As the doldrums settle in over the Rockies like a Charlie Brown rain cloud, the disparity in what they can be and what they are shines into view.

With the bases loaded in the fifth inning Sunday at Coors Field, Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado charged a chopper down the line off the bat of the Dodgers' Juan Uribe. Arenado plucked the ball with his bare hand and, in stride, reared back a whip throw to home plate.

But catcher Wilin Rosario wasn't prepared for the spectacular. He needed only to catch the ball with his foot on the plate to force an out. Instead, he got caught up the first-base line, and Adrian Gonzalez, not the most fleet of foot, slid in under a late tag.

It was only one run, but it kept alive a five-run fifth inning as the Dodgers went on to wash away the Rockies 8-2.

"It's hard to tell," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of the play. "He fielded it behind the runner. So Wilin might have set up out in front of the plate to give Nolan a throwing lane and then wasn't able to get back to the plate to make a tag."

Los Angeles (51-40), in first place in the National League West, moved 13 games ahead of the Rockies (37-52).


Colorado lost for the 17th time in its past 20 games. The Rockies, who squeaked out an 8-7 victory Saturday, haven't won consecutive games since June 11-15, when they won five in a row against Atlanta and San Francisco. They're only half a game ahead of Arizona for the worst record in the National League.

Gonzalez's run in the fifth — at first called an out, then rightly overturned with Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly's replay challenge — was part of a four-hit, five-run inning that included two walks and a hit batsman.

"Up to that point, he was cruising," Weiss said of Rockies pitcher Yohan Flande. "Then he ran into trouble there in the fifth."

Between a double by L.A. pitcher Josh Beckett to open the frame and his groundout to Arenado to end it, the Dodgers batted around on two Colorado pitchers.

With three runs in, Weiss took the ball from the 28-year-old Flande (who made his major-league debut two weeks ago) and handed it 29-year-old reliever Brooks Brown (who made his major-league debut Sunday).

Rockies starting pitcher Yohan Flande delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday at Coors Field. Flande allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Rockies starting pitcher Yohan Flande delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday at Coors Field. Flande allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

Flande gave up nine hits and five runs in 4 innings. He walked two, with no strikeouts. Most of his damage came after throwing a scoreless four innings.

Brown became the seventh pitcher to make his big-league debut for the Rockies this season after playing with three other franchises in his career.

"Just had to come in and hopefully get a groundball, which I did," Brown said. "And Arenado made an outstanding play and we almost got him. But unfortunately we didn't. Hate to give up runs any time."

In popping the Rockies for 15 hits, the Dodgers did it with paper cuts. They had only two extra-base hits: Beckett's double, and another from Yasiel Puig in a three-run eighth inning. Matt Kemp led L.A. with four hits.

The Rockies countered with only a double from center fielder Drew Stubbs. He and Justin Morneau (batting .316) each had two hits.

Nick Groke: or

Looking ahead

Padres' Tyson Ross (7-8, 2.93 ERA) at Rockies' Tyler Matzek (1-2, 4.25), 6:40 p.m. Monday, ROOT; 850 AM

Matzek threw a season-high 95 pitches last week at Washington and was pulled in the seventh inning of a 3-3 game after striking out Bryce Harper. The Rockies went on the lose that game 4-3. But Matzek's outing was his best road performance since being called up to the majors June 11. The former first-round draft pick is back in LoDo after two quality starts on the road. He has been up and down in two games at Coors Field, posting seven strikeouts over seven innings in his debut win against Atlanta, then giving up five runs and seven hits in a loss to Milwaukee on June 22.

Nick Groke, The Denver Post

Tuesday: Padres' Ian Kennedy (6-9, 3.87 ERA) at Rockies' Franklin Morales (4-4, 5.51), 6:40 p.m., ROOT

Wednesday: Padres' Eric Stults (3-11, 4.96) at Rockies' Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 15.43), 1:10 p.m., no TV

Thursday: Off