DENVER (AP) — Matt Kemp finished a memorable and historic April with his 12th home run for the Dodgers. But he also struck out with the bases loaded Monday night, helping to thwart a potential rally that enabled the Colorado Rockies to beat Los Angeles 6-2.
Kemp homered in the first, driving Juan Nicasio's first pitch into the seats in right field for his 25th RBI. But he came up in the seventh with none out and the bases loaded and went down swinging against Esmil Rogers, the first of three relievers that inning who stymied the Dodgers and helped end their three-game winning streak.
Left-hander Rex Brothers then came on and struck out Andre Ethier. When pinch hitter Juan Rivera was announced to bat for James Loney, a left-handed hitter, Rockies manager Jim Tracy countered with right-hander Edgmer Escalona, who got out Rivera to pop out.
"We didn't get the job done. That's it, man," Kemp said. "They got us out."
Rogers struck out Kemp on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, a 2-2 slider over the inside portion of the plate that Kemp swung through.
"I said to myself, 'Don't try to throw it too nasty. Just follow through with my pitch,'" Rogers said. "And I got a strikeout."
Kemp finished the month with a .417 average and joined Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants in 2004, Larry Walker (Rockies, 1997) and Hall of Famer Tony Perez (Cincinnati Reds, 1970) as the only players in major league history to finish April with a .400 batting average, 10 or more homers and more than 20 RBI.
Asked whether he was aware he had just completed one of the better statistical Aprils, Kemp said, "I'm just aware that we lost the game. I'm not really worried about historical, statistical — any of that. I'm just trying to help my team win as many games as I can and whatever happens, happens."
Nicasio (2-0) held the Dodgers to two runs in six innings and left after giving up consecutive singles to start the seventh to Jerry Hairson and Dee Gordon and throwing a career-high 115 pitches. Rogers walked Mark Ellis to load the bases, but then struck out Kemp as the Dodgers' rally fizzled against the Rockies relievers.
Aaron Harang (1-2) threw 100 pitches in 5 1-3 innings and allowed five runs as his troubles in Coors Field continued. In six starts there, Harang is 2-2 but has a 6.40 ERA (23 earned runs, 32 1/3 innings). Harang gave up a run in the first when Marco Scutaro led off with a double, moved to third and scored on two ground outs. After Scutaro's hit, Harang retired nine straight batters, including four in a row on strikeouts before the Rockies struck for three runs in the fourth.