DENVER (AP) — Colorado manager Walt Weiss sees a bright future for Eddie Butler, even if the newest Rockies pitcher got off to a rough start.
Butler, called up from Double-A Tulsa to take Franklin Morales’ spot in the rotation, was knocked around in his major league debut Friday night. Dee Gordon tripled twice among his three hits off Butler and drove in three runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Colorado 7-2, handing the Rockies their eighth straight defeat.
“I definitely wanted to have a better start than that and give the guys a chance to win,” Butler said. “Giving up six runs in 5 1-3 is not bad, but it’s not great.”
Butler kept the Dodgers from lighting up the scoreboard after Colorado pitchers allowed 28 runs and 39 hits over the previous two games. His fastball touched 96 mph and his ability to stay near the plate contributed to his low pitch count early.
“Opposing hitters were firing early because he was around the zone,” Weiss said. “He’s got the ability to be efficient and get quick outs.”
The Dodgers had lost six of eight but got healthy against the struggling Rockies. Hyun-Jin Ryu cruised through the first five innings before Drew Stubbs hit a solo homer with one out in the sixth.
Ryu (7-2) allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings.
Stubbs and Troy Tulowitzki had two hits each for the Rockies.
Colorado had hoped Butler (0-1) could stop the slide, but he struggled right from the start. Gordon ripped the right-hander’s second major league pitch into right field for a leadoff triple and scored on a groundout by Hanley Ramirez.
“I missed a few times over the middle of the plate and they don’t miss it here,” Butler said.
Drew Butera’s RBI double in the second made it 2-0. Butler then settled down until the fifth, when the Dodgers stretched the lead.
After Ryu led off with a double, Gordon tripled again and Ramirez singled to make it 4-0.
Gordon made it 6-0 in the sixth with a two-run single off Butler, who left after issuing a one-out walk to Ramirez.
Butler learned how tough big league hitters are.
“You can’t pitch over the middle of the plate. Obviously, Gordon got me pretty good today,” Butler said. “I’ll just pull different things out of it to learn from.”
Butler allowed six runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings, but his arm impressed Weiss.
“He has a bright future. He showed big-time stuff,” Weiss said. “The Dodgers had some timely hits, so a line that didn’t look all that pretty, but it’s a big-time arm. His fastball was beating the bat a lot of times. He’s going to help us.”
The Rockies didn’t generate much against Ryu before the sixth. Their first two batters reached in the fourth but Ryu retired the next three to keep Colorado off the scoreboard.
Stubbs’ fourth homer made it 6-1. Michael McKenry doubled and Charlie Culberson followed with a triple to make it 6-2.
Ryu got pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes to fly out to end the inning.
Yasiel Puig singled and scored in the ninth to extend his streak of reaching base to 37 consecutive games. That ties Toronto’s Jose Bautista for the longest in the majors this season.
NOTES: Tulowitzki was ejected in the ninth by plate umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing balls and strikes. … Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer was out of the lineup with a sore left shoulder. … Tulowitzki has 23 multihit games this season. … McKenry and Culberson had two hits each.