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Tulo’s return not enough to spark Rockies

Submitted by Sports on July 7, 2014 – 10:06 amNo Comment

DENVER – Even with the return of the Home Run Derby captain on All-Star Selection Sunday, the Rockies were unable to carry over the previous day’s eight-run outburst and suffered an 8-2 series-finale loss to the Dodgers.

Troy Tulowitzki’s return after a two-day absence from right groin tightness didn’t prevent the Dodgers from limiting the Rockies to two or fewer runs for the eighth time in 13 games this season.

Despite not registering a strikeout, Yohan Flande was matching Josh Beckett blow for blow before running into trouble in the fifth.

Beckett stroked a one-out double off Flande to get the Dodgers’ rally started. Dee Gordon singled before Flande pitched around Yasiel Puig to load the bases.

But Flande would struggle to regain his control after playing keep-away with Puig. Adrian Gonzalezand Matt Kemp’s back-to-back singles up the middle plated the first three runs of the game. Flande’s four-pitch walk to Scott Van Slyke loaded the bases again and ended his day.

“He was throwing the ball well and then in the fifth inning ran into some trouble,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Up until that point, he was pretty much cruising.”

Brooks Brown then entered for his Major League debut and promptly induced Juan Uribe into a sharp grounder to Nolan Arenado. Many third basemen might have taken the easy route and thrown to first, but Arenado made a tremendous barehanded scoop and threw home trying to cut down Gonzalez.

Wilin Rosario was positioned off the plate near the first-base line but was able to swipe a tag as Gonzalez slid into home. Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg called Gonzalez out, but Don Mattingly decided to challenge. Upon replay review, it was clear Gonzalez beat the tag to bump to Dodgers’ lead to 4-0.

“I thought Wilin might have been trying to give him a throwing lane because [Arenado] kind of fielded it behind the runner,” Weiss said.

The misplay proved to be twice as costly for the Rockies as Brown proceeded to plunk the 10th batter of the inning, Miguel Rojas, pushing across another run following the would-be third out: an infield popout from Drew Butera.

Brown remained in for a 1-2-3 sixth inning in which he struck out Gordon and Gonzalez. The longtime farmhand felt grateful following his 1 2/3-inning performance.

“It was rewarding,” said Brown, 29. “It’s more [a feeling of] deserving after nine years, than it would’ve been if I went straight up to the big leagues somehow. It made me work for it and made me appreciate my time down there.”

The Rockies scrapped across a run on a throwing error by Carlos Triunfel after the young shortstop replaced Rojas, who suffered a right forearm contusion. Arenado’s ground ball to Gordon had double play written all over it, but the Dodgers were only able to log one out before Triunfel’s throw sent Gonzalez off the left side of the bag, scoring Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki scored again in the eighth on a groundout from Rosario following a three-run outburst from the Dodgers in the top of the frame.

Flande (0-2) surrendered nine hits and five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in the shortest outing of three-game Major League career.

Beckett (6-5) didn’t last much longer before Mattingly pulled him at 82 pitches after tweaking his left hip while running the bases. Still, his five innings of three-hit ball were more than enough to secure his fifth road win of the season.

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for

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