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Monday, June 16, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 6, Rockies 1

By Mark Saxon



LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are six days away from the date that launched them on one of the most epic runs in franchise history. Repeating the 42-8 joyride from June 22, 2013, seems like a long shot, but at this point they’ll settle for some positive traction.

They seem to be gaining a bit of that after Monday’s 6-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies, who had won five in a row coming in. The Dodgers have prevailed in six of their past nine games and haven’t lost a series since June 4.

How it happened: Hyun-Jin Ryu cooled off a hot lineup for six innings, and the Dodgers seemed to have little trouble figuring out how to attack rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek.

Ryu allowed just three hits and struck out six, while Matzek, a former first-round pick from Mission Viejo, California, didn’t strike anybody out while giving up 10 hits and three runs.

Hits: Dee Gordon made up for a 10-day slump with one big game. The Dodgers’ fastest player scored on a triple combined with Charlie Blackmon’s error in the third inning and was 4-for-4 with two runs scored to spark the offense. He had batted .172 in his previous eight games. Thanks to Monday’s efforts, Gordon’s average has changed just three points -- from .287 to .284 -- since June 6.

Misses: They might seem like subtle losses, but the Dodgers are missing Justin Turner (calf injury) and Chone Figgins (strained quadriceps). With starting third baseman Juan Uribe on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, the Dodgers are reaching deep into their organizational depth. Miguel Rojas is a nice fielder, but he came up three times with runners in scoring position Monday and made feeble contact three times. Curiously, eight of his 17 at-bats this season have come with runners in scoring position, and he’s 1-for-8 in those instances.

Stat of the game: Matt Kemp’s sixth-inning double slammed off the center field wall a few feet short of clearing the fence. Kemp thought he had it and paused for several seconds near home plate. Had it gone out, it would have put him alone in fifth place on the all-time Dodgers home run list. He’s currently tied with Raul Mondesi at 163.

Up next: Zack Greinke (8-3, 2.65 ERA) should be fresh, coming off a start Thursday in Cincinnati in which he threw just 72 pitches in six innings. (In that game, Don Mattingly unsuccessfully pinch-hit Scott Van Slyke for Greinke with two on and two out.) Greinke will oppose Jhoulys Chacin (1-4, 4.53 ERA) in the game, which starts at 7:10 p.m. PST.