Gray outduels Maeda as Rockies top Dodgers

Gray outduels Maeda as Rockies top Dodgers

DENVER -- The Dodgers were already showing signs of diminished offense on the just-completed homestand, but Monday night they barely scored at Coors Field, beaten in the series opener by the Rockies, 8-1, as Kenta Maeda's five-decision win streak was snapped.

Nick Hundley slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu doubled home two in a five-run seventh and Jon Gray (9-6) outdueled Maeda (13-8) with six scoreless innings as the Dodgers' lead in the National League West was trimmed to 1 1/2 games over the idle Giants.

"Overall I thought I pitched pretty well," said Maeda. "That one pitch, a slider, was definitely a mistake pitch. I always want to pitch longer, but that one pitch led to the team losing. It was very regrettable."

Maeda was recalled before the game after a three-day option to the Minor Leagues, as the Dodgers exploited a roster-rule loophole so they could add Brock Stewart to start Sunday's game. Stewart pitched five scoreless innings for a no-decision in a 1-0 win over the Cubs. Maeda suffered his first loss since July 17.

Hundley's homer breaks the ice

With team RBI leader Justin Turner getting a rest, the Dodgers had baserunners each of the first seven innings, but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11. The Dodgers have scored 10 runs in the last six games after scoring 27 runs in the previous two games.

Gray pitched six shutout innings -- his fourth scoreless performance of the season and first since his Aug. 2 start against the Dodgers. He limited them to four hits and struck out eight while walking three.

"I like the fact that the curveball is a weapon for him," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "In Spring Training it was brand new, and it was hit and miss. It's become a weapon for him, and it creates some separation in velocity and changes eye levels. It's been a good pitch, and I thought he used it well tonight."

Weiss on Gray, victory

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Milestone day: Gerardo Parra's seventh-inning RBI single brought his career hit total to 1,000, making him the third active Rockies hitter to reach that milestone along with Carlos Gonzalez (1,122) and Mark Reynolds (1,061). Hundley picked up his 600th hit on his homer, and rookie Stephen Cardullo collected his first hit with a pinch-hit single through the left side in the eighth inning.

"GP and Dully, that's really special any time you get your first Major League hit," Hundley said. "And 1,000? You've got to play a long time. That's a lot of hits. That's really cool." More »

Parra's 1,000th hit

Setting the tone: Perhaps the Dodgers' best chance to score before the game got out of hand was in the fifth inning. With one out, Howie Kendrick walked and Corey Seager was hit by a pitch. Adrian Gonzalez then hit a sinking liner that center fielder Charlie Blackmon caught with a sliding catch and Yasmani Grandal flied out to deep right-center to end the inning. More »

Blackmon's sliding grab

Do you feel a breeze? Gray's eight strikeouts tied for the second-most he's racked up in his last 14 starts. He got strikeouts on all four of his pitches -- fastball, slider, changeup and curveball -- while mixing up his location all night. He was able to get swings and misses while mostly staying low in the zone, where he picked up five of his eight punchouts.

"When everything's working, it just makes everything easier," Gray said. "Guys don't get to sit on pitches; they can't eliminate and stick to one. If you have multiple options to go to, it just helps you."

Gray sits down Grandal

No relief: The Dodgers' bullpen came into the game with a 3.25 ERA, best in the NL. But after a scoreless inning by Grant Dayton, Adam Liberatore allowed four runs in one-third of an inning, Pedro Baez one run in two-thirds of an inning and J.P. Howell one run in one inning.

"It got away from us," said Roberts. "I liked the matchup with Grant and we got a scoreless inning there. And this park, if you keep it close, you have a chance, but it just didn't go our way tonight."

Rockies plate five in the 7th

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Arenado's seventh-inning RBI double brought his total for the month to 33. That tied Andres Galarraga's franchise record for August, which was set in 1996.

"It seems like he has impressive months just about every month of the season," Weiss said. "He's a great player, and when he gets rolling, he does things like this and breaks records. He's having a phenomenal season."

Arenado doubles in LeMahieu

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: With an extra day of rest for his blisters, Rich Hill makes his second start for the Dodgers on Tuesday night in the 5:40 p.m. PT game. Hill threw six scoreless innings against the Giants in a clutch debut, but he's 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA in three Coors Field starts, the most recent being in 2008.

Rockies: Left-handed rookie Tyler Anderson will get the call for the Rockies on Tuesday night as they host the Dodgers at 6:40 p.m. MT. He struck out a career-high 10 batters in his last start and held the Dodgers to two runs over seven innings when he faced them earlier this month.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.