Rough day for rotation hopefuls
Milton, Vargas hit hard in Dodgers' loss to Rockies
ROCKIES 9, DODGERS 5
Sunday, March 15
Rockies at the plate: Omar Quintanilla had three hits and three RBIs, and Ryan Spilborghs and Troy Tulowitzki drove in a pair each. The Rockies scored four runs in the first inning on six consecutive hits, beginning with Spilborghs' homer. They added three runs in the fourth inning with a triple by Scott Podsednik, doubles by Seth Smith and Tulowitzki and a single by Joe Koshansky.
Dodgers at the plate: Valentino Pascucci slugged a two-run homer, his second blast in as many days. Matt Kemp cashed in Casey Blake's leadoff single in the fifth with an RBI single. A.J. Ellis singled home Hector Luna in the seventh inning. Luna and Xavier Paul had two hits each. Luna also stole a base.Rockies on the mound: Jorge De La Rosa started and pitched three scoreless innings. Matt Belisle allowed the Dodgers a run in the fifth inning. Juan Morillo pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Brandon Hynick allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings. Dodgers on the mound: Eric Milton allowed four runs in a six-hit first inning, then held the Rockies scoreless the next two innings. Claudio Vargas allowed three runs in his first inning of work, then held the Rockies scoreless the next two innings. Hong-Chih Kuo, in his first "A" game, was charged with a pair of runs. Cactus League records: Rockies 7-9, Dodgers 9-7. Up next: The Dodgers play split-squad road games against the A's and Mariners on Monday. Manny Ramirez is scheduled to play against the Mariners if his hamstring is feeling better, with Hiroki Kuroda, Jeff Weaver, Guillermo Mota and Cory Wade scheduled to pitch. All of them are expected to make the Opening Day roster. Manager Joe Torre will travel to the other game against the A's to continue the evaluation of fifth-starter candidates Jason Schmidt and Shawn Estes.
The Rockies will play the D-backs on Monday at Tucson Electric Park. It's a scheduled work day for right-hander Aaron Cook, but the Rockies will put him in a Minor League game. No need to give the D-backs more chances at Cook, who will start against them on Opening Day. Instead, right-handed prospect Jhoulys Chacin will start for the Rockies.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.