Dodgers Bring The Muscle To Back Paul Maholm In 6-3 Win

Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez each homered Saturday in support of a strong performance from starter Paul Maholm as the Los Angeles Dodgers climbed back into the win column with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Maholm pitched seven solid innings giving up six hits and two earned while striking out three and walking one. Saturday marks the 20th time this season that a Dodger starting pitcher has lasted at least five innings while giving up two earned runs or less.

The second of the two runs charged to Maholm was due to a misplayed ball in the fifth when Kemp couldn’t find a pop fly off the bat of Wilin Rosario that dropped for a double. Justin Morneau cashed in the mistake with an RBI single just two pitches later.

The first run of the night was properly earned when Brandon Barnes singled to center to drive in D.J. LaMahieu giving Colorado an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third the Dodgers tied the game at one on a Hanley Ramirez RBI groundout, however, the price to score that run was Ramirez coming out of the game with a injury to his right thumb.

Ramirez injured the same thumb in the World Baseball Classic last season causing him to miss 24 games after having surgery to repair a ligament. The Dodgers will give Ramirez Sunday off and say it was planned before the series started.

Gonzalez knocked in two runs with a sac fly in the third and a solo shot in the fifth giving him a National League leading eight homers and 22 RBIs which is good for second behind only Giancarlo Stanton (29). Since April 11 Gonzalez is now hitting .386 (22-for-57) with six homers and 18 RBI.

The round-tripper in the fifth was hit number 1,500 in the career of Gonzalez joining 27 other active major leaguers who have also accomplished the feat.

Kemp had two hits on the night including his fourth homer of the year that was nearly caught by Barnes in right field. The Dodger center-fielder was robbed of his first three-hit game since September 25 of last season when Gonzalez was hung up in between first and second on a bloop single to right.

Yasiel Puig knocked in a pair of RBIs and two hits for his fourth multi-hit game in the Dodgers last five games. Puig is now 8-for-22 (.364) with six RBIs during that stretch.

The Dodgers chased Rockies starter Juan Nicasio after only 4 1/3 innings giving up eight hits and five earned runs. Before giving up three runs in the bottom of the third, Nicasio had the second longest active scoreless inning streak at Dodger Stadium.

After Maholm was so good all night, the eighth and ninth were an adventure for the Dodgers bullpen. Chris Withrow loaded the bases in the eighth with one out before blowing away Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

Headed to the ninth up four, manager Don Mattingly elected to bring in the struggling Brian Wilson to try and right the ship for himself. Unfortunately, Wilson walked the first two batters of the inning and was lifted for Kenley Jansen.

Jansen was able to close the door striking out two and only allowing one of the runners to score to seal the victory.

WP: Paul Maholm (1-2)
LP: Juan Nicasio (2-1)
S: Kenley Jansen (9)

Notes:

Wilson has now been charged with eight earned runs in only four innings pitched this season and has been pulled in two appearances without recording an out.

The Dodgers were successful on their first challenge when it was determined by replay that Maholm picked Barnes off first base to end the third inning.