DENVER (AP) -- Odalis Perez looked so good at Coors Field, he
left his teammates in awe.
Perez pitched a five-hitter and Eric Karros had a three-run
homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers handed the Colorado Rockies their
fifth straight loss, 5-2 on Monday night. "You have to have some fortitude to pitch that well here,"
Karros said. Perez (1-1) walked one and struck out five for his first
complete game in 36 career starts. He threw 128 pitches. "That was nothing short of a tremendous performance," Dodgers
manager Jim Tracy said. "It's the best pitched game I've seen
here. (Hideo) Nomo pitched a no-hitter here, but I didn't see it. I
don't know how you could do that. "I can't believe how composed he is for being 23. He is not
fazed by anything. It comes from pitching playoff games in the
Dominican." Adrian Beltre hit a solo homer in the Dodgers' five-run first
inning off Shawn Chacon. Todd Helton hit his first homer of the season in his 47th at-bat
for Colorado. Helton had 49 homers last season. At 4-10, it's the worst start in the Rockies' 10-year history.
The Rockies were 5-9 in their inaugural season of 1993 and 5-9
again in 1998. "When a team comes in and scores five runs in the first inning,
we usually laugh at that," Rockies slugger Larry Walker said.
"That's no big deal to us. Lately it has been. Five runs and we
can't come back, can't come close to getting back in the ballgame.
It's sad." Asked why Perez was so effective, Walker, who went 0-for-4,
said, "Ask somebody who made contact. The hardest thing I hit was
that seat about six rows up with my bat" when it slipped out of
his hands on a swing. The crowd of 29,763 was just more than the Coors Field record
low of 29,522 set April 10. Los Angeles scored all its runs in the first, aided by a
critical error on Colorado shortstop Juan Uribe. With one out and a runner on first, Paul Lo Duca hit a potential
double-play grounder to second. The Rockies got the lead runner,
but Uribe's relay to first was high, and Lo Duca took second on the
error. Shawn Green followed with an RBI single, and Brian Jordan also
singled. Karros then hit a three-run homer down the left-field
line, his 19th home run at Coors Field -- most among visiting
players. Beltre capped the inning with the Dodgers' fourth straight hit,
a 433-foot homer. After struggling to get through the first inning, Chacon (1-2)
blanked the Dodgers on three hits over the next six innings. Helton homered leading off the second. Colorado threatened in the fourth and fifth. The Rockies had
runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth, but Jose
Ortiz lined out to left field. In the fifth, Juan Pierre singled
with two outs and stole second, but Perez retired Uribe on a
groundout. A walk and an error put two runners aboard with one out in the
Dodgers' fifth, but Jordan grounded into a double play. "Everybody says that the breaking ball here doesn't break or
that the changeup stays up, but I kept the ball down and threw most
of my pitches down and in or down and away," Perez said. "If you
keep the ball down, you will do good in this ballpark." After a single by Helton, Benny Agbayani's RBI double cut the
deficit to 5-2 in the sixth.
Dodgers ace Kevin Brown will miss his next start because of
swelling in his pitching elbow caused by the dislodging of scar
tissue. The injury occurred on Saturday in San Diego. Omar Daal
will replace Brown on Thursday. ... Perez's start was the fifth by
a Dodgers left-hander this season, surpassing last year's total of
four. ... Colorado's Ben Petrick started at catcher for the third
straight game. Gary Bennett has a sore right wrist, the result of a
home-plate collision with Arizona's Greg Colbrunn on Friday. ...
Opposing basestealers were 7-for-7 against the Rockies until
Petrick threw out Beltre in the sixth.