Dodgers Rally To Take Opener In Colorado

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Grand Slam By Blake Caps Rally, Dodgers Win 6-2

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Casey Blake's grand slam off Matt Belisle in the eighth inning gave the Dodgers a 6-2 victory over the Rockies in the opener of a three-game series between the National League West foes.

The grand slam was part of a five-run frame that handed Ubaldo Jimenez (17-5) his third straight losing decision.

Los Angeles' top three hitters -- Scott Podsednik, Ryan Theriot and Andre Ethier -- each had two hits and, as did Blake in the club's fourth straight win.

Jonathan Broxton (5-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win behind Clayton Kershaw, who allowed a run on five hits and two walks while fanning six in as many innings.

Jimenez, looking for a franchise-record 18th win of the season, was charged with three runs on nine hits and three walks in seven-plus innings for the Rockies, who had their four-game win streak snapped.

Colorado relievers pitched 7 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 12-10 comeback victory over Atlanta, and as a result, manager Jim Tracy opted to extend Jimenez's outing despite the ace throwing 114 pitches heading into the eighth with a 1-0 lead.

Podsednik opened the frame with a single, then swiped second. Theriot worked a walk, and Ethier followed with a two-base gapper to right, tying the game.

Belisle was called in to fan the flames and got Matt Kemp to hit a harmless grounder to short for the first out. James Loney was given a free pass to load the bases in front of Blake, who launched a payoff pitch into the seats in center for his fifth career grand slam and first with LA.

Melvin Mora made it a 5-2 game with an RBI single off Broxton in the bottom half, but the visitors got the run back in the ninth when Kemp's single scored Theriot. Hong-Chih Kuo, who recorded the final out in the eighth, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win and his sixth save.

Todd Helton's two-out, opposite-field homer in the second accounted for the only run in the first seven frames.

The Dodgers have reportedly placed starting pitcher Ted Lilly and outfielder Manny Ramirez on waivers. The White Sox have apparently been awarded a waiver claim on the latter and have until Tuesday to complete a deal for the slugger...Jimenez took his first loss in 12 home starts this season...Kershaw has allowed just three earned runs in 26 innings against the Rockies this year...Belisle had not allowed an earned run in his 14 previous apperances.

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Tonight's Dodgers-Rockies Lineups: Manny Ramirez Sits

Here are tonight’s lineups at Coors Field. Manny Ramirez is not in the Dodgers lineup, as the Dodgers are in discussions with the White Sox, who were awarded the waiver claim on Ramirez earlier today.

Dodgers
Podsednik LF
Theriot 2B
Ethier RF
Kemp CF
Loney 1B
Blake 3B
Carroll SS
Barajas C
Kershaw P

Rockies
Young Jr. 2B
Fowler CF
Gonzalez LF
Tulowitzki SS
Mora 3B
Helton 1B
Spilborghs RF
Olivo C
Jimenez P

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Rockies Make A Few Roster Moves Before Tonight's Opener With Dodgers

The Rockies will make a pair of roster moves before tonight’s game with the Dodgers, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post:

The Rockies will make two roster moves prior to today’s game against the Dodgers, adding Samuel Deduno and Franklin Morales to the bullpen, while placing Manuel Corpas (elbow) on the disabled list and Barmes on the bereavement list.

Clint Barmes had been losing playing time at second base recently to Eric Young, Jr., and in the series at Dodger Stadium last week Young started two of three games at second base.

Deduno, if he pitches, will be making his major league debut.

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Outstanding Pitching Matchup Opens Dodgers Series In Colorado

(Sports Network) - A pair of NL West foes trying to keep their postseason hopes intact collide tonight in the Rocky Mountains, where the Colorado Rockies begin a three-game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field.

Colorado has won four straight and completed a three-game sweep of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves with a 12-10 victory Wednesday in Denver. Seth Smith homered and finished with two RBI, while Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez each provided two RBI for the Rockies, who erased a nine-run deficit in the win and are now four games off the lead in the NL Wild Card race.

Todd Helton recorded three hits and knocked in a run during Colorado's four- run eighth inning. Matt Belisle threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the win and starter Esmil Rogers lasted only 1 2/3 frames, giving up seven runs and eight hits with three strikeouts in the no-decision.

"We're definitely going to keep our heads up and battle all the way," Helton said. "We know we're still in it, and we know we're never out of it."

The Rockies have a good chance at staying within striking distance of a playoff spot with Ubaldo Jimenez set to take the hill Friday. Jimenez is tied with CC Sabathia (Yankees) and Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) for the major league lead in wins with 17, but was denied his 18th victory of the season last Saturday in a 3-1 loss to the lowly Diamondbacks.

Jimenez allowed three runs in six innings at Arizona. He has lost two of his last three starts and is only 2-3 with a 4.04 earned run average in his last seven outings.

The hard-throwing righty is 17-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 25 starts this season and is 5-4 in 13 career games (12 starts) against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles is right behind Colorado in the Wild Card standings at five games off the pace and just swept the Brewers in three games at Miller Park.

In Thursday's 7-1 victory over Milwaukee in the series finale, Casey Blake homered and Scott Podsednik finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Dodgers, who got three hits from Brad Ausmus in the win.

Carlos Monasterios started for Los Angeles and yielded one run in 4 1/3 innings for the no-decision. Ronald Belisario got the final out in the fifth for the win.

"I wish Carlos (Monasterios) could have gotten through the fifth inning and pitched to get the win," said Ausmus. "He deserved it. But the others picked him up and we won the game, which is most important."

Slugger Manny Ramirez was reportedly placed on waivers this week and the Dodgers are still waiting to see what will happen with the left fielder. He did not play in Thursday's series finale in Brew City.

Clayton Kershaw will take the mound Friday amid all the distractions with Ramirez and is 11-8 with a 3.07 ERA in 26 starts this season. Kershaw, though, has dropped three of his last five starts and allowed three runs through seven innings of a 5-2 loss versus Cincinnati on Sunday.

Kershaw, a lefty, was coming off seven shutout innings in a win over Colorado and is 5-3 in 11 career starts against the Rockies.

Los Angeles has won six of nine meetings with Colorado this season and 20 of the last 27 contests in this series.

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