DENVER (AP) — The big bats in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup scuffled against Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa and then erupted on the Rockies’ bullpen.
That is, until reliever Adam Ottavino entered and put the brakes on the comeback.
De La Rosa threw six strong innings before giving way to a shaky bullpen as the Rockies snapped a five-game skid by holding off the NL West-leading Dodgers 8-7 on Saturday.
The Dodgers made the Rockies sweat, though.
What looked like a blowout heading into the seventh – Colorado led 8-2 – suddenly turned into a game when the Dodgers scored five runs. But Ottavino restored order, with De La Rosa (9-6) nervously watching on a television in the clubhouse.
“We kept coming and the guys kept going,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Ottavino came in and did a nice job.”
Dan Haren (8-5) gave up a season-high eight runs in 5 1-3 innings while striking out eight. He had a hard act to follow after teammate Clayton Kershaw’s masterful performance the night before, when he allowed two hits in eight innings.
“I did my best, just didn’t work out,” Haren said.
He felt like he had his good stuff, too.
“Baseball’s a humbling game,” Haren said. “Five days ago, I couldn’t have felt any better. Today, I just wore it, basically, out there.”
The Rockies are 3-16 since June 16 – with De La Rosa accounting for every win. The lefty allowed two runs and three hits, all in the first inning. He then watched the bullpen almost completely unravel.
“It was a tough situation, but we got out of there,” said De La Rosa, who tied Jeff Francis for the second-most wins (64) in Rockies history.
Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer, Corey Dickerson added a solo shot and Wilin Rosario contributed two RBI singles as the Rockies ended a six-game slide against the Dodgers. The team was without NL hitting leader Troy Tulowitzki, who rested a tight groin for a second straight game.
Los Angeles took advantage of three hits and two errors in a two-run first. But De La Rosa was tricky to solve after that.
“He’s just effectively wild,” Mattingly explained. “He makes you swing out of the strike zone because he’s always kind of around it.”
De La Rosa was taken out for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning after throwing 100 pitches.
The Dodgers immediately pounced on reliever Nick Masset, who gave up four runs and recorded no outs before departing with a tweaked left knee.
A rusty Boone Logan, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, didn’t fare much better, loading the bases without getting an out.
The booing began from the Coors Field crowd, which Rockies manager Walt Weiss fully understood.
“We have an 8-2 lead and looked like we had the game in hand,” Weiss said. “It looked like it was slipping away in that seventh.”
Enter Ottavino, who got Juan Uribe to hit into a double play. After an intentional walk, Ottavino worked the Rockies out of the jam by striking out A.J. Ellis.
In the eighth, Ottavino escaped another sticky situation by striking out Yasiel Puig and getting Hanley Ramirez to ground out with Dee Gordon on second.
“Tried to bring everything I had,” Ottavino said. “It worked out today.”
Colorado had a chance to cushion its lead in the eighth, but Puig added another highlight-reel catch to his growing collection of memorable grabs in right. He came in on a ball before realizing it was over his head. He dived backward to make the grab, quickly got up and rifled a throw to the infield, doubling up Rosario at third after the Rockies catcher tried to tag up.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.
“Luckily for us, we were able to hang on there,” Stubbs said. “Regardless if it’s 8-7 or 8-2, a win’s a win.”
NOTES: Dodgers OF Carl Crawford (left ankle sprain) was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Saturday night and play six innings in left field for Triple-A Albuquerque. … Dodgers LHP Scott Elbert (left elbow surgery) had his rehab assignment halted because of soreness in his left big toe. … Gordon stole his 42nd base, the most by a Dodgers player before the All-Star break since Maury Wills had 55 in 1965.