Apr 26, 2014 9:02 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
LOS ANGELES -- They say black attracts heat. It just took a while for the Rockies' bats to heat up on Friday night.
Wearing black sleeveless jerseys for the first time in more than a season, the Rockies languished for much of the game before pushing across three runs in the 11th for a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in front of 44,866.
It was a throwback Friday for the Rockies (13-11), who broke out their black sleeveless jerseys for the first time since Sept. 25, 2012 -- a 10-5 home victory over the Cubs. Until the 11th, when the Rockies' three hits included Brandon Barnes' pinch-hit double and Charlie Blackmon's RBI single, the new/old duds had plenty of defense but little hitting.
But the three-run lead was just enough for closer LaTroy Hawkins, who gave up Adrian Gonzalez's two-run homer with no outs but secured his seventh save in as many chances. So, with a win in their pocket in the first game of a National League West road trip, maybe black is a lucky color.
"I'm going to take credit for that one, that's my idea," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I've been pushing the black vest since I got the job, really. I think it's a good connection to our past. The run we had on '07 [when they wore black at almost every opportunity until the World Series, where they lost to the Red Sox], I think it's very important to stay connected to that stuff.
"I like the way they look, too. It took me a little over a year to get them back in the mix."
It takes more than fashion to build confidence. Winning tough games helps.
"Winning road games in the division, anytime we can do that, it's big time, especially starting a road trip," said lefty reliever Rex Brothers (2-2), who walked one in the 10th but otherwise controlled the Dodgers (13-11) to earn the decision.
The Rockies had just four hits, only one after the fourth, before Barnes' one-out double to right field in the 11th off reliever Jamey Wright (0-1).
"I saw a little two-seamer over the plate, and that was what I was looking for," said Barnes, who is 3-for-8 (.375) as a pinch-hitter this season.
Blackmon, who entered hitting .410 but had gone hitless in four previous at-bats, bounced a single off lefty reliever J.P. Howell through the middle to score Barnes.
Blackmon went to bed with a still otherworldly .398 average nearly a month into the season. He also improved his average against lefty pitching to .421 (8-for-19).
"He hits lefties well," Weiss said. "Other than the guys that are considered the wipeout left-handers, he gets the ABs."
Nolan Arenado singled to stretch his career-long hit streak to 14 games. Carlos Gonzalez had his fifth hitless at-bat to run his slump to 6-for-45 (.133), but his fielder's choice drove in another run. Justin Morneau would later add a bases-loaded RBI single.
In addition to the work of Brothers and Hawkins, the relief effort included a scoreless inning apiece from Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan. It all came in support of a strong seven innings from starter Jordan Lyles, who gave up two runs on six hits.
Troy Tulowitzki opened the second with a homer deep into the left-field bleachers off Dodgers starter Josh Beckett. It marked the third straight game with a homer for Tulowitzki, who has five in addition to 17 RBIs. Corey Dickerson added another run with his second homer of the second with two down in the inning.
Beckett would not give up another run in eight total innings, during which the Rockies managed two other hits -- both singles -- and struck out six times.
"He's a great pitcher, somebody I grew up watching, but I was looking to get a fastball over the plate and looking to the middle of the field," Dickerson said. "But, throughout the game, he was keeping people off balance."
Still, all Beckett could do was keep the game even. Lyles forced 11 groundouts, and he and a spectacular infield defense controlled the Dodgers.
Yasiel Puig homered on Lyles' first pitch to him with one out in the first. From there, Lyles yielded little. The only further scoring off him came as a result of the extreme speed of Dodgers leadoff man Dee Gordon.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu knocked down Gordon's bouncer between first and second. Gordon alertly dashed for second and was there with a rare infield double before LeMahieu could recover and deliver a throw. Puig drove Gordon home with a single.
With two on and two out in the fourth, Tim Federowicz lined what looked to be a sure double, but third baseman Arenado took four choppy steps, dove and snared the ball behind the bag.
"The game turned on the play Nolan made," Lyles said. "It probably wouldn't have gone into extras had he not made that nice play."
Hanley Ramriez's second-inning leadoff double led to nothing, as Lyles fanned Gonzalez, forced a weak Matt Kemp lineout and a Carl Crawford grounder.
Juan Uribe singled to open the seventh. Federowicz tried to bunt him further, but catcher Wilin Rosario pounced on the ball and fired to second, where Tulowitzki made the double-play turn.
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