Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his homerun with Justin Turner #10 for a 3-1 lead over the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Dodgers certainly didn’t make it easy on themselves in a 6-3 win Saturday night against the Colorado Rockies.
Paul Maholm (1-2) gave LA its second straight quality outing from a starter going seven innings, and exiting with a 5-2 lead.
“I think he’s been good a lot,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Maholm’s performance after the game. “I know he hasn’t gotten wins, but he’s kept us in games.”
Things got hairy once Maholm left.
LA reliever Chris Withrow came into the eighth with a 5-2 lead and promptly walked the bases loaded with one out, and two of Colorado’s most dangerous hitters coming up. But, Withrow blew a 96 mph fastball past Carlos Gonzalez for the second out and got Troy Tulowitzki to swing and miss at a slider off the plate outside to get out of the inning unscathed.
Yasiel Puig put the Dodgers up 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth with a run scoring, ground-rule double to center field.
It actually came in handy.
In the ninth, Brian Wilson was brought in, likely just to get some work in on his way back from an injury, and walked the first two batters. Mattingly saw enough, and pulled Wilson for his closer Kenley Jansen. The big right-hander gave up a single and a run on a fielder’s choice, but then struck out Brandon Barnes to end it for his ninth save of the season.
The Dodgers offense continued to pound the ball. Of their 12 hits, five went for extra bases, including Matt Kemp’s fourth home run of the season and Adrian Gonzalez’s National League leading eighth.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez left the game in the fourth inning with what the team says is a contusion to his right hand. He hurt it on an RBI ground out. Mattingly said X-rays came back negative and Ramirez will get time to rest.
“Five days ago he knew he was going to get tomorrow, and combined that with the off day and the night, that’s almost three days there,” Mattingly said.
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio (2-1) took the loss. He couldn’t get out of the fifth, giving up five runs on eight hits in 4 ⅓ innings.
Nolan Arenado was the offensive bright spot for Colorado. He went 1 for 2 with two walks, and extended his hitting streak to a Major League leading 16 games. He’s batting .356 (21 - 59) during the streak.