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Rockies blitz Dodgers early and don't let up in 12-2 win

Starter Ted Lilly gives up five runs in three innings and is scheduled for an MRI exam on his stiff back Tuesday.

April 29, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers' Ted Lilly gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits over three innings.
Dodgers' Ted Lilly gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits over… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

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Magic Johnson could watch only so much.

With the Dodgers already facing a double-digit deficit against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning, Johnson left his seat in the owner's box and quickly disappeared down a nearby stairwell.

Johnson still lasted longer than Ted Lilly did in the Dodgers' 12-2 defeat on Monday night, as the soft-tossing left hander pitched only three innings and was charged with five runs and eight hits.

The Dodgers have four starting pitchers on the disabled list — Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife. Lilly could make it five.

Lilly said his back stiffened in the Rockies' four-run first inning and became progressively worse. He will undergo an MRI exam on Tuesday.

"I think I have a few things to be concerned about, that being one of them," Lilly said. "And ineffectiveness too."

Because of Lilly's ineffectiveness, Dodger Stadium was nearly empty when Hanley Ramirez marked his return from the disabled list by striking out in a pinch-hit at-bat in the seventh inning. Even fewer fans watched utility man Skip Schumaker pitch a scoreless inning for the Dodgers as part of an effort to preserve their bullpen.

"A start like that puts our club in an awfully tough spot," said Lilly, who remained in the game after he was visited on the mound by trainer Sue Falsone in the third inning.

What was a nightmare for the Dodgers was a memorable night for a couple of Southern California natives on the visiting team.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado collected not only his first major league hit, but also his first major league home run. Arenado was drafted from El Toro High in 2009.

Former Angels pitcher Tyler Chatwood, a 2008 graduate of Redlands East Valley High, earned his first win of the season and also had three hits.

Arenado's two-run home run in the fifth inning came against reliever Josh Wall, as did a two-run single by Chatwood in the fourth inning.

Wall was perhaps the greatest victim of Lilly's atrocious start, as he was asked to complete two excruciating, and potentially confidence-crushing, innings. Wall was charged with five runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth, increasing the Dodgers' deficit to 12-0. He threw 62 pitches. He had never thrown more than 29 pitches in a single game.

"He really sucked it up for us tonight," said Manager Don Mattingly, who was spared from using back-end relievers Brandon League, Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario.

Wall's earned-run average blew up to 18.00 and Mattingly hinted the 26-year-old right-hander could be on his way to triple A.

"Obviously, you have to make a decision on that one," Mattingly said.

With rookie Matt Magill looking impressive in his major league debut on Saturday, the Dodgers could also be forced to make a decision on Lilly, even if he is healthy.

Lilly was adequate in his season debut five days earlier. He pitched only five innings, but held the New York Mets to a run.

He failed to recapture whatever little magic he had that day, as leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler blasted his sixth pitch of the game over the left-field wall for a home run.

Fowler's eighth home run of the season was immediately followed by a single by Jordan Pacheco and a double by Carlos Gonzalez. Cleanup hitter Wilin Rosario increased the Rockies' lead to 4-0 with a three-run home run to right field.

The Rockies increased their lead in the third inning. Lilly made a fielding error that allowed Arenado to reach base, then gave up hits to Jonathan Herrera and Chatwood that loaded the bases.

After the hit by Chatwood, Lilly was visited on the field by Falsone and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Lilly remained in the game and walked Fowler to force in another run that widened the margin to 5-0.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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