Dodgers bats are quiet in 5-3 loss to Colorado Rockies
The Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez-less offense was shut down in hitter-friendly Coors Field, held to one run and five hits over the first eight innings of a 5-3 defeat to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
But Manager Joe Torre wasn’t ready to declare that Ramirez’s three-game exile to the bench was over.
“I don’t know yet,” Torre said. “This will make you come back tomorrow. It’s certainly a possibility.
“The danger of my thinking overnight could result in anything.”
The Dodgers’ four-game winning streak, which Torre cited as one of reasons for sitting Ramirez again, was over. Scott Podsednik, whom Torre played instead of Ramirez because he said he liked Podsednik’s energy at the top of the lineup, was 0 for 3.
However, one of the arguments Torre made for Ramirez’s exclusion withstood the defeat: that the spacious outfield in Coors Field could overextend the 38-year-old Ramirez, who has had three stints on the disabled list because of leg problems.
Ramirez, who was claimed by the Chicago White Sox off waivers and could be dealt to them in the coming days, made a cameo appearance Saturday when he pinch-hit for Chad Billingsley in the seventh inning. With two out and Rod Barajas on first base, Ramirez worked the count full but struck out, leaving the Dodgers trailing, 3-1.
The game got out of hand in the bottom half of that inning and did so in more ways than one.
Reliever Ronald Belisario served up a two-run home run to Carlos Gonzalez that extended the Rockies’ lead to 5-1, then hit Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch to get himself thrown out of the game.
The hit batsman was the second of the inning for Belisario, who started the inning by throwing a 95-mph fastball into pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs’ backside.
Belisario looked confused when plate umpire Marty Foster signaled that he was out of the game. Barajas, the catcher, held out his arms and protested.
“I was surprised, yeah,” Belisario said.
“To me, there was no intent whatsoever,” Barajas said of the pitch that grazed the left thigh of Tulowitzki. “If it was behind him or in that kind of territory, there would be suspicion.”
Up to that point, the Dodgers had been kept in the game by Billingsley, who was charged with three runs and five hits over six innings.
The Dodgers handed Billingsley a 1-0 lead in the second inning, when James Loney singled to center field and scored from first base on a double to the right-center field gap by the resurgent Casey Blake.
But the Rockies went ahead, 2-1, in the fourth. Gonzalez led off with a triple and was knocked in by Tulowitzki, who scored on a single by Melvin Mora.
The Rockies extended their advantage to 3-1 when Todd Helton hit a home run to right field.
The home run ended Billingsley’s homerless streak at 92 innings. The last time Billingsley gave up a home run was when he the Arizona Diamondbacks hit three against him May 31 at Dodger Stadium.
“I had pretty good fastball location tonight,” Billingsley said. “The off-speed wasn’t there. You’re going to have days like that.”
With two out in the ninth inning, Barajas closed the Dodgers’ four-run deficit to two runs, as he went deep to left-center field. The home run was the second in four games with the Dodgers for the recently acquired catcher.