Hey, it was a good month. That finale to April left something to be desired, but even after their 6-2 loss to the Rockies in Denver on Monday night snapped their three-game winning streak, it wasn’t like the Dodgers could complain too loudly.
They finished April with a record of 16-7, the best in the National League, and with a 3 ½-game lead in the NL West over the Giants. A year ago, they went 13-14 in April.
The Dodgers had their chances Monday, but couldn’t cash in on an ideal scoring situation in the seventh inning, and were left with a loss to start their six-game trip.
Things started promisingly enough for the Dodgers, as they opened Monday’s action with a continuation of the Matt Kemp Show.
Kemp lined a solo home run the other way, his drive just landing beyond the yellow line in right field. For Kemp, it extended his major-league lead in homers to 12 and tied him with Texas’ Josh Hamilton for the lead in RBI with 25.
It was a brief lead, however, the Rockies scoring in the bottom of the inning against Aaron Harang after Marco Scutaro led off with a double and scored on a pair of groundouts.
It remained a 1-1 game until the Rockies got to Harang for three runs in the fourth inning. Jonathan Herrera singled and Carlos Gonzalez walked, and Troy Tulowitzki doubled both home. Tulowitzki advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Ramon Hernandez sacrifice fly, sliding under the tag ofA.J. Ellis.
The Dodgers got one back in the sixth inning against right-hander Juan Nicasio after James Loney doubled to left and scored on a Juan Uribe single.
Colorado picked up another run in the bottom of the sixth to chase Harang. Gonzalez singled and scored on a Hernandez double to the center-field wall.
Harang was charged with five runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out five.
But the Dodgers blew an ideal situation to get back into the game in the seventh inning, when they loaded the bases with no outs for the heart of their lineup. But Rockies Manager Jim Tracy went to three different relievers -- remember the days? -- to quell the rally.
After Jerry Hairston Jr. and Dee Gordon opened with singles –- Gordon’s hit snapping an 0-for-14 streak -- Esmil Rogers took over for Nicasio and promptly walked Mark Ellis to load the bases for baseball’s hottest hitter.
But Rogers struck out Kemp. Then left-hander Rex Brothers came on to strike out Andre Ethier. And finally Edgmer Escalona got pinch-hitter Juan Rivera to pop up.
That’s bases loaded, no outs, in Denver, with the Dodgers’ top three RBI men –- and nothing.
Nicasio went six-plus innings, and was charged with two runs on nine hits and two walks. He struck out four.