Andre Ethier hit two of L.A.'s three home runs, powering the descending Dodgers past the Rockies 6-1 Wednesday night to restore their teetering lead in the NL West to three games over Colorado.
• Andre Ethier homered twice in a game for the sixth time this season as the Dodgers increased their lead on the Rockies in the NL West back to three games. Only Albert Pujols has more multi-HR games (9) this season than Ethier.
• It was Ethier's eighth career multi-HR game. Ethier now has five home runs and 17 RBIs in 13 games vs. Colorado this season.
• Randy Wolf picked up career win 99 and is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last four starts.
• The Dodgers are 11-3 vs. the Rockies this season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
The Rockies, who had won eight of 10, were trying to move within a game of Dodgers, a team they trailed by 15 1/2 games on June 3."It gives us a chance going into tomorrow to distance ourselves a game and give us a little bit a room," Ethier said.Now, the Dodgers will leave Denver with either a two- or four-game lead on the Rockies."I'm not really concerned about them," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I have a great deal of respect for them, but it's all about how we play. If we're in the last week of the season, last 10 days of the season, yes, you worry about that team. But right now we've got to get into a mode of playing more consistently and winning more games."That's my concern more so than who's running us down."Torre wouldn't say who he'll send to the mound Thursday afternoon. Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (12-8) goes for the Rockies.Colorado had posted four straight come-from-behind wins, including a 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Dodgers in the series opener. The Rockies, though, couldn't muster another comeback against Wolf (9-6), who scattered five hits over 7 1/3 spectacular innings. He walked two and struck out five.Ethier hit his 26th and 27th home runs off spot starter Josh Fogg (0-2), who allowed six runs, all of them on the long ball, and four hits and four walks in three-plus innings."He got a little wild there for a little bit," said James Loney, who added a three-run homer off Fogg. "We didn't get that many hits off of him -- we just got some big ones."Ethier's two-run shot gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first and he made it 3-1 with a solo shot to the same spot in the bullpen in right-center leading off the fourth, when Fogg unraveled.Starting for the first time in nearly a year, Fogg failed to retire any of the half-dozen batters he faced in the fourth.After Ethier's leadoff homer, Manny Ramirez was hit by a fastball and Casey Blake drew a walk before Loney stroked an 86 mph offering over the right-field wall for his eighth homer and a 6-1 lead."He only gave up three or four hits so I think he was in a groove," Ethier said. "He just happened to give up three balls over the fence."It was the other pitches that made those long balls all the worse."He was trying to make perfect pitches after the second Ethier home run," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "As a result of that, he ended up hitting Manny, he walked Blake and then he threw a bad pitch to James Loney and just like that they got four runs and a 6-1 lead."Russell Martin followed with a single and Orlando Hudson drew a walk, sending Fogg to the showers. Right-hander Juan Rincon, activated off the DL earlier in the day, came on and got out of the jam by inducing Rafael Furcal into a double-play after striking out Wolf.But the damage was done and so were the Rockies.Colorado got its only run on Ryan Spilborghs' eighth homer in the second before Wolf retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced.George Sherrill got the last two outs of the eighth and Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth for L.A."This is a big series for us, but you can't lose sight that there's a lot of season left," Wolf said. "We haven't played the best baseball in the past month and they've played great, but we can't worry about them."Still, Torre was the picture of relief."We needed it," he said.
Rincon threw four hitless innings in relief, his longest stint since July 27, 2003, at Cleveland while he was with the Twins. ... Ethier has six multihomer games this season and eight in his career. ... Rincon, who had been on the DL since Aug. 1 with stiffness in his right elbow, grounded back to the pitcher in the fifth inning in his first at-bat since June 16, 2004, at Montreal.