nine games since being recalled.