Dodgers Get Breathing Room with 3-2 Win

The Dodgers slipped past the Rockies 3-2 in the rubber game of their three game set in Coors Field, with some players perhaps longing for the days of the classic 12-10 slugfests once held at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. But runs came dear this day, with Los Angeles breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth and then fighting off Colorado down to the final out of the game.

The newest Dodger, Vincente Padilla, made his first start a winning one, working five innings and allowing six hits, two runs, walking one and striking out four.

He displayed a fastball that hit 96, a slow curve that was clocked at 59 and a number of other undetermined pitches in between.

He left for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth just in time to become the pitcher of record as the Dodgers took the lead for good.

"He hung in there," manager Joe Torre said. "He didn't have his good sinker. I told everybody he'll get ground balls and there were nothing but fly balls the first two innings. But we need somebody to grind it out and he did that for five innings."

Matt Kemp got the club off to a good start by slugging a mammoth home run into the left field seats with Rafael Furcal on base with a walk in the first inning. It was his 19th of the season.

The Rockies may have lost a chance to score in the bottom of the first when Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki singled with two out. Helton stumbled rounding second and was gunned down trying to get back to he bag by a perfect throw from Andre Ethier.

Colorado bunched three hits in the third inning after Padilla retired the first two batters. Carlos Gonzalez singled, Seth Smith tripled him across and scored on Tulowitzki's pop single that dropped safely in left field.

The score stayed 2-2 until the sixth when Hudson singled, was bunted to second and Furcal lined a single to center field to drive him in. That ended the scoring but the excitement linger on and on.

Hong-Chih Kuo took over in the last of the sixth, allowing an opening single on Tulowitzki's third hit of the game. He stole second but Kuo then struck out Brad Hawpe, Seth Stewart and Clint Barmes.

Ramon Troncoso also gave up a single opening the seventh to Yorbit Torrealba and he was bunted to second. After Troncoso got the second out of the inning, George Sherrill came in to strike out Seth Smith.

Sherrill stayed in to retire the first two in the eighth but hen allowed a single to Hawpe and Torre, moving his players like a chessmaster, called on Jonathan Broxton to retire Stewart.

Broxton gave up a one out single and pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborgs beat out and infield hit that would have been a simple force play at second had Furcal let the ball go on to Hudson waiting at the bag, to put he potential winning run at first base with one out.

Broxton, hitting 100 on the speed gun, struck out overmatched rookie D.Y. Young and then switching to his cut fastball, fanned Smith to end the game and record his 28th save.

"If it wasn't for the bullpen," said Torre, "we wouldn't be talking about a win like this."

Los Angeles had even more chances to score than did the Rockies, finishing 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position (Furcal's RBI single) and left 11 on base.

They left a pair stranded in the second, one in the third and fourth, three in the fifth, two in the sixth one in the seventh and two in the ninth.

Kemp came into the game hitting .400 against left-handers and .500 against Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa. He singled, doubled and homered off the Rockies left-hander to boost his average to .529.

De La Rosa (12-9) was tagged with the loss and slid to 0-5 against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers improved to 11-7 in one-run games on the road (they are 18-6 at home).

 The Dodgers move on to Cincinnati for a three-game set over the weekend with the Reds and then return home on August 31, when they open a seven-game homestand with the first of four vs. Arizona. San Diego comes into town after the Diamondbacks for a three-game series over Labor Day weekend.

The starting rotation in Cincinnati:
Today - RHP Chad Billingsley (12-7, 3.73) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (3-4, 6.82)
Saturday - RHP Charlie Haeger (1-1, 1.93) vs To Be Determined
Sunday - LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-7, 2.96) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (11-12, 4.43)

 Score by innings
Los Angeles	200 001 000-3
Colorado	002 000 000-2

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  1  1  1  .253
Kemp cf	        5  1  3  2  .313
Ethier rf	5  0  1  0  .287
Ramirez lf	3  0  1  0  .308
Blake 3b	3  0  0  0  .278
 Sherrill p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Broxton p	1  0  0  0  .000
Loney 1b	3  0  1  0  .276
Hudson 2b	4  1  2  0  .292
Ausmus c	3  0  0  0  .293
Padilla p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .221
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Castro 3b	1  0  0  0  .301
 Totals	        34 3  8 3
 Colorado	36 2 11 2	

 Two-base hits- Loney (23), Kemp (22).
HR- Kemp (19). RBI- Kemp 2 (50), Furcal
(36). S- Padilla, Ausmus. LOB- Los Angeles
11, Colorado 9. Outfield assists- Ethier.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Padilla (1-0)	5.0  6  2-2  1  4  3.60
Kuo        	1.0  1  0-0  0  3  3.57
Troncoso	0.2  1  0-0  0  0  2.66
Sherrill	1.0  1  0-0  0  2  1.81
Broxton (sv 28)	1.1  2  0-0  0  2  2.83
 T- 3:19. Att- 33,511. 
Schmidt's Luck May Have Run Out
Jason Schmidt, whose effectiveness has been limited because of shoulder problems his entire three years with he Dodgers, was shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Vicente Padilla on the 40-man roster.

He signed a $47 million contract in 2006 and finished his three seasons with three wins and two shoulder operations. He was 2-2 in four starts with a 5.60 ERA this season but the 36-year-old Schmidt, a three-time All-Star with the Giants, had to shut down again when the pain resumed.

It is probably the end of the road for the tough competitor who could never display his talents in Los Angeles. He is 130-96 in his 14-year career.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers jumped to a lead with two runs in the first inning and improved their record when scoring in the first frame to 40-11 on the season. ...The Dodgers cleared space for Padilla on the 25-man roster by optioning infielder Tony Abreu to Albuquerque but he is eligible to return Sept. 1 when rosters expand. ......Over his last 73 at-bats Manny Ramirez has one home run and has driven in only five, four of them coming on a pinch-hit grand slam. ...The Dodgers have taken 12 of 15 games from the Rockies this season, including a 7-2 mark at Coors Field. ...Padilla is the first Nicaraguan-born player to pitch for the Dodgers and one of only 10 to appear in the Majors. Padilla's first Major League victory came with the Diamondbacks against the Dodgers on May 9, 2000. ...Bruce Levine of reports that Cubs pitchers Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman have been claimed off waivers. That allows both teams 72 hours to work out a deal. The selling team can get a player back in a trade, let the player go without compensation or pull the player back from waivers. Indications are the Cubs will want legitimate prospects back for the two players. National League West teams who had scouts watching Harden and Heilman pitch include the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies. However, the success of Padilla in his first stat may have cooled the Dodgers interest.     

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