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Dodgers win, 7-1, but can't gain ground on Cardinals

Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis each hit two-run homers in the victory. St. Louis also wins to maintain two-game lead in wild-card race.

September 30, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz gets a pat on the back from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez after hitting a two-run home run against the Rockies in the fourth inning Sunday.
Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz gets a pat on the back from first baseman… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

A team can win some and lose some, and then there are those odd days when they both win and lose.

Days like Sunday for the Dodgers, when they did their part by winning their fifth consecutive game, 7-1, to  sweep their three-game series with the Colorado Rockies before an announced fan appreciation day crowd of 35,607.

Trouble was, long before the Dodgers had won, so had the  Cardinals. And the St. Louis win alone dropped the magic number for eliminating the Dodgers from the postseason race to two games with just three left to play.

And right on cue, here come the Giants for the final regularly scheduled series of the season. The Dodgers are two games back of the Cardinals for the second wild-card berth.

The Dodgers had a relatively easy time of it Sunday against the seriously undermanned Rockies, continuing their late-found offensive might with three two-run homers.

Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis each hit a two-run homer. Hanley Ramirez singled in the other run.

For Kemp it was his third homer in two days, leaving him with 23 on the season. And if, like most everything else with the Dodgers this month, it comes too late, it still reminds what a healthy Kemp can do. This is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic way Kemp ended  last season.

The victory went to Josh Beckett, who pitched six solid innings to raise his overall record to 7-14 and to 2-3 with the Dodgers.

Beckett gave up a solo home run to Andrew Brown in the fourth, but otherwise kept the shorthanded Rockies -- they called up Rafael Ortega on Sunday from Class A and batted him second with four games to play -- at bay.

Beckett allowed the one run on six hits and three walks in his six innings, striking out five. He was aided by a spectacular double play turned by second baseman Mark Ellis with the bases loaded in the fourth. Ellis sprinted into the hole, spun and fired in midair to second  to ignite the play.

The loss went to Jorge De La Rosa, making just his third start since coming back from Tommy John surgery. The results, however, looked familiar. In 14 career appearances against the Dodgers (10 starts), he is now 0-7.

De La Rosa gave up the two-run homers to Kemp and Cruz in the fourth, and the RBI single to Ramirez in the fifth. Ellis added his two-run shot against reliever Alex White in the sixth.

The Dodgers have now scored 34 runs in their last five games, after scoring 35 runs in their previous 14 games.


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