The league doesn’t have a “book” on Josh Rutledge yet. The rookie shortstop, promoted on July 13, went 4 for 5 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI to lead the Colorado Rockies to their second consecutive victory, 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sandy Koufax Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Tuesday night. Eric Young Jr was 3 for 4 and scored 2 of Colorado’s 3 runs as the Rockies strung 2 wins together for the first time since June 28-29, when they beat the Nationals and the Padres.
Josh Roenicke got the win for Colorado with three scoreless innings in relief of starter Alex White, who threw 80 pitches, 42 strikes, in four scoreless but stressful innings of work. Rafael Betancourt came on in the ninth inning and logged his 19th save. Aaron Harang pitched into the seventh and took the loss for LA. He allowed only one run on 5 hits in six innings, but was charged with all 3 of the Rockies’ runs when the two batters he faced in the seventh both scored.
The Rockies squandered an excellent chance in the first when Young led-off with a single and moved to third on the first of Rutledge’s doubles, but the two and Carlos Gonzalez, who walked, were stranded when Dexter Fowler struck-out, looking foolish, and Jordan Pacheco and Ramon Hernandez grounded into outs. Los Angeles had runners on third against White in the second and third, but the right-hander wiggled-out of trouble each time.
Colorado finally broke through in the fifth when Young singled with one out and came all the away around on Rutledge’s second double, a huge fly ball over the head of Dodgers center-fielder Matt Kemp. In the seventh Chris Nelson, hitting in the nine hole for White in a fifth inning double-switch, singled leading-off. Young walked, then both came around on Rutledge double no. 3. LA picked-up their run in the eighth when Hanley Ramirez singled off Rex Brothers, then came around on pinch-hitter Mark Ellis’ double down the left-field line off Matt Belisle. But Betancourt came-on to retire Los Angeles in the ninth, and the Rockies walked-away with their 40th win of 2012.
Colorado clinched its first series victory since taking two out of three in Washington the weekend preceding the All Star break. They’ll look to sweep Wednesday evening, with left-hander Jeff Francis (3-4, 6.02) facing Dodgers’ righty Chad Billingsley (7-9, 3.74) at 8:10 pm MDT in Chavez Ravine. Los Angeles dropped to 1 1/2 games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants, who defeated St Louis 4-2 behind Barry Zito. Arizona held its ground 4 back, knocking-off Pittsburgh 10-4.