DENVER -- A sprawling catch by Tony Gwynn Jr. kept the Dodgers' big night at the plate from going to waste.
Los Angeles had a season-high 18 hits and Gwynn ended the game with a diving play in left, helping the Dodgers snap a three-game skid with an 11-7 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.Gwynn's clutch grab was the chatter in both clubhouses.With the bases loaded and the Rockies threatening a ninth-inning comeback, Charlie Blackmon sent a liner to left that was tailing away from the speedy outfielder.Blackmon thought for sure the ball was going to drop, even thinking that he just might be able to run all the way home if it got by Gwynn.No such luck for the Rockies as Gwynn dove to his right and made the backhand grab -- the second time he's closed out a close game with a magnificent catch. He also robbed San Diego's Nick Hundley on April 29."I thought it was down. I feel like everybody else thought it was down. And then he caught it," Blackmon said, shaking his head. "That was a really nice play. I'm impressed."Ted Lilly (5-5) wasn't all that surprised by Gwynn's glove work. The veteran lefty had seen it before."He's one of the best defensive outfielders in the game," Lilly said. "He's as good as any in the game right now, so him making a play like that is not too surprising."Aaron Miles and Jamey Carroll each had four hits as the Dodgers won for the first time in five games at Coors Field this season.Lilly (5-5) was his typically solid self, scattering four hits before being lifted for pinch-hitter Casey Blake, who didn't start because of a sore neck but broke a tie with a three-run double in the sixth.The Dodgers' bullpen nearly squandered a late six-run lead, much like the Rockies the night before.Colorado scored five times in the eighth and had a chance for even more but shortstop Dee Gordon made a diving stop up the middle to record a forceout at second and reliever Matt Guerrier then struck out Jonathan Herrera to contain the threat.Los Angeles added four runs in the ninth, with Rod Barajas hitting an RBI double, Gwynn bringing in a run on a fielder's choice and Carroll lacing a two-run single to center."If we're not hit for four runs in the top of the ninth inning, because of where I feel they were at bullpen-wise, I think we're in an ideal position to win the game. I really do," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.Javy Guerra pitched a rocky ninth in a non-save situation, giving up an RBI single to Ty Wigginton. Blackmon sent a tailing liner to left, only to have Gwynn save the day for the Dodgers.And with that, he finally quieted a fan who was heckling him all evening."None sweeter," Gwynn said. "As soon as it was hit, I knew my jump was good enough to get my glove on it. Now whether the ball gets in your glove and the impact (knocks it out), that's something you can't control."But on that play I tried to turn my glove over as fast as I could without breaking my wrist."This late rally came a night after the Rockies seemingly had things in hand with a 6-0 lead, only to watch the Dodgers score five times in the ninth before their rally fell short.Jason Hammel (3-6) was cruising along until the sixth, when his lower back began to stiffen up. After his second walk of the inning, Tracy and trainer Keith Dugger came out to check on the righty, who then headed for the clubhouse.After the game, Hammel said his back was bothering him since the second inning, but he labored on. He didn't anticipate going on the disabled list.Hammel gave up seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- before exiting. He's still searching for his first win since April 30."We put up some runs, put up some hits, we didn't lay down," Hammel said. "That's a good thing to see."Matt Kemp had an RBI double in his return to the Los Angeles lineup after not starting the day before because of tightness in his left hamstring.Even with a 1-for-4 performance Saturday, Kemp is hitting .432 in June with a league-best 15 RBIs.Miles was in the middle of all three big innings for the Dodgers. He drew a walk in the sixth ahead of Blake's bases-clearing shot to left, delivered a two-run double in the seventh to give the Dodgers some breathing room and then singled in the ninth during their four-run burst."I come to the park ready to play," said Miles, who was filling in for Blake. "Of course I want to play every day, but we have a lot of good ballplayers on this team and I think it's obviously a good problem."In the Colorado eighth, Troy Tulowitzki had a two-run single. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Seth Smith lined a single up the middle that Kemp misplayed, allowing two more runs to score. Blackmon added an RBI single, but the Rockies got no closer."We were able to string some hits together, but still we came up short," said Wigginton, who had a homer off Lilly in the second. "Let's sleep this one off and come get them tomorrow."
Rockies 1B Todd Helton was given a day off to keep him fresh. ... The Rockies had their three-game winning streak snapped.