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Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
DENVER (CBSLA.com) — Red, White, and Blue was vibrant on an Independence Day match-up at Coors Field as the Dodgers went for the sweep against the Rockies on Thursday.
If you haven’t been watching the team over the past four weeks, go ahead and take that in.
Yes, the Dodgers, who got off to one of the worst starts in Los Angeles history, came into Thursday’s ball game having won 10 of their last 11 games, and pulled themselves out of the cellar of last place.
This has been done much to the credit of rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, who was in the lineup on Thursday after bruising his hip on catch that nearly left the imprint of his 6-foot-3 frame in the wall.
The Dodgers established season highs in runs (10), hits (17), extra base hits (10), and home runs (4) in their 10-8 win over the Rockies on Wednesday night. It was the first time the club has posted double-digit runs since August of 2012 at Colorado, and the first time they posted double-digit extra base hits since 2006.
The fireworks on Thursday, however, were in the favor of the Rockies.
The struggles of Chris Capuano and Brandon League continued as the Dodgers fell to the Rockies 9-5.
D.J. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the first with a double over the head of Matt Kemp in center field. He was moved to third on a sac bunt and scored easily as Carlos Gonzalez unloaded another double down the right field line.
Kemp and the Dodgers responded in the second, when Andre Ethier singled up the middle, and Kemp connected on a breaking ball to send his fourth home run of the season — his second in as many nights — over the fence in left-center, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Adrian Gonzalez led off the third with his second single of the game and moved to second when Ramirez walked. Matt Kemp continued to keep his bat hot when he singled with one out to load the bases.
Kemp’s hit was the first of two consecutive opportunities for Gonzalez to score. Gonzalez, who does not run well by any means, did not advanced home on a wild pitch that reached the wall, and the Dodgers were retired without making any noise in the inning.
The Rockies took advantage where the Dodgers could not, and earned three straight singles off Capuano to tie the game at two runs. The Dodgers prevented further immediate damage when Carlos Gonzalez grounded to third, trapping LeMahieu in a pickle between third and home and recording the out. However, the Rockies kept pouring the pressure on Capuano.
Michael Cuddyer connected to send one over the head of Kemp in center and off the wall. While Josh Rutledge hesitated from second, Carlos Gonzalez took off. Both runners scored within about two seconds of each other to take a 4-2 lead, and Cuddyer advanced to third on an error by Ramirez. Cuddyer would score on a sacrifice fly by Wilin Rosario.
Capuano was lifted in the fifth inning for struggling ex-closer Brandon League.
League, hoping to start recovering in a low-pressure situation, showed that he is still struggling.
With runners on first and second, League gave up a single to Rosario up the middle which scored Rutledge from second. The next batter, Todd Helton, smacked another RBI single off League, and the Rockies blew the ball game open 7-2.
The Puig-Gonzalez duo cut away at some of the damage left from the Capuano-League duo, when Puig, who had knocked in Punto on an RBI single, was brought home by a double by Gonzalez, bringing the Dodgers back within four runs.
Gonzalez’ hit was off the wall, after it had traveled all the way to opposite-left field, and fell just short of 13th homer of the season.
Cuddyer’s opposite-field shot to right, however, did not fall short. Cuddyer, who’s 27-game hit streak had been snapped by Clayton Kershaw during the series opener on Tuesday, connected off Chris Withrow to extend the Colorado lead 9-4.
It was the first home run given up by Chris Withrow in his career.
The final 4th of July fireworks for the Dodgers came in the ninth inning.
Adrian Gonzalez, who went 4-for-5, hit his 13th home run of the season, right before Hanley Ramirez singled, to keep his hitting streak alive at 15 games.
Hyun Jin Ryu takes the mound on Friday as the Dodgers head to San Francisco to take on the Giants for a three-game series.