Dodgers Lose Kemp, Schmidt and Game

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium featured a concert and anthem by country music star Taylor Swift; a ceremonial first pitch from Steve Sax on the 25th anniversary of his 1982 Rookie of the Year award; several elements to honor the U.S. Military and a flyover -- then the bodies started to drop.

Outfielder Matt Kemp suffered a bruised shoulder attempting to catch a ball up against the right field scoreboard and starter Jason Schmidt left the next inning after his leg tightened covering first base. Before he left, Schmidt slugged a home run into the left field seats.

The shot tied the game 1-1 but Colorado would take the lead for good in the fourth inning. The Rockies picked on rookie outfielder Matt Kemp, slugging three shots down the right field line. On the first ball, he fought the sun, caught the ball, juggled and dropped it, but caught it before hit hit the ground.

The next drive went for a double but then Jeff Baker lined an outside pitch up against the scoreboard in right field. Kemp raced back, jumped and had the ball in his glove momentarily but the collision with the scoreboard jarred the ball loose and Kemp crumpled to the ground.

Juan Pierre raced over from center field to return the ball to the infield but it went for a triple and Colorado led 2-1. Kemp was helped from the field and rushed to the hospital for x-rays on the shoulder. He suffered a bruise but the shoulder was not separated or dislocated.

With the infield in, a smash at Wilson Valdez at short glanced off his glove for a hit and the third Colorado run.

The Dodgers quickly got one run back in the last of the same inning after Valdez walked with two out. Ramon Martinez lined a ball down the left field line and Matt Holliday race over, dove and caught the ball but it jarred out of his glove when he hit the ground and Valdez scored.

The Dodger offense stopped cold at that point with the next thirteen outs interrupted only by a walk and Pierre's double in the eighth.

The Rockies scored a fourth run off Schmidt in the fourth when Garciaparra fumbled a ground ball and Schmidt was limping as he ran to cover first base. The cramp was due to dehydration and he should be ready for his next start.

Mark Hendrickson took over for Schmidt and on the first pitch, Kazuo Matsui stole second and moved to third on a wild throw to second by Russell Martin. He scored on a short fly to center that Pierre caught with a last minute dive.

Hendrickson tossed 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out four in relief of Schmidt. Hendrickson has allowed just one earned run in 6.0 innings while striking out seven in two relief appearances this season.

Rudy Seanez got the first out in the eighth but then gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Another sac fly to short center allowed the runner to romp home when Pierre's throw bounced six times before it was cut off by Garciaparra.

Another run in the ninth scored when Joe Beimel gave up an infield hit, balked the runner to second, saw him sacrificed to third and score on the third Colorado sac fly.

However, with many of the 56,000 fans already on the way home, the Dodgers awakened in the last of the ninth as Andre Ethier singled to right and Valdez singled to left. When pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz drew a walk the tying run was at the plate with none out.

Pinch-hitter Mike Liebenthal was given the green light on a 3-1 pitch and he popped to third. Pierre slapped a fly to center that scored Ethier but Martin flew to center to end the oddity-filled game.  

The loss ended the Dodgers' four-game winning streak and moved their record to 4-3.

It was the 26th time since moving to Los Angeles that the Dodgers opened the year on the road. In those 26 years, the team has a 12-14 record in home openers.

Coming up:
Tuesday: Rockies Rodrigo Lopez vs Brett Tomko.
Wednesday: Rockies Jason Hirsh vs Brad Penny.
Friday: Padres David Wells vs Derek Lowe.
 Score by innings
Rockies	  100 210 011-6
Dodgers   001 100 001-3

 Dodgers	ab r h bi ave
Pierre cf	4  0  1  1  .167
Martin c	4  0  1  1  .292
Garciaparra 1b	4  0  0  0  .154
Kent 2b	        4  0  1  0  .308
Gonzalez lf	4  0  0  0  .308
Kemp rf	        1  0  0  0  .429
 Ethier rf	3  1  1  0  .182
Valdez ss	3  0  1  0  .538
Martinez 3b	2  0  1  1  .118 
 Saenz ph	0  0  0  0  .333
Schmidt p	2  1  1  1  .250
 Hendrickson p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Clark ph	1  0  0  0  .400
 Seanez p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Lieberthal ph	1  0  0  0  .200
   Totals 	33  3   7  3
   Rockies	35  6  11  6	

  Error- Garciaparra (1), Martin (1). 
2B- Martinez (1), Pierre (1). HR- 
Schmidt (1). RBI- Schmidt (1). Martinez 
(3), Pierre (1). SF- Pierre. LOB- 
Dodgers 8, Rockies 7.

 Dodgers	 in  h  r-er bb so era
Schmidt (1-1)	4.0  7  4-3  0  6   4.00
Hendrickson	3.0  1  0-0  0  4   1.50
Seanez	        0.2  2  1-1  1  0  13.50
Beimel	        1.1  1  1-0  0  0   2.70
 Balk- Beimel. T:3:16. Att- 56,000.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Attendance was announced as 56,000, equaling the largest in Dodger Stadium history. ... Jeff Kent's first inning single gave him a seven-game hitting streak and is the only player to have hit in every game this season. ...The Rockies have been 18-45 at Dodger Stadium the past seven years including 2-8 last year. ...Shortstop Rafael Furcal is scheduled to begin a two-day rehab at Inland Empire at Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday (today). Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News reports he will be the designated hitter and then play in the field on Wednesday. The Dodgers are not scheduled on Thursday and Furcal will be re-evaluated then.

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