Dodgers 6, Rockies 3: Nicasio struggles, CarGo and Tulo come up small

Harry How

Juan Nicasio lacked command and failed to make it out of the fifth inning, and the team's two stars came up short in a big spot in the eighth in a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium.

Friday night's win over the Dodgers gave Rockies fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the 2014 season, but Saturday's loss gave them just as many reasons to be pessimistic about the club's prospects this year.

Despite giving up doubles in each of the first two innings as well as a walk in the second, Juan Nicasio did not allow a run in either of them. The Rockies actually got on the board first in the top of the third when DJ LeMahieu scored on an RBI single from Brandon Barnes.

However, in the bottom of the third, Nicasio's lack of command caught up to him, as he allowed a triple to Dee Gordon, hit Yasiel Puig with a pitch and saw them score on a ground out and a sacrifice fly before giving up a home run to Matt Kemp, which gave LA a 3-1 lead.

The Dodgers added a run in the fourth when Puig drove home Drew Butera, who had walked to lead off the inning, with a single.

Wilin Rosario led off the top of the fifth with a double that Kemp lost in the sun, and scored the Rockies' second run on a single from Justin Morneau.

Adrian Gonzalez got that run right back for the Dodgers with a home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth. After Kemp struck out, a single from Andre Ethier finally chased Nicasio from the game after 4 1/3 innings. He allowed five runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Nicasio threw 97 pitches in his 4 1/3 innings, just 56 for strikes.

Dodgers starter Paul Maholm, on the other hand, pitched seven effective innings, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He was replaced in the eighth by Chris Withrow.

Withrow presented the Rockies with a golden opportunity in the eighth, walking three of the first four batters he faced, which loaded the bases with one out and Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Gonzalez and Tulowitzki were unable to come through, each of them swinging at a pair of pitches out of the zone and striking out.

Each team added a run in the ninth to reach the 6-3 final.

The rubber game of the series is tomorrow at 2:10 MT as Jorge De La Rosa takes on Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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