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MLB: Kemp leaves but Dodgers pound Rockies

All-Star slugger has irritated hamstring; six-run fifth keys L.A. surge

Posted: May 13, 2012 5:59 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2012 5:59 p.m.

Dodgers teammates A.J. Ellis, center, James Loney, left, and Bobby Abreu celebrate after Ellis hit a three-run home run against the Rockies during the fifth inning on Sunday in Los Angeles.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bobby Abreu hit a three-run double and A.J. Ellis added a three-run homer during a sixth-inning rally Sunday that carried Ted Lilly and the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 11-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp, who leads the Dodgers with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning. He has played in 399 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the majors.

Lilly (5-0) overcame a shaky start, allowing five runs — four earned — and six hits over 6 1-3 innings after giving up singles to each of his first four batters.

The 36-year-old left-hander, who began the season on the disabled list because of a strained neck, allowed more than two runs for the first time in his six starts and left with a 2.11 ERA. He has won his first five decisions for the first time in his career.

Ellis tied a career high with four RBIs, including a run-scoring single in the second, as the Dodgers improved baseball’s best record to 23-11. They lead San Francisco by six games in the NL West, the biggest margin in any division.

This was the Dodgers’ fourth three-game sweep, matching their total for last season. Their first sweep last year wasn’t until their final series before the All-Star break.

Alex White (0-2) was charged with six runs, five hits and three walks over 4 1-3 innings in his second start of the season for the Rockies, who are languishing a season-worst 9½ games off the pace.

Abreu, the only Dodger who had ever faced White in a regular-season game previously, gave Los Angeles a 5-4 lead in the fifth when he drove the right-hander’s 2-0 pitch the other way to left-center after a leadoff single by Justin Sellers and consecutive one-out walks to Tony Gwynn Jr. and Mark Ellis.

Matt Reynolds relieved White and threw a called third strike past cleanup hitter Andre Ethier, who was ejected by umpire Mark Carlson for arguing about it. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came to his defense and was tossed as well. It was the second career ejection for Ethier, who came in leading the NL with 32 RBIs.

When play continued, Reynolds walked James Loney and A.J. Ellis followed with his third homer to make it 8-4.

Kemp has started all but one of the Dodgers’ first 34 games, appearing as a pinch-hitter on May 6. The two-time Gold Glove winner set a Dodgers record for home runs in April with 12, but has not hit one in his first 33 at-bats this month and is hitless in four straight games for the first time since Aug. 16-19, 2010.

Gwynn, whose father won five Gold Gloves as a right fielder with the San Diego Padres, shifted from left to center after Kemp’s departure and robbed Carlos Gonzalez of extra bases with a fully extended dive for a backhand grab in left-center. Gonzalez drove in two of Colorado’s runs.

NOTES: The mothers of Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Sellers and teammates Aaron Harang, Adam Kennedy and Matt Treanor each threw a ceremonial first pitch to their sons. ... Kennedy drove in a run with a suicide squeeze and Scott Van Slyke capped the scoring with a two-run double after replacing Ethier in RF. ... Colorado CF Dexter Fowler left after 3½ innings because of blurred vision. ... Rockies regular cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki batted fifth for the first time this season with Todd Helton getting the day off. Tulowitzki has gone 10 games and 41 at-bats without an RBI since his two-run double against Harang on April 30 at Coors Field. ... Lilly, who allowed an average of 27 home runs over the previous nine seasons, has given up only one in a span of 317 batters and 80 2-3 innings. The only blemish was a two-run shot by Gonzalez on May 1 at Coors Field.

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