Martin's Four RBI Can't Save Dodgers

In a wild game that reminded the 35,000 plus fans on hand of the old days in Coors Field, the Rockies scored 11 of their 12 runs in four innings, erasing 3-0 and 5-3 Dodger leads. Russell Martin led the offense with three hits, including a three-run homer, and four runs batted in.

Brett Tomko's (5-5) troubles continued as the Rockies nailed him for seven earned runs before he could retire the final batter in the fourth inning. In his last four starts, he had allowed 34 hits and 19 earned runs in 18 innings (8.52 ERA). When he left the field after 70 pitches he had allowed 26 earned runs in 22 innings (10.63 ERA) over his last five starts and his ERA has jumped from 3.18 to 5.20.

The Dodgers started quickly with six of the first nine batters collecting a single and scoring three times but Colorado bounced back on the strength of a three-run homer to tie the game 3-3 after one.

Rafe Furcal and Kenny Lofton led off the game with singlesw and after Nomar Garciaparra bounced out, J.D. Drews fly knocked in the first run. Matt Kemp made it 2-0 with a single to center. He then stole second and moved to third when the throw went into center. He scored on a short wild pitch moments later.

Willy Aybar walked and Joel Guzman singled to center. Then Russell Martin shot a single to right field and the bases were loaded. But wait, Martin rounded first too far and was trapped, Aybar was eventually thrown out at home to end the inning.

Drew opened the third with a long triple to center field and Kemp hit an even longer double into the 425-foot crease in center to drive him in. Aybar bunted him to third and Guzman nearly eliminated his competition for the left field position with a vicious shot down the third base line that nearly decapitated Kemp.

Guzman looked bad on a third-strike slider out of the zone but Martin redeemed his baserunning mistake and picked up the run with an RBI single to right field and the Dodgers led 5-3.

Tomko was pounded in the fourth inning as the first seven Rockies reached base. Included were a pair of triples. But truth be known, he didn't receive outstanding defensive work on the infield during the inning.

After an opening single, Guzman scooped up a ball near the third base bag and threw to second for the force. The throw was off-line and Aybar couldn't hold it. It was charitably called simply a fielder's choice. Garciaparra got a putout at second on a ground ball but the next three hitters went triple, walk (the Colorado pitcher) and another triple.

Manager Grady Little went out with the hook and brought in Jae Seo, who took two pitches to end the inning but suddenly the Dodgers trailed 7-5.

Joe Beimel took over in the sixth and after getting the first out, allowed a pair of singles and a shot that scooted under Garciaparra's glove for an RBI double. A walk loaded the bases for Todd Helton.

With two strikes, Helton sliced a single to left field, driving in a pair of runs and Colorado were in the cat bird seat with a 10-5 lead. It also prompted a call for Jonathan Broxton.

Matt Holliday smashed a shot up the middle that Aybar dove and gloved, then from the ground he threw to first to nail the runner but Cory Sullivan scored all the way from second, beating Garciaparra's hurried throw.

It seemed pretty much all over but the shouting with the Rockies in a solid 11-5 lead.

In the top of the seventh, bad luck again came to visit a Dodger. Drew singled with one out and Aybar doubled him in with two out. Guzman was by a pitch.

Martin them slammed a 3-2 shot into the left field seats. It was his fourth home run and his four runs batted in is a career best. With that one swing, the Dodgers forged back into the game, trailing now 11-9.

Hong-chih Kuo took over in the bottom of the seventh and struck out the side on 13 pitches.

Garciaparra grounded a single into right field with two out in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 13 and his on-base streak to 33 games. It also boosted his average over the pst 25 games from the seventh inning on to an astronomical .692 (18-for-26).

Jorge Piedra, a former Dodger minor league player, slammed a home run off Denys Baez in the eighth to drive extinguish the Dodger chances.

Matt Kemp finished with a pair of hits and moved his average to .342. He has hit in all eight of his major league games. The four rookies who starter -- Kemp, Aybar, Guzman and Martin -- finished with seven hits and eight runs batted in.
  Score by innings
Los Angeles 302 000 400- 9
Colorado    300 404 01x-12

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      4 1 1 0 .257
Lofton cf      5 1 1 0 .318
Garciaparra 1b 4 0 1 0 .367
Drew rf        3 2 3 1.295
  Kuo p        0 0 0 0 .000
  Saenz ph     1 0 0 0 .287
  Baez ph      0 0 0 0 .000
Kemp lf        5 2 2 1 .342
Aybar 2b       2 1 1 1 .302
  Martinez ph  1 0 0 0 .351
Guzman 3b      3 1 1 1 .222
Martin c       5 1 3 4 .292
Tomko p        2 0 1 0 .125
  Seo p        0 0 0 0 .118
  Ethier ph    1 0 0 0 .303
  Beimel p     0 0 0 0 .000
  Broxton p    0 0 0 0 .000
  Cruz ph-rf   1 0 0 0 .242
    Totals    37  8 14  9
    Colorado  35 12 12 12

  2-base hit- Drew (10), Kemp 
(1), Aybar (8). 3-base hit- 
Drew (4). HR- Martin (4). 
RBI- Drew 43), Kemp (12), Aybar 
2 (19), Martin 4 (23). S- 
Aybar. SF- Drew. SB- Kemp 
(2). LOB- Los Angeles 8, 
Colorado 3.

  Dodgers  in h r-er bb so era
Tomko     3.2 6  7-7  2 2 5.20
Seo       1.1 1  0-0  0 0 5.28
Beimel    0.1 4  4-4  1 1 5.03
Broxton   0.2 0  0-0  0 0 2.25
Kuo       1.0 0  0-0 0 3 4.08
Baez      1.0 1  1-1  0 0 3.73
 HBP-Guzman. Att-35,5578. T-3:09.
Gagne Not Ready-- Eric Gagne took 10 warmup pitched and quickly shut it down Friday, three days after experiencing pain and stiffness and two days after an MRI revealed no structural damage in an elbow. Gagne is a five-day cycle of anti-inflammatory medication and probably won't try again until Tuesday. "It's better now," he said. "But I'm not to a point to where I can go out there and pitch. I think I just overthrew or something. It might be scar tissue that moved and irritated the nerve." The diagnosis was an irritated ulnar nerve (the "funny bone" nerve) and manager Grady Little conceded the club can only hope there's nothing more to it.

Signings-- The Dodgers have signed right-hander Kyle Smit, their fifth-round pick in this week's draft out of Spanish Springs (Nev.) High School, giving him what is believed to be a $180,000 bonus. The club also has signed 21st-rounder Matthew Berezay, a senior outfielder from the University of the Pacific; 22nd-rounder Christopher Jensen, a senior outfielder from UCLA; and 24th-rounder John Martin, a senior catcher from Emporia (Kanas) State.

Vanishing Breed-- Brad Penny's near complete game causes one to remember that Sandy Koufax threw 27 complete games in 1965, did it again in 1966, then retired. That's 54 complete games in two seasons. Fernando Valenzuela had 20 as recently as 1986. This year, the Dodger pitching staff has zero. No Los Angeles Dodgers team has gone an entire season without a complete game. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who threw 47 complete games in his 10-year career, had more than all the Dodgers starters in the last 10 years combined. Takashi Saito, now a rookie reliever for the Dodgers, was a starter in Japan with 30 complete games one season. "Depending on the runs scored and the situation, I've thrown complete games with 120 pitches and some above 160 pitches," he said. "But starters there usually get five or six days rest between starts. More recovery time, more complete games."

Record Tied-- Colorado tied a dubious record Friday night one game after scoring 16 runs, the most scored immediately preceeding a shutout. It also happened to the Rockies on May 3 and 5 of 2000.