Casey Blake's grand slam leads Dodgers to 6-2 win over Rockies and Jimenez
DENVER – Casey Blake hit a grand slam in Los Angeles' five-run eighth inning Friday night and the Dodgers beat Ubaldo Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies 6-2.
Jimenez (17-5) made his fourth unsuccessful attempt for a franchise-record 18th win.
Blake's grand slam was off Matt Belisle, who relieved Jimenez after the first three batters reached base against him in the eighth. Scott Podsednik led off with a single and Ryan Theriot walked before Andre Ethier doubled to the gap in right-center to tie the game at 1 and finish Jimenez, who threw 126 pitches, a total topped this season only when he threw 128 pitches in his no-hitter at Atlanta on April 17.
Belisle, who had not given up an earned run in 16 games dating to July 24, got Matt Kemp to ground out, and Rockies manager Jim Tracy chose to intentionally walk left-handed hitting James Loney to get to Blake.
Blake drove Belisle's 3-2 pitch into the stands in left-center for his 14th homer of the season and fifth career grand slam.
The Dodgers are 7-3 against the Rockies this season and 21-7 dating to the start of the 2009 season. The loss ended Colorado's four-game winning streak and was just their third defeat in their past 13 games at Coors Field, where they are 41-21 (.661).
Jimenez retired the Dodgers in order just once but took a 1-0 lead into the eighth thanks to Todd Helton's fifth homer of the season and the first in his career off left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Helton, a left-handed hitter, came to bat in the second inning 4 for 18 with no RBIs and seven strikeouts lifetime against Kershaw, who walked two and struck out six in six innings before giving way to Jonathan Broxton (5-4). He gave up a run-scoring single to Melvin Mora with two outs in the eighth and was relieved by Hong-Chih Kuo. The left-handed Kuo threw a called third strike past a disbelieving Helton to end that inning and worked the ninth to earn his sixth save.
Jimenez remains tied with Kevin Ritz, who won 17 games in 1996, Pedro Astacio (1999) and Jeff Francis (2007). Since winning his 17th game on Aug. 4, Jimenez has gone 0-3 with a 3.21 ERA in four starts.
He pitched seven innings Aug. 10 at New York and lost 1-0. Jimenez left with a 5-3 lead against Milwaukee on Aug. 15, but closer Huston Street blew a save in the ninth before the Rockies won 6-5 in their half of the inning. And Jimenez gave up three runs in six innings Sunday at Arizona in a 3-1 loss.
Jimenez's ERA rose slightly to 2.71, approaching his season-high of 2.75 on July 24 after he was knocked out in the third inning at Philadelphia.
The Dodgers added a run in the ninth when Franklin Morales issued consecutive two-out walks and Kemp followed with a run-scoring single off Samuel Deduno, who was making his major league debut.
Notes: Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal (low back strain) ran in the outfield. He will take ground balls Saturday and possibly be sent on a rehab assignment Monday. ... Rockies RHP Aaron Cook is scheduled to throw about 85 pitches Saturday on his second rehab start for Double-A Tulsa. If he comes through that fine, Cook will start Sept. 2 against Philadelphia in a makeup game at Coors Field. ... Francis (left biceps soreness) threw a 39-pitch bullpen session. He will throw again in the bullpen before facing hitters in a simulated game. ... Dodgers RHP Vicente Padilla (bulging disc, neck) threw a bullpen session.