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LAD@COL: CarGo skies a towering homer to right field

DENVER -- Fans in the bleachers at Coors Field were directed to file to the outfield grass after Wednesday night's game -- a procedure designed to put them out of range of debris from postgame fireworks.

But the Rockies weren't spared from the explosive Dodgers in a frustrating 10-8 loss before a sellout crowd of 48,628.

Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who entered with a 2.13 ERA and left after being singed for six runs, five earned, and 11 hits in five innings, thought he "pounded the zone." Saying that was understandable, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss seconded him.

But Chatwood wasn't perfect, and the Dodgers have won 10 of their last 11 because they're letting no imperfection pass. The Dodgers forged a second-place tie with the Rockies -- losers of 11 of their last 15 -- at 2 1/2 games behind the D-backs in the National League West.

The Rockies pushed Dodgers starter Zack Greinke out of the game after five innings, five runs, six hits and seven walks. Carlos Gonzalez homered for the NL-leading 23rd time, and Wilin Rosario had a hit, two walks and scored three runs. But all that isn't enough to beat the Dodgers these days.

"They're playing very well offensively," Weiss said. "Right now, that's a hard lineup to get through. I don't think Chatwood threw that bad."

Hanley Ramirez had four hits, including his seventh home run of the season, while running his hit streak to 14 games. Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer in a four-run fourth and Adrian Gonzalez led off the fifth by crushing a mistake on a full-count breaking pitch, both off Chatwood. Ramirez and Matt Kemp each added ninth-inning solo shots off Rex Brothers, doubling the run total in 35 1/3 innings this year off the hard-throwing Rockies' lefty.

Something did go wrong for the Dodgers, though. Yasiel Puig, who earlier in the day learned he won the NL Player and Rookie of the Month awards, sustained a bruised left leg stealing a hit and possibly two runs from Nolan Arenado when he crashed into the right-field wall while making a leaping catch in the fifth. Puig stayed in for a sacrifice fly in the sixth before leaving the game.

Puig also hustled to beat a Carlos Gonzalez throw for a double in the first. He scored from second on an Adrian Gonzalez infield grounder with baserunning so daring it bordered on reckless. Todd Helton bobbled the ball and threw to Chatwood at first. Puig barreled around third and might have been tagged had catcher Rosario held onto Chatwood's throw.

The Dodgers said he is day to day, at a time when each day seems more outstanding than the previous.

"It's crazy -- We've got two dudes hitting .400," Kemp said.

Puig is at .440 since his callup from the Minors on June 3. Ramirez improved to .412 in a sample size limited, by injury, to 28 games. But with the rest of the division crawling along, the sample is at the right time.

"We went through it in the beginning of the year, when we won eight in a row and went on that good run," said Michael Cuddyer, who went 1-for-3 and drew a bases-loaded walk from Greinke for his RBI. "Every team goes through a good run, every team goes through a downward turn. The good ones go through good runs a couple times during the course of the season."

Carlos Gonzales homered in the first, and DJ LeMahieu's two-run double and Cuddyer's timely walk made it 4-1. But Uribe's two-run homer on a curveball Chatwood left over the plate in the Dodgers' four-run fourth and Adrian Gonzalez's no-doubter to right on a Chatwood full-count fastball to open the fifth erased all the Rockies' good deeds.

"I had a 4-1 lead in the fourth and I lost it," Chatwood said. "It's definitely frustrating.

"Tonight I ran into a lineup like that, they're hot, you don't execute some pitches and they beat you."

Puig's sacrifice fly in the sixth and a gift run of sorts in the seventh -- Ramirez ended up with a double when Rockies center fielder Corey Dickerson broke backward on a soft fly ball and never saw it before it was too late, and later scored -- came off Rockies reliever Manuel Corpas.

The Rockies cut the difference to 8-7 on Todd Helton's RBI groundout and Arenado's RBI single, but the Ramirez and Kemp homers in the ninth off Brothers exterminated the comeback. Dickerson had a chance to catch Kemp's homer, but leaped at the wrong spot and saw it bounce off the top of the wall and over.

"Hanley hit a pretty decent pitch as far as my changeup's concerned," Brothers said. "Then on Kemp we tried to go in and I left one out over the plate and he did what a good hitter like him will do with it."

A lineup without leadoff man Dexter Fowler (right hand injury) and cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki (broken rib) has struggled during the current stretch. But the offense, despite leaving 10 on base, scored enough to win most games.

After Thursday night's game with the Dodgers, their makeshift lineup must play 10 on the road -- within the division -- going into the All-Star break. The stretch is important, since the Rockies believe they can go on a run similar to the Dodgers' when healthy.

"The good thing is, we're all close to each other and I think it's going to be a fun and really good second half, too," Carlos Gonzalez said. Comments