Rockies rough up Lowe, cruise past Dodgers

Rockies 7, Dodgers 2

DENVER (AP) -- Rodrigo Lopez had his good stuff, too.

But the burning sensation in his right forearm knocked him out early.

The inflammation in Lopez's arm had him and the Rockies worried following Colorado's 7-2 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

"I hope it's nothing worse," said Lopez, who went four innings before calling it a night. He gave up four hits and one run. "Everything was working pretty good for me since the trade [from Baltimore in the offseason]. It's not fair."

Lopez doesn't want to go on the disabled list. However, he also doesn't want to irritate the sore arm. He missed his start Sunday in Arizona because of inflammation in his right elbow. The pain has now spread to his forearm.

"I've got to be careful with it," said Lopez, who'll have the trainers look at it Thursday morning.

Lopez estimated his chances of making his next scheduled start at 10 percent.

So the Rockies may be looking for a stopgap starter, just in case Lopez can't pitch. Taylor Buchholz (1-0) made a solid case for the opportunity, pitching two solid innings, giving up four hits and one run, for his first win since July 6 for Houston against St. Louis. Buchholz was acquired from the Astros, along with Jason Hirsh and Willy Taveras, for Jason Jennings on Dec. 12.

Buchholz got the biggest out of the game in the fifth inning when he enticed the speedy Rafael Furcal to hit into an inning-ending double play with two runners on.

"That was big," Buchholz said with a grin.

Buchholz wouldn't mind trading in his long reliever role to be a starter.

"I'll do whatever they want me to do," he said.

Yorvit Torrealba once again came up with the timely hit for the Rockies. His go-ahead, two-run single in the fourth gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead. Torrealba also had a three-run double in the eighth Tuesday night to lead Colorado to a 5-3 win over San Francisco.

"You don't like to say he's more focused with men on base," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "But he has the ability to throw a little tougher at-bat out there [with runners on]. He does it more often than not."

Matt Holliday went 3-for-4 with a double and Brad Hawpe had two hits and two walks for the Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki added a two-out, two-run single in the seventh.

Derek Lowe (2-2) was pulled after 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four earned runs and eight hits, the last a liner up the middle off the bat of Hawpe which caused Lowe to hit the ground in a hurry to avoid being struck.

"He nearly got smoked with that ball," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "It was a tough game out there. It was a battle for us and we didn't get it done."

Lowe blamed the altitude for his poor outing.

"It's not really baseball," he said of pitching at Coors Field. "This is the only place in baseball that bad games affect me. This is really a tough place to pitch. If you played here 81 games and you can't hit here you should quit."

Lowe was relieved by Chin-Hui Tsao, who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday when Jason Schmidt went on the disabled list. It was the first appearance in the majors for Tsao since May 11, 2005, when he was a reliever with Colorado. He struck out two in 1 1/3 hitless innings.

"We've had better days," Little said.

So has Lopez. In his first start for Colorado on April 4, he went seven innings against Arizona for his first win since Aug. 17. He led the major leagues with 18 losses last season and was looking forward to a new start with the Rockies.

Hurdle also felt for Lopez.

"We'll feel bad for him and hope the news isn't really bad news and get him well," Hurdle said. "You never want to see anyone get hurt."

Game notes
Rockies RHP Aaron Cook will pitch Thursday and the Dodgers will counter with LHP Mark Hendrickson, who's filling in for Schmidt. ... Little was a little perplexed why LHP Randy Wolf's umpire brother, Jim, was working behind the plate Wednesday. "What would have happened if I'd brought in Randy to pitch?" Little said. "Would his brother have to move to one of the bases?" ... RHP Yhency Brazoban (right elbow) is scheduled to throw 30 pitches for Single-A Inland Empire on Friday in his next rehab assignment. ... A third run scored on Torrealba's fourth-inning bases-loaded single on an errant throw home by Andre Ethier. ... Dodgers INF Jeff Kent and C Russell Martin got the night off.