"He was really good," said manager Dave Roberts. "Now that we have assurance from the training staff and Rich that the finger's intact and feels good, and the way the ball's coming out, it was really encouraging. Even in the seventh inning, Rich was still making pitches."
Hill (1-3) struck out 10 without a walk in his third start off the disabled list, a nice rebound from the four runs he allowed to the Mets over five innings in his previous start. Pat Valaika's solo homer in the fifth inning was the only run he allowed.
"The ball came out of my hand the way I wanted it to," said Hill. "That's what I was really pleased with, the consistency with the flight of the ball and the way the curveball came out of my hand. Everything came together tonight."
Hill said he was able to stay off his toe and on his left heel as he began his motion, avoiding a repeat of a mechanical flaw he felt contributed to his rough start in New York.
At the halfway point in the season, the Dodgers are 43-38, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place D-backs in the National League West.
The Rockies secured the win when Nolan Arenado homered off Scott Alexander in the eighth, and Chris Iannetta took Yimi Garcia deep in ninth. The Dodgers' bullpen has allowed runs in each of the last seven games for an ERA of 8.88.
Relievers Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields are already on the Major League disabled list. Adam Liberatore is on the Triple-A DL. Erik Goeddel and Caleb Ferguson pitched Thursday and were unavailable. Walker Buehler was optioned right before first pitch, leaving no time to recall a replacement. J.T. Chargois will be up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday, Roberts said.
"We have guys who aren't feeling great, we had guys down tonight, so to have Rich go six-plus was necessary," said Roberts. "To have Rich go deep, to throw the ball well -- it's kind of like with Clayton [Kershaw] -- it's still encouraging."
The lack of arms made Hill's outing invaluable, even though he was outpitched by Colorado starter Tyler Anderson. The Dodgers scratched out four singles off Anderson, and the only run came on Justin Turner's solo shot off Wade Davis with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Hill's outing came one day after Kershaw threw five solid innings in his second start off the DL. Kenta Maeda pitches on Saturday in his third start off the DL. The Dodgers believe if they can get Buehler squared away after his injured rib, the rotation will be relatively whole again and the front office can focus on replenishing a weary bullpen.
The Dodgers have one game left in June to make their mark on the record book. Turner's home run was the club's 54th in June, a franchise record for a single month, four behind the MLB record and two shy of tying the MLB record for home runs in June.
"The way we've slugged, obviously, it's unprecedented," said Roberts. "It's a credit to the guys and it's nice to see J.T. get this whole thing going and to cap it off with getting the record."
Turner, who missed the first six weeks of the season with a broken wrist and had lingering problems with pull power, is 8-for-19 with three homers in the last six games.
SOUND SMART With a fifth-inning single, All-Star candidate Matt Kemp snapped an 0-for-15 drought.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS After Rockies third baseman Arenado looked like a Gold Glove winner by barehanding an Austin Barnes roller and throwing him out in the bottom of the fifth, Turner copied the play in the top of the sixth with a barehanded play on Ian Desmond.
HE SAID IT "The decision on Walker was just to give him the best opportunity to build up, to give him a runway to get his pitch count up." -- Roberts, on Buehler being optioned to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga before the game
UP NEXT Maeda opposes German Marquez and the Rockies in Saturday's 4:15 p.m. PT matchup at Dodger Stadium. In his last outing, Maeda pitched seven shutout innings against the Cubs, striking out nine. It came on five days' rest, when Maeda has a 3.18 ERA. This one is on the more typical four days, when his ERA is 6.17.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.