LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen is showing signs of strain.
With closer Kenley Jansen just a day or two from returning, the Dodgers will welcome him with open arms. Yimi Garcia, one of the breakout young stars on the team for five weeks, allowed a crushing late-inning home run for a second straight outing. This one, a three-run shot hit by Carlos Gonzalez in the ninth inning, dealt the Dodgers a 5-4 loss Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
How it happened: Brett Anderson, facing his former team for the second straight start, generally dominated the slumping Rockies lineup. Until thunder, lightning and a major downpour interrupted play and knocked him out of the game, Anderson had struck out eight batters and allowed just five hits. It was his second straight start in the rain. He was the beneficiary of a five-inning complete game last weekend in Denver. Juan Nicasio entered the game after the delay and worked out of a jam fanned by Jimmy Rollins' error by striking out Nick Hundley and DJ LeMahieu with lively fastballs. Nicasio, also facing his former team, pitched to seven batters and struck out four of them.
The Dodgers kept up steady pressure on young pitcher Chad Bettis, who was making his 2015 debut. For one of the few times this season, they scored via rallies rather than home runs, adding to an early lead with single runs in the second and fifth innings. But the Dodgers couldn't generate any offense after the rain delay, setting up Garcia's implosion in the ninth.
What it means: The Rockies snapped their 11-game losing streak with one swing of the bat.
Notable: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said in spring training that Anderson has a good swing, but there had been scant evidence of it until Thursday. Anderson sliced an RBI double, his first hit of the season, in the second inning and drew a walk in his next plate appearance. ... Adrian Gonzalez came into the game one RBI behind Giancarlo Stanton for the major league lead and tied with Matt Carpenter in doubles. He added to both totals with his ringing two-run first-inning double into the right-field corner and a leadoff double in the seventh. ... Gonzalez tried to surprise lefty Ken Roberts by stealing a base, but it didn't work. The lumbering first baseman was out, a call that was confirmed via replay. ... Veteran Juan Uribe, deposed as the starting third baseman, didn’t do himself any favors in his effort to earn more playing time. He went 0-for-4.
Up next: Call it a slump or just bad luck, but Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 4.26 ERA) could use a win. He will make his eighth start of the season and second in a row against the Rockies Friday night at 7:10 p.m. PT. Eddie Butler (2-3, 3.73 ERA) will pitch for Colorado.