Garciaparra, Dodgers Topple Rockies 5-4
DENVER (AP) _ Nomar Garciaparra singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh and Brett Tomko won for the first time at Coors Field when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Monday night.
Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single off rookie Ramon Ramirez, who hadn’t given up a run in his first 15 1-3 innings covering 11 appearances but allowed three runs in just 1-3 of an inning.
Ramirez (2-1) replaced starter Josh Fogg to start the seventh and issued a leadoff walk to Tomko. Rafael Furcal followed with a single and one out later, Garciaparra singled to right and Tomko scored to break a 2-all tie when Hawpe’s throw pulled Danny Ardoin off the plate just enough to miss the tag.
Ray King came in and surrendered a two-run double to J.D. Drew that made it 5-2.
Tomko (5-1) allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and one walk in seven innings.
He had lost his previous four decisions in downtown Denver’s spacious ballpark and got off to a rough start again, allowing an unearned run in the first and an RBI double to Clint Barmes in the second before settling down and retiring 15 straight batters before Brad Hawpe’s ninth homer cut LA’s lead to 5-3 in the seventh.
Takashi Saito pitched the final two innings, giving up Matt Holliday’s 11th homer in the ninth before finishing up for his first career save.
Jeff Kent added three doubles as the Dodgers (20-19) moved above .500 for the first time since April 10.
Garciaparra, who signed with Los Angeles during the offseason, strained his right side during the Dodgers’ final spring training game and was put on the disabled list. Since his return, he’s knocked in 23 runs in 21 games, and during his hitting streak, he has 19 hits and 14 RBIs and the Dodgers are 8-2.
Although the former All-Star shortstop is playing first base for the first time in his major league career, he’s the only first baseman in the National League with at least 100 chances who hasn’t committed an error.
He did, however, bobble a foul ball off the Barmes’ bat in the fourth that fell into the Rockies’ dugout.
Fogg had trouble finding the plate, throwing 46 strikes and 47 balls. He allowed Jose Cruz Jr.’s second homer of the season, a solo shot in the second, then lost his command in the sixth, when he missed the plate on nine straight pitches, walking Garciaparra and Drew with one out.
Kent’s double down the left-field line scored Garciaparra to tie it at 2-all.
Barmes, who got a vote of confidence from manager Clint Hurdle after returning from a 1-for-17 trip, doubled home a run in the second. But he inexplicably rounded second nonchalantly and then slipped on the moist dirt and was tagged out in a rundown.
The Rockies scored an unearned run in the first. Saenz overthrew first base on a groundball to third by Luis Gonzalez, who ended up at second and scored on Garrett Atkins’ single.
Notes: Dodgers closer Eric Gagne (right elbow) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday. ... Rockies RHP Mike DeJean played catch from 60 feet Monday but there’s still no plans for his return to the mound. He’s been on the DL since early April with tendinitis in his right shoulder.