LOS ANGELES (AP) — Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss appreciated Jhoulys Chacin’s effort – so much so that he gave the right-hander every opportunity to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
Chacin retired pinch-hitter Justin Turner on a popup with his 105th and final pitch. But by then, the damage already was done. Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp homered to build an early three-run lead for Zack Greinke, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.
“I knew he didn’t want to come out of that game. I just went out there to check with him and make sure he was OK,” Weiss said about Chacin. “I wanted to let him try to get through that inning because he battled all night, so I felt he earned that. He stepped up and pitched his way through that inning.”
Chacin (1-5) gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out five. He was coming off a 10-3 victory against Atlanta in which he held the Braves to two hits over seven scoreless innings.
Greinke (9-3) threw a season-high 117 pitches over six innings, allowing a run and three hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
“It was definitely a tough game,” said Greinke, who tied St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright and Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon for the NL lead in wins. “It seemed like they had guys on base every inning. There were a lot of foul balls on two-strike counts where they just kept fighting it off. So it gets really tough.”
The Rockies loaded the bases with none out in the sixth, but all they got was a sacrifice fly from Wilin Rosario. Greinke came back to strike out Ryan Wheeler and retire DJ LeMahieu with the potential tying runs in scoring position.
“Zack competed. They really battled him hard and he really grinded through some tough innings,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Him striking out Wheeler was the key to the inning. That was huge for us. That inning could have spiraled out of control and really depleted our bullpen.”
Eleven members of the Los Angeles Kings escorted the Stanley Cup to Dodger Stadium for a pregame ceremony, four days after they won their second NHL championship in three years. The Dodgers posed with them for a group photo, then showed off their own “power play” as Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the third and Kemp led off the fourth with his seventh of the season.
Ramirez, a three-time All-Star shortstop and the 2009 NL batting champion, left in the seventh with a bruised ring finger on his right hand after Corey Dickerson’s hard grounder to him deflected into short center field for an RBI double that trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 3-2.
“That was a rocket – kind of an in-between hop to Hanley,” said Weiss, who played 1,397 games at shortstop in the majors and 37 of them at Dodger Stadium. “There’s not much you can do there as a shortstop. You hope that you can smother it if it falls at your feet, but that ball was hit so hard, there’s not a lot that Hanley could do on that one.”
X-rays on Ramirez’s throwing hand were negative.
“That’s great news for us. We obviously dodged a big bullet,” Ellis said.
Carlos Triunfel took over at shortstop and reliever J.P. Howell gave way to Brandon League. The Rockies loaded the bases, but League retired Rosario on a grounder to third.
Triunfel provided an insurance run against Tommy Kahnle with a towering drive that landed in the lower seats in the left-field corner. Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 20th save, the third straight season that the former catcher has reached that figure.
Greinke received some defensive help. Rookie third baseman Miguel Rojas robbed Dickerson in the third inning with a skidding, backhanded stop down the line. Right fielder Yasiel Puig took away a potential bloop single from Rosario in the fourth with a diving grab after a long run.
NOTES: After the Kings posed with the Dodgers for a group photo and threw out ceremonial first pitches, defenseman Willie Mitchell carried the Stanley Cup over to the Rockies’ dugout and posed with Canadian-born Rockies 1B Justin Morneau. … Rockies RHP Nick Masset began serving the three-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball on Tuesday for throwing at Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis last Thursday. Masset also was fined an undisclosed amount. … Ramirez came in 0 for 9 against Chacin, who had allowed four homers in 45 2-3 innings over his eight previous starts this season.