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COLORADO 3, DODGERS 0

Dodgers are shut down by Rockies' Jason Marquis

L.A. gets only two hits against Colorado ace, who becomes the first 10-game winner in the National League.

July 01, 2009|JIM PELTZ | ON THE DODGERS

The Dodgers' Chad Billingsley pitched well Tuesday night in his quest to become the National League's first 10-game winner.

Unfortunately for the right-hander and the Dodgers, they faced the Colorado Rockies' Jason Marquis, who pitched -- and hit -- even better and did become the league's first 10-game winner.

Marquis threw a two-hit shutout and drove in two runs to lead the Rockies past the Dodgers, 3-0, in front of 43,437 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was the first time the Dodgers were limited to two hits in more than a year, and their off-and-on offense has scored only seven runs in the last four games.

As a result, the Dodgers have lost five of their last seven games.

Marquis "threw a lot of strikes, he got ahead early and put us on the defensive," said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre.

"Billingsley was great," Torre added. "He certainly pitched well enough to win."

A disappointed Billingsley (9-4) gave up five hits and struck out 11 -- tying his season high -- through 7 2/3 innings, his longest stint this year.

But one of those hits was a solo home run in the fourth inning by the Rockies' Brad Hawpe, who is hitting more than .350 lifetime against the Dodgers.

Hawpe caused more trouble in the seventh inning, when he led off with a single and ultimately reached third as the Rockies loaded the bases.

Marquis, hitting .207 entering the game, singled to left field to drive in Hawpe and Ian Stewart to give Colorado a 3-0 lead.

That was more than enough for Marquis (10-5) on a night his strong command helped the game breeze along at 2 hours 16 minutes.

"You've got to give him credit," Billingsley said of Marquis. "He hit his spots and drove in a couple of runs. He had it going today."

After needing 13 innings to beat the Rockies a night earlier, on Andre Ethier's walk-off home run, the Dodgers went flat against Marquis, who didn't allow a Dodger to reach third base.

Except for James Loney's single in the second inning, Marquis retired every other Dodger through the first six innings.

He didn't surrender another hit until Juan Castro singled in the eighth inning and he threw only 86 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.

"You can't stand up there and be selective if he's throwing strike one, strike two," and the strikes were "down, down, down," Torre said of Marquis.

The Dodgers expected a tough night from Marquis, who formerly pitched for the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.

The 30-year-old right-hander from Staten Island, N.Y., came into the game with a lifetime record of 2-0 -- and a skimpy earned-run average of 1.71 -- at Dodger Stadium.

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy also tried to give Marquis some insurance, shifting his infield to the right for the left-handed Ethier, who went 0 for 3.

The Rockies have won 21 of their last 25 games, and they broke a string of losing five consecutive games at Dodger Stadium.

Colorado also gained on the division-leading Dodgers, and is in third place, 7 1/2 games behind in the National League West.

The second-place San Francisco Giants also won Tuesday, and moved to within six games of the Dodgers.

The Dodgers wrap up their three-game series with Colorado today at noon, their last game before slugger Manny Ramirez rejoins the team Friday after an off-day Thursday.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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