Matt Holliday hit a pair of solo home runs and Yorvit Torrealba added another in the first three innings but the Dodgers pecked away and finally regained the lead in the sixth with a pair of runs but left the bases loaded.
It was a strange game. Colorado scored an unearned run on a solo home run. And the Dodgers were unable to score a runner from third base on an infield hit.
Brad Penny, who started looking for his 17th win is still looking but he had it in his duffle bag until the eighth inning.
He was less than his old self, surrendering long shots that when they didn't go out of the park, banged off he fences for doubles.
But yet he hung on and left the game with a 5-4 lead. Scott Proctor and Joe Beimel did their job but it all came apart in a virtual rerun of the eighth inning last night.
The game started with each team putting a single run on the board, the Dodgers scoring on a Juan Pierre single, a stolen base (his 60th) and James Loney's single. Colorado scored in the bottom of the inning on Matt Holliday's 34th home run.
The Rox took the lead in the second inning. After a long run, Loney dropped a foul pop off the bat of Omar Torrealba, then the Rockies catcher boomed a 400-foot shot into the Colorado bullpen for a 2-1 margin.
Penny doubled into the left field corner to open the third, but had to hold when Matt Kemp beat out a grounder in the hole between third and short. Loney redeemed himself by dropping a high pop-single into center field, knocking in his second run and tying the game 2-2.
Holliday took the run back with his 35th home run, a personal high, this time smacking the first pitch into the shrubbery in center field.
Torrealba and Cory Sullivan smoked doubles in the fourth as the Rockies continued to build a picket fence (1111), scoring in each of the first four innings and Troy Tulowitzki ended the it on a long, high shot to Pierre who caught the ball at the deepest spot in the park, somewhere just inside the city limits of Cheyenne.
Pierre tripled down the right field line to lead off the fifth and with one out, Loney knocked him in with a ground ball to Todd Helton at first.
The score after five innings was Loney 3, Colorado 4 (one of which was Loney's too).
Russell Martin looped a single to right to open the sixth and Nomar Garciaparra undressed the Rockies pitcher with a lazier that almost Charlie-Browned him. Tony Abreu loaded the bases with a single to right.
The 2006 "Old Slugger", Brad Penny, then singled off the shortstops glove for his second hit of the game and driving in the tying run. It was his 16th hit of the season. The next closest pitcher/hitter on the Dodger staff is Derek Lowe with six.
Pierre hit into a force at the plate and Matt Kemp's ground ball to short scored Abreu with the lead run, putting a crooked run on the board for the first time in the game by either team.
Hoping to put some distance between themselves and their ungracious hosts, Luis Gonzalez and Martin opened the seventh with singles. But they were still there when the inning ended and after seven the Dodgers had left 10 runners on base, five in the sixth and seventh.
Penny left after 86 pitches and Scott Proctor, making his third appearance in two days, took over. Proctor entered with game having not allowed an earned run in 11.2 games.
Since joining the Dodgers on July 31, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA (9 ER/27.0 IP) in 25 contests. In September, Proctor had struck out 10 batters and allowed just five hits in 7.2 innings, while holding opponents to a .179 average.
But after he retired Cory Sullivan and Tulowitzki and had put Holliday on base when he brushed his jersey with a pitch, manager Grady Little called on Joe Beimel to lefty-lefty Todd Helton. It worked -- he got last night's hero on a ground ball to short.
Little went back to Jonathan Broxton to pitch the eighth. His appearance, the 80th of the season, tied him with Tom Martin for fourth on the franchise list.
That might be an appearance or two to far.
He allowed a crucial two-run homer last night and after he allowed a single Garrett Atkins leading off the inning, Brad Hawpe then boomed a drive into the right field seats to put the Rockies back in the lead 6-5.
Manny Corpus came in to close things out for Colorado but served up a single to Jeff Kent to open the ninth and Wilson Valdez ran for him. Gonzalez hit a high bouncer off the plate and was nipped at first but Valdez moved to second.
Martin popped to center for the second out and Garciaparra bounced weakly to short and the Rockies had struck again late in the game to stop the Dodgers.
Los Angeles slid to 79-73 and although both Arizona and San Diego were losing when the Dodger game ended, that seemed moot to the crushed Dodgers.
This afternoon, Derek Lowe (12-12, 3.71) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 4.04) in the final game of the series. The Dodgers move to Arizona after the contest and will open a three-game set against the N.L. West-leading Diamondbacks.
Score by innings Los Angeles 101 012 000-5 Colorado 111 100 02x-6 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre cf 4 2 2 0 .294 Kemp rf 5 0 1 1 .338 Loney 1b 4 0 2 3 .328 Kent 2b 5 0 2 0 .297 Valdez pr 0 0 0 0 .236 Gonzalez lf 5 0 1 0 .279 Martin c 5 1 2 0 .297 Garciaparra 3b 5 0 2 0 .281 Abreu ss 4 1 1 0 .267 Penny p 3 1 2 1 .254 Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 .250 Proctor p 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 41 5 15 5 Rockies 32 6 11 6 Errors- Loney (9). 2B- Penny (6), Garciaparra (17). 3B- Pierre (8). RBI- Loney 3 (58), Penny (7), Kemp (40). S- Pierre. LOB- Los Angeles 11, Colorado 6. SB- Pierre (60). DP- Kent, Abreu and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Penny 6.0 9 4-3 1 2 2.93 Proctor 0.2 0 0-0 0 0 3.51 Biemel 0.1 0 0-0 0 0 3.96 Broxton (4-4) 1.0 2 2-2 0 1 2.96 T- 2:59, Att- 26,484.
Still Furcal-less-- With doubleheader loss Colorado on Tuesday the club had 11 games left on the docket and whether they will have shortstop Rafael Furcal for all or any of those games is not known. Furcal removed himself out of Tuesday's opening game against with stiffness in his lower back. He didn't return to play in the second game,
"He's going to be day-to-day," manager Grady Little said of his veteran shortstop.
Furcal has been slowed by injuries ever since spring training. He missed a games early in the spring with an irritated right shoulder.
He severely sprained his left ankle in a collision with Jason Repko teammate on March 22 and was forced to start the season on the disabled list.
Since his return from the DL on April 13, Furcal has been in the starting lineup for all but four games.
He played with pain in the ankle, which is still swollen. And only time will allow it to heal properly -- which means the offseason, when he has a chance to rest it for more than a day or two.
If the club is to pull a miracle finish, Furcal will have to be in the lineup, pain and all.
"If That Ain't Improved, It Will Have to Do..."To the critic who wrote earlier to say the Rockies were not vastly improved, as I had mentioned in a story, Colorado went into the game with a 61-45 record since May 22, the best in the National League and third best in the major leagues.
Ruggiano Makes the Show-- With Carl Crawford slowed with groin and hamstring problems, the Tampa Bay called former Dodger minor league outfielder Justin Ruggiano up from Triple-A he make his first start. Ruggiano, 25, finished sixth in the International League in hitting, third in hits, runs and on-base percentage (.386), and fourth with a .502 slugging percentage. Ruggiano. Ruggiano was acquired by the Rays as a player to be named from the Dodgers in the trade that brought right-hander Jae Seo and catcher Dioner Navarro to Tampa Bay for left-hander Mark Hendrickson and catcher Toby Hall on June 27, 2006. He was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas A&M University.
Dodger Blue Notes--For those who thought L.A. was correct in not re-signing Greg Maddux, please note he won his 13th game last night. ...Dodger infielder Olmedo Saenz ripped a pinch-hit home run in the first game of the twin bill yesterday, accounting for the Dodgers only run of the game. The pinch-homer was the 12th of Saenz's career and his eighth as a Dodger, which is tied for second with Lee Lacy and Johnny Frederick in franchise history, five behind Dave Hansen. On the year, Saenz is tied for fourth in the Majors with 13 pinch-hits and tied for sixth in pinch-home runs with two. ...Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp went 4-for-9 with two doubles in the doubleheader and is now batting .341 on the season, which is the best average in the National League and fifth-highest in baseball among players with at least 250 plate appearances. Kemp is hitting .382 against left-handers, .348 with runners in scoring position, .404 in the month of September and .338 (81-for-240) since being recalled form Triple-A Las Vegas on June 8. ...The Dodgers are being joined on this trip by Gulf Coast Dodgers' manager Juan Bustabad who piloted the club to a 40-15 record and a birth in the GCL finals. Bustabad has managed five seasons in the Dodger organization and 10 overall, compiling records of 227-153 and 444-324. ...Left fielder Luis Gonzalez had one hits and now just one hit shy of collecting 2,500 hits in his 18-year big league career and ranks third on thfive for games pitched this season in the Major Leagues. ...Russell Martin hit his 32nd double of the year yesterday and now has 58 in his first two seasons, which surpasses Eric Karros (1992-93) and gives him the most in Los Angeles Dodger history over that time.