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News » DODGERS 14, ROCKIES 2 Rough start looks familiar Colorado quick to dig another division hole

DODGERS 14, ROCKIES 2 Rough start looks familiar Colorado quick to dig another division hole

DODGERS 14, ROCKIES 2 Rough start looks familiar Colorado quick to dig another division hole
LOS ANGELES - Back on a chilly, gray day in early February, Rockies owner Charlie Monfort spoke about expectations.

"I think a fast start is more critical to all teams this year than maybe in the past because of the economy," Monfort said. "But certainly it is for us, because of the way we have started the last four or five years. We need to break that habit and come out fired up."

Instead, the Rockies have misfired.

Crippled by terrible pitching, from starters and relievers, and stalled by anemic bats, they were drubbed 14-2 on Sunday by the Dodgers, their sixth loss in seven games.

Yes, it's very early. But after 11 games, the 2009 Rockies stand exactly where the 2008 Rockies stood: 4-7 and five games out of first place in the National League West, and with a list of concerns.

"We obviously haven't got the start we were hoping for," second baseman Clint Barmes said. "It's surprising to me. We had a really good spring training. I can't explain it."

Manager Clint Hurdle said his team is pushing too hard, pitchers squeezing the ball too tight, hitters trying to do too much, which was much the same explanation last season.

"This week needs to have gotten our attention, because we are dealing with some of the themes we were dealing with

in the past," Hurdle said.

Veteran Todd Helton agreed but offered this nugget of hope: "At least we are aware of it, and we are aware of it early."

En route to their eighth consecutive victory and a three-

game sweep of the Rockies , the division-leading Dodgers feasted on starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Departing after 4 1/3 innings, Jimenez was charged with seven runs and seven hits. He walked four and was wild from the get-go, walking leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal, who scored on Orlando Hudson's double.

Of Jimenez's 100 pitches, 41 were outside the strike zone.

"I was out of rhythm," he said. "On one pitch I was doing one thing, and then on the next one I was doing something different."

In the fifth, Jimenez left the bases full for reliever Matt Belisle, who promptly offered up a fat 2-0 pitch to Matt Kemp. The Dodgers center fielder - hitting .383 and riding a 13-game hitting streak - deposited the ball into the right-field bleachers for the second grand slam of his career. Kemp added a solo blast to right-center off Huston Street in the eighth,

giving him a five-RBI day.

Kemp's grand slam put the Dodgers up 8-0. They kept piling on as none of the Rockies

relievers stepped up.

Belisle, a likely candidate to be removed from the roster to make room for starter Franklin Morales this week, gave up four runs and retired just one hitter. Closer Manuel Corpas, used just to get him some work, gave up two runs, three hits and a walk in his one inning.

Patrick Saunders: 303-954-1428 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 21, 2009

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