DENVER (AP) Ted Lilly threw six solid innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers got home runs from Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis in a 7-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Lilly gave up four hits and two runs while the Dodgers pounded out 11 hits off Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and then held on despite a shaky bullpen performance. The victory capped a big day for the storied franchise that marked the end to the tumultuous Frank McCourt era.
The $2 billion sale of the team to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson, was finalized Tuesday, just hours before the Dodgers improved to an NL-best 17-7.
“I think the fans of L.A. are pretty excited about the new ownership and what it’s bringing. As long as L.A. is happy, I’m happy,” Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp said. “As long as we’re winning, I’m happy.”
The Dodgers were even happier after this latest display of pinpoint pitching and power at the plate that has propelled them to their best start since 1983.
Lilly (3-0) improved to 9-2 against the Rockies. He got all the run support he needed by the time the Dodgers had sent four batters to the plate in the first inning.
The only downer for Los Angeles was the bullpen that allowed four runs in two ugly innings before Javy Guerra shut the door in the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances. He allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario, who advanced on a passed ball and went to third on Marco Scutaro’s groundout.
That brought up Carlos Gonzalez, who had already homered earlier in the evening. With first base open, the Dodgers decided to pitch to the Rockies’ slugger, and Guerra fell behind 2-0 before throwing three straight strikes to end it.
Gonzalez’s bat splintered as he smashed it into the ground in frustration.
Chacin (0-3) gave up an RBI double in the third to Ellis, who made it 7-0 with a two-run shot in the fifth, his second of the season. The seven earned runs Chacin allowed were a career worst.
Gordon led off the game with his first career homer, a no-doubt shot off the second deck in right field, and Ethier homered into the bullpen in right-center following singles by Mark Ellis and Kemp to make it 4-0.
Lilly’s only mistake among his 79 pitches was a fat fastball that Gonzalez sent into the right-field seats for a two-run homer, his fifth, in the sixth inning that made it 7-2.
The Rockies tagged Josh Lindblom for three runs on four hits in the seventh.
Chris Nelson hit a run-scoring double and pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin a two-run homer to right that made it 7-5. In just two-thirds of an inning, Lindblom gave up as many hits as Lilly did. With the tying run at the plate, lefty Scott Elbert came on and retired Gonzalez on a groundout.
Troy Tulowitzki led off the eighth with a triple against Kenley Jansen, and Todd Helton drove him home with a sacrifice fly that left fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. tracked down at the wall in the power alley, making it 7-6. Jansen gave up a two-out single to Ramon Hernandez but struck out pinch-hitter Jason Giambi to end the threat.
NOTES: LHP Josh Outman impressed the Rockies with his one inning of work Monday at Triple-A Colorado Springs as he inches closer to joining Colorado’s bullpen. Outman (oblique) hit 95 mph with his fastball, manager Jim Tracy said. … Tracy said Rosario is getting enough playing time at catcher to avoid stunting his development. Tracy noted the experience Rosario is gaining from watching and listening to Hernandez is as much a teaching tool as is playing. … The Rockies know about fast starts like the Dodgers are enjoying. They opened 17-8 last year only to fade fast. “You have to be mindful that the season isn’t one month long, it’s six,” Tracy said. “A good month does not a season make.” … The rubber game of the series Wednesday pits Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-0) against Drew Pomeranz (0-1).
AP Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.