Tough to get excited in baseball about one performance or even a good beginning to one.
Dan Haren was coming off his best start of the year, and Saturday came back with his worst. Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, who had been miserable against the Dodgers throughout his career, gave up two quick runs in the first inning and then held them scoreless.
After a run at the Colorado bullpen that fell just short, it added up to an 8-7 victory for the Rockies at Coors Field, slowing the Dodgers’ recent charge in the National League West.
Haren threw seven scoreless innings in his last outing against the Indians, allowing just one hit, but was nowhere near that level in his first game against the Rockies this season.
In his 5 1/3 innings, Haren (8-5) gave up eight runs and 10 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight, but giving up 10 hits early tends to do in a pitcher. Particularly when two are homers.
De La Rosa came into the game with a bad history against the Dodgers (3-10, 6.25 ERA in 19 games) and then started living up to it.
Yasiel Puig led off with an infield single that shortstop Josh Rutledge threw away for an error to advance Puig to second. Hanley Ramirez doubled Puig home and scored on Juan Uribe’s single.
It was the only time the Dodgers would score against De La Rosa (9-6) in his six innings.
But the Rockies tied the score with two in the bottom of the first, took the lead when they scored three times with two outs in the third (two on Drew Stubbs’ homer), added one more on a Corey Dickerson solo homer in the fifth and scored two more that would prove decisive in the sixth.
At that point, the Rockies seemed somewhat comfortably ahead, 8-2.
But that brought an end to the day for De La Rosa, and the Dodgers immediately went to work against Colorado’s sketchy bullpen, scoring five times in a wild top of the seventh inning.
It started with a ground-rule double by A.J. Ellis, a walk to Miguel Rojas, a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Clint Robinson, a run-scoring double by Puig and then a passed ball by reliever Nick Masset, which would be his last pitch.
Ramirez greeted reliever Boone Logan with an RBI single, before Logan fired a wild pitch and gave up walks to Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp to load the bases. The Rockies then went to their third reliever of the game, Adam Ottavino, who got Uribe to hit into a double play that scored a run to pull the Dodgers within one.
The Dodgers would get no closer, unable to score again against the Colorado bullpen.
They did prevent the Rockies from scoring after Brandon League walked Wilin Rosario to lead off the eighth inning. A wild pitch by League moved Rosario to second before Stubbs sent a fly ball to right. Puig initially misjudged the ball and started in. Realizing his mistake, he retreated and made a terrific over-the-head catch. Rosario, thinking there was no way Puig could make up for his initial mistake, headed for third.
But Puig fired to the cutoff man, Ramirez, who easily threw to Uribe covering third for the double play.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save.