Rockies 9, Dodgers 6

DENVER (AP) -- After coming close in his first two starts this season, Colorado made sure Ubaldo Jimenez could finally celebrate his first major league victory.

Matt Holliday homered and drove in three runs, and Jimenez went six innings as the Rockies held off a ninth-inning rally for a 9-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

Jimenez (1-0) gave up two runs and four hits, striking out three after getting no-decisions in his first two starts this season. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in four career starts, including his big-league debut last season.

"I don't know how to describe it," the 23-year-old Jimenez said. "I was excited and I had butterflies."

Chad Billingsley (7-1) gave up four runs in 4 1-3 innings, losing for the first time since last Sept. 16 against San Diego. He left after Todd Helton's RBI double scored Holliday to give Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Billingsley, who started the season working out of the bullpen, has made eight straight starts. He had been 3-0 with four no-decisions as a starter before Sunday.

Jimenez pitched out of jam in the sixth inning. Russell Martin and Jeff Kent led off the sixth with back-to-back doubles to cut Colorado's lead to 4-2. Jimenez got out of further trouble when he fielded a one-hopper off the bat of Luis Gonzalez and threw out Kent at second.

Kent injured his left hamstring legging out a single in the ninth. He was lifted for a pinch runner and the Dodgers said Kent is day-to-day.

"Jimenez has come on and given us three strong starts," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Colorado won the weekend series, which was shortened to three games after a rainout on Friday. The Rockies have won eight straight home series and are unbeaten in their last nine series at Coors Field.

The Dodgers continue to lead Arizona, which lost to Atlanta 14-0 on Sunday, by percentage points in the NL West. San Diego is a half-game back in third after beating Houston, while Colorado has surged to within 3 1/2 games in baseball's closest division.

The Rockies scored three times in the sixth inning. After Eric Hull retired the first two batters, pinch-hitter Jeff Baker walked and Willy Taveras singled and stole second. Jamey Carroll singled home both runners, stole second and scored on Holliday's single to give Colorado a 7-2 lead.

AP - Jul 29, 7:56 pm EDT
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The Dodgers came back in the seventh, scoring twice on Kent's two-out, two-run single to center to make it 7-4, but the Rockies answered in the bottom of the inning with RBI singles by Kaz Matsui and Taveras.

Martin hit a solo homer and Nomar Garciaparra added an RBI single in the ninth. Los Angeles loaded the bases with two outs before Manny Corpas struck out Andre Ethier for his sixth save.

Los Angeles now turns its attention to the San Francisco Giants and Barry Bonds, who arrive at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday for a three-game set.

Bonds went 1-for-4 on Sunday and remains stuck on 754 home runs, one shy of Hank Aaron's record.

"My thought process is we have to go out there and win," Martin said. "We have to win -- we're in the race right now. We just have to go out and play good baseball."

The Rockies jumped ahead with a three-run third inning. Yorvit Torrealba, who had three hits, led off the inning with a home run to center field that traveled an estimated 425 feet to give Colorado a 1-0 lead. Holliday's two-out homer to left, his 20th of the season, made it 3-0.

Los Angeles cut the lead to 3-1 on Garciaparra's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.


Kent's sixth-inning double was the 526th of his career, moving him past Ted Williams for 31rd on the all-time list. He also moved into 55th place on the all-time RBI list with 1439. ... Kent extended his hit streak to 11 games. ... The Rockies have not lost a home series since dropping a 2 of 3 to Kansas City May 18-20. ... The Dodgers last dropped a series to Colorado Sept. 12-14, 2005. They are 7-1-1 in nine series against the Rockies over the past two seasons.