video thumbnail

Rosario's homer puts Rockies on the board

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek left 35 tickets and had more than 50 family members and friends from nearby Mission Viejo, Calif., supporting him in the Dodger Stadium stands on Monday night. It would have been nice had one been a good-luck charm.

Matzek had his moments in his second big league start but gave up 10 hits in five innings, and the offense managed just four hits on the night as the Rockies saw their longest win streak of the season end at five games with a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers in front of 44,077.

Matzek (1-1) had held the Braves to two runs on seven hits in seven innings during his Major League debut, and at times Monday flashed the poise that made the strong debut possible. For example, in the second and fourth innings, he pitched out of multiple-baserunner jams.

"It wasn't the same," Matzek said, comparing his first and second outings. "The slider wasn't there as much, and I was falling behind hitters early.

"That's pitching. I'm just trying to help the team win and keep runs off the board. Ten hits, obviously, is disappointing. I could minimize that, but I feel I did a good job keeping the runs off the board."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said any expectation that came from pitching practically in his backyard didn't affect Matzek's outing.

"His poise was still very good," Weiss said. "When he was coming off the field between innings, he was in control of the outing. He had some guys on base, but I thought he did a nice job."

But Matzek couldn't overcome misfortune, partly not of his doing, in the third.

Dodgers leadoff man Dee Gordon, who had four hits and has proven to be a difficult out for the Rockies all season, hit a Matzek pitch into the left-field corner, where the fence is rounded much like the corner of a hockey rink. Left fielder Charlie Blackmon couldn't stop the ball from hugging the fence as the speedy Gordon circled the bases. Blackmon caught up and tried to pick up the ball, but it squirted through his hand. Gordon was credited with a triple, and his crossing the plate was due to an error charged to Blackmon.

"It was obviously big because it was a run, and I think it kinda got us going," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "The energy's been good, really for a little bit now. The whole last road trip we've had energy in the dugout."

Hanley Ramirez followed by drawing one of Matzek's two walks. Two singles later, the second by Matt Kemp, Ramirez scored for a 2-0 lead.

"He had some traffic, but I thought he pitched out of it pretty well," Weiss said. "He gave us a chance to win, only giving up three runs, so I thought he did a nice job."

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (8-3) held the Rockies to three hits and struck out six in six innings.

"This guy is pretty impressive in the fact that he's seen these guys a bunch this year," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "This is the third time, second year of facing them, and they're battling really hard tonight."

Four of Ryu's strikeouts came in the first two innings.

In the first, Justin Morneau's ground-rule double put runners at second and third, but Ryu ended the inning with a looking strikeout of Drew Stubbs. Wilin Rosario doubled to open the second, but Ryu fanned two of the next three hitters, Josh Rutledge and Matzek.

Rosario's homer into the left-field seats with two down in the fourth, his seventh homer of the year, was the only mark against Ryu. Rosario had two hits, and threw out Gordon attempting to steal in the first inning -- a nice bounce back from an 0-for-13 performance in his last three games.

The Dodgers gave Ryu a 3-1 lead with three hits of Matzek in the fifth, including Ellis' RBI single.

MLB.com Comments