Wood helps Dodgers trim magic number to 10
LOS ANGELES -- Alex Wood allowed one hit and tied a career high with eight innings as the Dodgers beat the Rockies, 2-0, on Wednesday night, as L.A. trimmed its magic number in the National League West to 10.
Wood retired 19 in a row to finish his outing, with his lone baserunner reaching base in the second inning. It was quite the bounce-back performance after Wood lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his last start, against Arizona. He was pulled in favor of Kenley Jansen for the ninth, despite having thrown only 78 pitches.
"I wasn't going to fight too hard, especially after the [previous outing]," Wood said. "If I hadn't had the last one, then maybe I put up a little bit more of a fight, but in a 2-0 ballgame, we're trying to clinch our playoff berth, and the ninth inning, as everyone knows, is Kenley's, for the most part."
Wood's counterpart, Jorge De La Rosa, was nearly as good, as he also went eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits in a loss.
A.J. Ellis hit a solo home run in the second inning to get the Dodgers on the board, and Corey Seager provided the insurance for the Dodgers by going 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the sixth. For Ellis, it was the first sign of success against De La Rosa, as he entered the game 0-for-10 in his career against the lefty.
"Jorge has been an enigma to me and a couple other righties in this clubhouse, so it was a little ironic that I put us in front, because it's been a challenge to face him my entire career," Ellis said.
The Rockies' Nolan Arenado, who won Tuesday night's game with a 16th-inning home run, felt the offense let De La Rosa down.
"We didn't have very good at-bats," Arenado said. "I didn't have very good at-bats, either. It just wasn't a very good day today. The game went by so fast, and we didn't do a good job controlling the game, controlling the tempo.
"Give [Wood] credit. He pitched well, but we didn't do a very good job of giving him a hard time."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cherish it like it's the last, because it just might be: Rockies left fielder Kyle Parker took a .155 batting average to the plate and swatted an opposite-way single to right with two outs in the second inning. The Rockies didn't manage another hit off Wood. Charlie Blackmon would manage the only other hit, on a two-out single against Jansen in the ninth.
Wasted: De La Rosa tied a career high for the seventh time and earned his second career eight-inning complete game. He also made two strong fielding plays, on Joc Pederson to end the second and against Justin Ruggiano in the sixth. De La Rosa had five strikeouts against one walk.
"I felt good, but I made a mistake with Ellis, and that's where we lost the game," De La Rosa said.
Only one mishap: The Dodgers put together a unique lineup after the 16-inning game on Tuesday, and their starting infield had just 55 career starts at their respective positions. The only error came in the second inning, when third baseman Alex Guerrero dropped a foul popup, but Wood retired Ben Paulsen on the next pitch.
Jansen bounces back: Wood wasn't the only Dodger to come back strong after a subpar outing. Jansen allowed three runs against the D-backs on Sunday, but closed out the game on Wednesday, allowing one hit for his 32nd save of the season.
"He just seemed sharper all night. You never really know what goes on, game to game. His mix was good tonight, and he got on a roll early and kept his pitch count down. He kept them off stride all night, and no one was really squaring him up," -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Wood's bounce-back performance
"[De La Rosa] threw the ball well, too -- complete game, two runs. We'll take that every time." -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
Rockies: Chad Bettis gets the start Friday at 6:40 p.m. MDT when the Padres visit Coors Field. Bettis will be going for his 8th win, and will be opposite San Diego's Ian Kennedy.
Dodgers: The Dodgers have their final off-day of the regular season on Thursday before continuing their 10-game homestand by hosting Pittsburgh for three games over the weekend. NL Cy Young Award candidate Zack Greinke takes the mound for the 7:10 p.m. PT start, looking for his 18th win of the season.