Dodgers Can’t Gain Ground

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Taking small steps, the Dodgers can noy make up any ground, even after posting a 4-2 mark on their recent road trip.

With 31 games left, the team began a three-game series at the Stadium with Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The Dodgers (67-64) are in the playoff hunt, but this week will be telling.

After riding a four-game winning streak, the Dodgers lost the final two games against Colorado, and Sunday’s 10-5 defeat was disappointing, given that pitcher Ted Lilly (8-9) came in having won five straight for his new club, lasted four innings and gave up seven runs (earned).

Rising star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez smashed two home runs, bringing his record to 29, and drove in four runs for the Rockies (68-61).

His solo homer in the third gave Colorado a 2-0 lead, and his two-run blast into the second deck was part of a five-run, four-hit fourth that pushed the advantage to 7-0.

The Dodgers made it 7-1 in the fifth when Jamey Carroll doubled to right and scored on a single by pinch hitter Jay Gibbons.

In the sixth, James Loney’s double scored Matt Kemp (double), and the Dodgers crawled within 8-5 in the eighth when Ryan Theriot added a two-run single to center, and Ronnie Belliard contributed a run-scoring hit.

Colorado survived a 5-3 decision on Saturday, with Gonzalez ripping a two-run homer in the seventh that gave the Rockies a four-run lead.

Gonzalez lined a triple into the right-field corner in the fourth and scored when Troy Tulowitzki lashed a single to right. Melvin Mora’s hit made it 2-1.

Colorado added a run in the sixth and took a 3-1 edge on Todd Helton’s home run to right.

Rod Barajas cracked a two-run homer in the ninth that got the Dodgers within two runs, and Casey Blake’s double to right center scored Loney (single) in the second.

On Friday, it was Blake’s grand slam in the eighth that provided the Dodgers with a 6-2 victory and gave the club a four-game winning skein.

Kemp knocked in a run with a single, and Andre Ethier drove in a run with a double for the Dodgers, who out-hit the Rockies, 11-7.

On Thursday, Blake paced the Dodgers to a 7-1 win over Milwaukee with a two-run homer.

Scott Podsednik and Brad Ausmus each had three hits during the 11-hit barrage, as the Dodgers scored in four of nine innings.

Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda allowed seven hits over seven innings of Wednesday’s 5-4 win against the Brewers.

Kuroda (9-11) struck out six, and didn’t surrender a walk, while giving up four runs (earned).

Ethier connected on a solo homer, Manny Ramirez (two hits) drove in a run, and Loney (two hits) pushed across two runs for the Dodgers, who led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Barajas doubled twice and launched a three-run homer during Tuesday’s 5-3 triumph over the Brewers. Lilly picked up the victory after going six and one-third innings, allowing seven hits.

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