Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Ted Lilly’s two-hit shutout and Reed Johnson’s two-run homer lifted the Dodgers over the Rockies, 2-0, in the rubber match of their three-game series.
Lilly (7-8) struck out 11 and walked a pair en route to his third career shutout and first since 2004. The veteran lefty has been a revelation since coming over in a trade with the Cubs, winning each of his four starts with Los Angeles while pitching to a 1.29 earned run average.
LA has won 10 straight series against the Rockies and has shut them out in three of their last four games at Chavez Ravine. Colorado has alternated wins and losses in each of its 16 games in August.
Jorge De La Rosa (4-4) was the hard-luck loser, yielding five hits and four walks over a seven-inning start, his lone error being a hanging changeup in the second inning that Johnson drove into the left-field bleachers.
The Rockies will try to accomplish that feat in tonight's rubber match of a three-game series between the National League West foes from Dodger Stadium, where Los Angeles will send the red-hot Ted Lilly to the mound.
Colorado has lost nine consecutive series to Los Angeles since taking two of three bouts at Dodger Stadium from August 19-21, 2008. The Rockies are an unwanted 8-21 against their fellow division member over that span and have been dealt defeats in 11 of their last 15 visits to Chavez Ravine.
The Rockies were blanked by a 6-0 count in Tuesday's opener of this set, but rebounded for a hard-earned extra-inning decision last night to even things up. Colorado came through with a 3-2 triumph, with Melvin Mora scoring the eventual winning run on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th.
Mora drew a walk against Octavio Dotel (2-3) with one out in the 10th and stole second before taking third on a wild pitch from the Los Angeles reliever. With Jason Giambi at the plate two batters later, Dotel uncorked another throw that eluded catcher A.J. Ellis and allowed Mora to score.
"We really had to grind tonight," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy afterward. "There wasn't a lot going on offensively. We took advantage of a couple of walks and wild pitches to scratch out a run. It was a great game to win."
Miguel Olivo knocked in a pair of runs on the night for Colorado, which presently trails Philadelphia by six games for the lead in the NL Wild Card standings. Starting pitcher Jason Hammel allowed two runs and just four hits in a six-inning no-decision.
Hiroki Kuroda also pitched well for Los Angeles despite not factoring in the final outcome, with the Japanese native holding the Rockies to two runs and striking out seven batters over the first seven innings.
For Colorado to finally break through and take a series from the Dodgers, the team will have to solve the resurgent Lilly, who's been outstanding since coming over in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 31. The veteran lefty has won all three starts following the swap and yielded a total of four runs and just 10 hits over 19 innings during that impressive stretch.
Lilly extended his terrific run by firing six shutout innings to best NL East leader Atlanta this past Saturday at Turner Field. He's now 3-0 with an excellent 1.85 earned run average in six starts with the Dodgers and Cubs since the All-Star break.
The 34-year-old has also had success when facing the Rockies over his career, having amassed a 3-1 record with a 5.40 ERA through five all-time meetings with Colorado. In his lone encounter with Colorado last season, Lilly gave up only a single hit and struck out eight over 6 2/3 frames while still with Chicago.
Jorge De La Rosa gets the call for Colorado tonight and will be hoping to end his career struggles against the Dodgers. The left-hander is 0-5 with a 6.58 ERA over 11 overall appearances (seven starts) versus LA, although he does sport a strong 1.86 ERA in six lifetime outings (three starts) at Dodger Stadium.
The 2009 16-game winner enters tonight's clash off back-to-back no-decisions against Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. In Friday's start against the Brewers, De La Rosa allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings.
De La Rosa is 4-3 with a 4.99 ERA in 11 starts during an injury-plagued 2010 campaign, with the 29-year-old having missed more than two months with a torn tendon in his left finger.