McKenry powers Rox past LA to open twin bill
DENVER -- Michael McKenry homered, doubled and drove in three runs on Tuesday, while Jorge De La Rosa pitched six innings in a quality start as the Rockies beat the Dodgers, 6-3, in the first game of a doubleheader, making up a May 9 rainout.
"I swung at a bad pitch [earlier in the count], and I was just telling myself to slow down," McKenry said of his home run. "A curveball was left up, and I was able to drive it. I was very fortunate."
All of McKenry's damage came off Ian Thomas, the second of five relievers used by manager Don Mattingly in a bullpen game. Thomas was making his Dodgers debut after being acquired last week from Atlanta in the Juan Uribe trade. Ben Paulsen homered off Chris Hatcher for an insurance run in the seventh inning.
"We didn't do enough to deserve to win," Mattingly said.
The third run off De La Rosa came when he walked three, including Thomas, with two outs in the fifth. De La Rosa (2-2), who was making his first start since cutting a finger on his left hand after his May 21 start, is 46-15 lifetime at Coors Field.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Short start by design: Juan Nicasio, a reliever, was asked to deliver about two innings in his first start of the season, and he held his former club to one run on a Nolan Arenado double and an infield RBI single by Daniel Descalso.
"I thought Juan was good," said Mattingly. "His stuff was really good."
Up and down: De La Rosa's 42-pitch fifth inning had its fair share of unstable moments, but the lefty managed to sidestep serious trouble. Three walks and a single did come with two outs, which erased the Rockies' 3-2 lead at the time, but De La Rosa struck out cleanup hitter Howie Kendrick with the bases loaded to limit the damage, ending a six-pitch at-bat with a nasty splitter in the dirt.
Early tone: The Dodgers looked to score first with some two-out magic in the second, but Carlos Gonzalez put an end to that. With Alex Guerrero on second, Enrique Hernandez singled sharply to right, and Gonzalez came up throwing as Guerrero headed for the plate. McKenry corralled the laser on a short hop and tagged Guerrero before he even reached the right-handed batter's box, giving Gonzalez his third outfield assist of the season.
"Any time the ball goes to CarGo, you get ready for a throw," McKenry said. "I just tried to stay athletic and read the hop and let the ball take me where it takes me. It took me right into the runner, so I didn't block the plate by the rules. It was awesome. I love plays at the plate."
"Having 15 [homers] not one-third of the way through, that's a lot. We knew the talent was there, the swing was there. It doesn't mean he'll hit 60, but the consistency of his at-bats, the best is yet to come." -- Mattingly, on Pederson.
The Rockies benefited from an overturned call for the second out of the top of the ninth, a manager's challenge in which Justin Turner -- originally ruled safe at second by second-base umpire Jeff Nelson -- was ultimately out on an Andre Ethier grounder flipped to second baseman DJ LeMahieu by the shortstop, Descalso.
To lead off the fifth inning, the Rockies challenged a call of first-base umpire John Tumpane, who ruled Hernandez safe at first, motioning that Paulsen, the first baseman, had juggled Descalso's short-hop throw. A replay review overturned the call, and Hernandez was out.
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