Aaron Harang gave up one run in six innings of work against the Rockies Saturday. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )
There now, didn’t that feel familiar?
One victory hardly erases five consecutive losses, but the Dodgers had to greet Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Rockies in Denver with a mixture of joy and pure relief.
The Dodgers had not walked off with a victory since Sunday, losing 3½ games of their lead in the National League West. And they were coming off a dreadful four-error loss the night before.
But Saturday life returned to normal, or at least the normal they’ve come to know in building the major’s best record (33-20) through the first two months of the season.
They gave an effective Aaron Harang an early 3-1 lead to work with, added one more in the fourth and two in the sixth – one coming off Bobby Abreu’s first home run as a Dodger – and fairly coasted on a windy Denver afternoon.
Harang is largely a flyball pitcher who has historically struggled in Denver. He started the day 2-2 with a 6.40 earned-run average in six starts at Coors Field. And the Rockies were on a five-game winning streak.
Yet he was in control throughout his six innings, holding the Rockies to one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out six.
Despite a rough outing at Arizona on May 22, Harang has pitched well in his last five starts (3-1, 2.37 ERA).
The Dodgers gave him an early 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the first when Andre Ethier singled off the glove of second baseman DJ LeMahieu, but the Rockies tied it in the bottom of the inning on a Dexter Fowler triple and Michael Cuddyer double.
The Dodgers took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the second after A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon singled, and Harang’s sacrifice bunt moved them up a base.
The Dodgers then caught a break when Elian Herrera hit a comebacker to right-hander Juan Nicasio that drove in two runs. Nicasio turned for the hard bouncer, his left knee buckling slightly and forcing him to leave the game. And the Rockies had played Friday with five relievers.
Ethier walked with the bases loaded in the fourth to force in a run, giving him back the N.L. lead in runs batted in (46) over Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (45).
The Dodgers made it a 6-1 lead in the sixth against reliever Matt Reynolds on Abreu’s homer, and an Ethier double and RBI single by Adam Kennedy.
And the world was back on its proper axis, or at least the Dodgers’ version of it was.
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