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Butler struggles against nemesis Dodgers

Rockies pitcher has made half of his big league starts vs. NL West rival
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler has every right to be sick of seeing the Dodgers, his opponent for half of his 10 Major League starts. Many were like Friday night -- when he lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a 6-4 defeat at Dodger Stadium.

"You've got to beat them," Butler said. "We've got them in, like, six series this year, so I've just got to figure out how to get through these guys, turn it around and play better ball against them."

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler has every right to be sick of seeing the Dodgers, his opponent for half of his 10 Major League starts. Many were like Friday night -- when he lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a 6-4 defeat at Dodger Stadium.

"You've got to beat them," Butler said. "We've got them in, like, six series this year, so I've just got to figure out how to get through these guys, turn it around and play better ball against them."

Full Game Coverage

Butler (2-4) gave up four runs, three earned, six hits and four damaging walks Friday night. It started rough, with a Jimmy Rollins one-out home run in a lengthy first inning. When the Dodgers were walking or putting men all over the bases, they were fouling off pitches and driving up Butler's pitch count -- 83 in the short time.

"I was throwing the ball down, keeping it down," Butler said. "They weren't being called strikes. A couple of guys fouled balls off and there were a couple of long at-bats. It ran up the pitch count real quick."

Butler's struggles were part of the reason the Dodgers built a 6-0 lead. A lead like that usually is too much at Dodger Stadium with ace Clayton Kershaw starting. But the Rockies pulled to 6-4 and had runners at second and third and the potential go-ahead run at the plate as the contest ended.

Video: COL@LAD: Descalso clears the bases with a double

A better start from Butler would have made a difference.

In his last outing, on May 8 against the Dodgers at Coors Field, Butler trailed, 2-1, when the game was called in the top of the sixth because of heavy rain. In that one, Butler gave up both runs in the first but settled.

Firday, after Rollins' homer, Butler gave up two hits and a walk. But because he picked Howie Kendrick off second base and worked a line out from Andre Ethier, Rollins' homer was the only run.

Video: COL@LAD: Butler makes a quick throw for the pickoff

But Butler gave up three runs in the third inning. Justin Turner's two-run double came after an error. Butler was late reaching the first-base bag and not in the position for first baseman Wilin Rosario's spinning throw, which was surprisingly on-line -- given the fact Rosario doesn't have much experience at first base. Rosario was charged with the error.

Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI single.

Bench coach Tom Runnells, running the team while manager Walt Weiss recovers from an appendectomy, said the Dodgers deserve credit for making Friday tough on Butler, who didn't have his offspeed pitches and couldn't get outs with his sinking fastball.

"They've got professional hitters, and they grind out at-bats," Runnells said. "Eddie was throwing some strikes early but they foul a lot of pitches off, and they take a lot of borderline pitches."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies, Eddie Butler