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Dodgers start new ownership era by hanging on for 7-6 win

Dodgers hold off Rockies after hitting three home runs to take a 7-0 lead.

May 01, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., left, is congratulated by teammate A.J. Ellis after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the Dodgers' 7-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., left, is congratulated by teammate… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

Guggenheim Baseball Management, greatest owners in baseball history. Or something like that. Anyway, they are undefeated.

In the first game under the new ownership, the Dodgers jumped all over the Rockies on Tuesday night and then had to absolutely hang on for a 7-6 victory in Denver that featured three L.A. home runs -- and not one that came from Matt Kemp.

The taut game was finally turned over to struggling closer Javy Guerra in the ninth inning, who survived a nervous inning to earn his eighth save.

Kemp had 12 of the Dodgers’ 20 home runs entering the game.

One of the homers wasn’t exactly of the unexpected variety -- Andre Ethier’s three-run shot was his sixth home run -- but the others came from Dee Gordon (first of his career)  and A.J. Ellis.

Ellis’ second home run of the season was a two-run drive in the fifth that left the Dodgers with a 7-0 lead and Ted Lilly simply cruising. It was looking easy.

This being Coors Field -- home of the no-lead-is-safe mantra -- things got a little nervous for the Dodgers when the Rockies’ offense awoke in the sixth.

Lilly had allowed only two hits through five scoreless innings, when Eric Young Jr. led off the sixth with a single, and one out later, Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer.

It was the first home run allowed by Lilly since last Aug. 26, a span of 68 innings. The batter who hit it? Gonzalez.

Lilly, off to a 3-0 start for the first time in his 12-year career, left after six innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and one walk, with four strikeouts.

He was followed by Josh Lindblom, who had been just shy of spectacular in his first 11 appearances (one earned run), but got into immediate trouble. He gave up back-to-back doubles to Ramon Hernandez and Chris Nelson, and then a two-run homer to Tyler Colvin.

The Rockies pulled to within one in the eighth when Troy Tulowitzki tripled off the right-field wall against Kenley Jansen and scored on Todd Helton sacrifice fly that Tony Gwynn Jr. caught near the left-center wall.

The Dodgers turned it over to Guerra in the ninth, who after three consecutive poor outings, pitched a scoreless inning to earn the save. But it came with some added suspense. With the tying run on second, Mark Ellis made a game-saving backhanded stop of a Marco Scutaro bouncer. Guerra struck out Gonzalez to end it.

Gordon opened the game by jumping on a Jhoulys Chacin (0-3) fastball, stunning everyone -- including himself, no doubt -- by driving it off the façade in the second deck.

Singles by Mark Ellis (one of his four) and Kemp preceded Ethier’s three-run homer. Ellis doubled in one run in the third before hitting his two-run homer in the fifth.


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