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08/19/10 3:18 AM ET
Dodgers drop wild affair with Rockies
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Twice, Melvin Mora could have been called out in the top of the 10th inning, and instead he scored the winning run for the Rockies, who plated him without putting a ball in play. Octavio Dotel threw three wild pitches in the 10th, two of which brought Mora home from second, and the Dodgers' potential tying run was thrown out at the plate to end a 3-2 loss Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. "Sometimes things go, for the whole team, bad," Dotel said. "Sometimes a team doesn't come through the way everybody wants over here." Dotel was the Dodgers' fourth pitcher used in a game that had been tied at 2 since the fourth inning. Hiroki Kuroda again pitched well in the no-decision, allowing two runs and striking out seven in as many innings. He regained his split-finger in his final three innings, but the Dodgers didn't score for their final eight. "Even if you don't get win, if the team wins, it's a little bit different story," Kuroda said. Dotel struck out the first batter of the inning, Miguel Olivo, who had the Rockies' only two RBIs. Dotel's 1-and-2 pitch to Mora, called a ball low and away on the check-swing appeal to first-base umpire Laz Diaz, perhaps should have been a strikeout, too. "We got a bad call on the check swing on Mora," Joe Torre said. "But once he got on base, it was pretty ugly." "We might have caught a break in the Melvin Mora at bat," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "That's definitely a possibility." Mora broke for second as Eric Young Jr. struck out. Shortstop Jamey Carroll snared catcher A.J. Ellis' throw and made the tag on the run, rolling on the infield dirt after getting it down, but Mora was called safe by umpire Wally Bell. "That's what I thought," Carroll said when told the replay showed Mora may have been out. "He called him safe." "He was out over there, as far as I saw from my angle," Dotel said. There were no missed calls to account for Dotel's lack of control, though. He threw a wild pitch to two straight batters, Dexter Fowler and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, to bring Mora around. Dotel threw another wild pitch to move a pair into scoring position before ending the inning on the only ball he allowed in play, a Troy Tulowitzki groundout. "No, not as far as I remember, I don't think I've ever have that [many wild pitches] in my life," Dotel said. "You always run into something you never see in this game." Had Dotel been with the Dodgers on April 11, he would've seen it. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger let loose three wild pitches against the Marlins. The perpetually stagnant Dodgers offense had a rare chance in the bottom of the 10th, and third-base coach Larry Bowa was determined to take it. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson singled with one out off closer Huston Street, a knock that wasn't furthered by Matt Kemp, who struck out in his two at-bats off the bench. When Scott Podsednik blooped his second hit of the night to center, out of the reach of a charging Fowler, Bowa waved Johnson home. He was caught easily for the final out. "It's a good play if he makes it, it's a bad play if he doesn't," Bowa said. "So I'll take the blame." Torre said it was the same thing he would've done. Anything to spark the Dodgers' offense, which too was the beneficiary of a pair of wild pitches. Jason Hammel's lack of control in the first inning brought home a run the same way. The Dodgers' only RBI came on Carroll's double in the bottom of the second, and put the them up, 2-1. Carroll has a seven-game hit streak. Torre has been calling more hit-and-runs to try to manufacture offense, and it worked perfectly with Ellis at the plate and Carroll on base Tuesday night. With Carroll on third, one out and a full-count on Ellis, Torre elected to have Ellis try a suicide squeeze instead of swinging away for the sac fly. He missed, and Carroll was more of a dead duck than Johnson was in the 10th, ending the inning in a double play. The next Dodgers runner to reach third was Johnson. "That's been our situation here, we haven't scored," Torre said. "And it is frustrating and all the players know it and they're all trying, and unfortunately, we come away empty and waste good starting pitching."
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.