• Summary: Russell Martin led his team to their fifth win in six tries. Martin's sac fly in the eighth gave the Dodgers all they would need in a 2-1 win over the Rockies.
• Turning point: Colorado squandered a bases juiced, one away opportunity in the top of the eighth. Matt Holliday could have broken open a 1-1 tie, but grounded into a double play to end the inning instead.
• Unsung hero: Making his first start since June 24, Dodgers righty Brett Tomko was impressive with a one-hit showing. Tomko struck out nine while walking three in six innings.
• Figure this: L.A.'s top three batted 6-for-11 while the rest of the lineup went 0-for-15.
• Elias Says: The Dodgers are 5-0 in one-run games against the Padres.
-- ESPN.com news services
Dodgers 2, Rockies 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Brett Tomko didn't know what to expect in his
first appearance of the season and first start since last June. So
he decided to slow himself down. The strategy worked wonders. Tomko allowed one hit in six shutout innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1 Tuesday night for
their fifth win in six games. The 34-year-old right-hander left with a 1-0 lead, and while he
didn't receive credit for the victory, that didn't seem to damper
his mood. "It was one of those nights, you go out there, have fun, get
good results," Tomko said. "It was a good first time out. I knew
I felt strong, I just tried to back off and not pitch full-speed.
When I do that, I usually do better. I feel like if I make my
pitches, it'll all take care of itself." Russell Martin's sacrifice fly in the eighth drove in Wilson
Betemit with the go-ahead run, making a winner of reliever Joe Beimel (1-0). Tomko walked three, struck out nine and threw 92 pitches before
being relieved by Chad Billingsley to start the seventh. "He was real effective," Colorado's Garrett Atkins said of
Tomko. "He was locating his fastball and keeping it down. The
umpire was giving him that low strike and the just stayed down
there the whole game and pitched really well." Tomko held the Rockies hitless until Matt Holliday doubled off
the center-field fence to open the fifth. He then worked out of
trouble by striking out Brad Hawpe and Troy Tulowitzki and, after
an intentional walk to Yorvit Torrealba, fanning Colorado starter
Rodrigo Lopez to end the inning. "He did an outstanding job keeping hitters off-balance," said
Martin, the Dodgers' catcher. "When he fell behind, he used his
changeup real well." Betemit walked against Byung-Hyun Kim (1-1) to start the eighth,
and took third on a one-out single by Juan Pierre before Martin hit
a 1-2 pitch to left field, deep enough to drive in Betemit. "He's not a strikeout pitcher," Martin said of Kim. "I was
being patient, just waiting for something I could hit in the air." Beimel, the third Dodgers' pitcher, worked out of a one-out,
bases-loaded jam in the eighth by starting an inning-ending double
play on Holliday's grounder to the mound. "Joe Beimel's strength is throwing sinkers," Martin said.
"Sinkers produce ground balls." Said Holliday: "That's not a good pitch for me to hit in that
situation. There's a difference between being aggressive and being
Takashi Saito retired the Rockies in order in the ninth for his
fourth save in as many chances. Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead against Lopez in the first when
Martin singled, stole second and scored on a single by Nomar Garciaparra. The Rockies tied it against Billingsley in the seventh
on a one-out double by Hawpe and a two-out, RBI single by
Torrealba. Lopez was nearly as effective as Tomko, giving up five hits and
one run in six innings with two walks and two strikeouts. Colorado
starters have worked at least six innings in each of the team's
eight games this season, and allowed two runs or fewer in the last
seven. "It's the first time in organizational history that we've been
able to do that," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "They have
the ability to do it, and now it's about building up consistency. A
week doesn't make a month and a month doesn't make a season. We
need to stay consistent throughout the season." Tomko retired the first 11 Colorado batters before hitting
Atkins with a pitch. Todd Helton then flied out to deep center,
ending the fourth. Lopez worked out of a jam in the bottom of the inning. Martin
singled and took third on a double by Garciaparra. Jeff Kent
grounded out and, after Luis Gonzalez was walked intentionally,
Lopez retired Wilson Valdez on a fly to shallow right and Andre Ethier on a ground ball.
The Dodgers placed OF Matt Kemp on the 15-day DL because of
an injured right shoulder, and recalled RHP Chin-hui Tsao from
Triple-A Las Vegas. Kemp was injured in Monday's 6-3 loss to the
Rockies when he banged into the auxiliary scoreboard in right field
trying to catch Jeff Baker's RBI triple. ... Rockies LHP Jeff Francis dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension and began
serving it Tuesday night. Francis, the winning pitcher Monday, was
suspended for throwing at San Diego's Kevin Kouzmanoff in an
exhibition game March 13. ... Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt, who came
out of Monday's game in the fifth with tightness in his right
hamstring, said he felt fine and would take his regular turn Sunday
night against San Diego. ... Helton struck out in the first -- just
his second strikeout of the season. He entered the game having
swung and missed only once in 44 swings.