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Crawford, Nolasco combine to lead Dodgers past Rockies

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The Canadian Press
9/4/2013 1:13:01 AM
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DENVER -- Jhoulys Chacin had a strong finish. It wasn't good enough to overcome a slow start against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I didn't have the movement on my fastball in the early game, I didn't have the sink," said Chacin, who allowed seven of the first nine Dodgers to reach base in the Colorado Rockies' 7-4 loss Tuesday night. "I left a few balls up and they took them the other way."

Chacin (13-8) allowed four runs in seven innings in losing to the Dodgers for the first time in four starts this season. He has won four of his last seven overall starts.

"He wasn't his usual self early on," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "He settled in and gave us seven innings."

Ricky Nolasco pitched six strong innings, Carl Crawford had a two-run single among three hits to spark the offence in the absence of injured catalyst Yasiel Puig, as the Dodgers won their sixth straight.

The Rockies suffered through a game of mistakes including ones on the bases by Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler.

"Cuddy read and saw something, took off a little soon," Weiss said. "Fowler got doubled off on a line drive. .."

The costliest mistake came with two outs in the Los Angeles eighth when Charlie Culberson dropped a fly ball hit by Mark Ellis that allowed three runs to score.

"I was expecting to be closer to the ball," Culberson said. "I got there quicker than expected and missed it."

Puig, who is batting .351 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 80 games in his first season in the majors, was rested a day after he aggravated a right knee strain. He remains day to day.

Nolasco (12-9) allowed two runs and five hits in improving to 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in his 11 starts since coming to the Dodgers on July 6 in a trade with Miami. He struck out five and walked one.

Crawford went 3 for 5 and Nick Punto added four singles for the Dodgers.

Down two runs, the Rockies pulled within one when pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge, batting for Carlos Gonzalez, led off the eighth with a drive off reliever Paco Rodriguez that reached the bleachers in left. Rodriguez walked Fowler and was relieved by Ronald Belisario.

After D.J. LeMahieu sacrificed, Belisario got Troy Tulowitzki to line out to short and Fowler was doubled off second when he was caught off the bag.

The Dodgers came back to load the bases with two outs in the ninth against reliever Rex Brothers. Brothers appeared out of the inning, but Culberson had the ball kick off his glove to allow three unearned runs.

Chris Withrow got the final out for his first save.

The Dodgers opened a 3-0 lead in the second, loading the bases on Andre Ethier's double, Ellis' walk and Skip Schumaker's infield single. Tim Federowicz drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and after Nolasco moved the runners up with another sacrifice, Crawford came through with a two-run single to left.

Adrian Gonzalez put the Dodgers up 4-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Nolasco had allowed only one hit before Charlie Blackmon doubled with two outs in the fifth. Chacin followed with an RBI single to right.

"Nolasco had a good slider," Weiss said. "He was throwing it on the outside part of the plate and our guys were having a hard time picking it up."

The Rockies pulled within two after LeMahieu doubled to start the sixth, took third when left fielder Crawford bobbled LeMahieu's liner for an error and scored on Tulowitzki's groundout.

NOTES: The Rockies have activated Gonzalez from the DL but his availability remains limited because of lingering soreness in a joint of his right middle finger. He entered in the eighth as a defensive replacement but was lifted in the bottom of the inning for Rutledge as a precaution against hurting the finger by swinging the bat. ... With active rosters expanded, the Rockies also recalled from the minors pitchers Mitchell Boggs, Manuel Corpas and Collin McHugh and infielder/outfielder Ryan Wheeler. ... RHP Edinson Volquez (9-10) will oppose Jorge De La Rosa (15-6)of the Rockies on Wednesday.

Ricky Nolasco (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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