DENVER — A change in fortune for Manny Ramirez at Coors Field helped extend the Los Angeles Dodgers' recent dominance of the Colorado Rockies in their own backyard.
Ramirez broke out of a slump with a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Dodgers beat the Rockies, 5-4, Friday night. They have now won six of seven and 10 of their last 13 meetings with the Rockies in Colorado.
"I have no clue," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said when asked to put his finger on the Dodgers' success against the Rockies. "We certainly don't look forward to playing them. I'm glad that we're able to because I think it's a good measuring stick for us, how we play against them, because they're a good team that has been hot lately."
The Rockies, who had their season-high five-game winning streak snapped, started off hot but wound up blowing a four-run lead.
Ramirez delivered the decisive blow. He capped the Dodgers' four-run sixth with his 549th career home run and first at Coors Field, clearing the center-field wall and dropping into the visitors bullpen to put the Dodgers on top.
The drive, Ramirez's third of the season but first since April 18, broke a tie with Mike Schmidt for 14th on the all-time list. It also snapped a 43 at-bat homerless streak for the slugger at Coors Field, the most Ramirez had gone without homering at any stadium that he's played in.
"That was the biggest swing of the day for us," said Russell Martin, who was aboard with an RBI double when Ramirez homered. "But he battles. Every time he's up there, he's giving a good at-bat and it's just a matter of time before he's going to catch fire."
Jonathan Broxton, the last of five Dodgers' pitchers, got three outs for his 12th save in 14 chances. The Rockies were blanked over the final five innings.
"We weren't able to doing anything offensively after they took the lead when Manny hit the ball out," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
A homer by Matt Kemp leading off the fifth ended Jeff Francis' run of 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, and the Dodgers broke through to chase him in the sixth, when they sent 10 batters to the plate.
Jamey Carroll drew a leadoff walk and Garret Anderson, batting for Dodgers starter Carlos Monasterios (2-0), doubled before Rafael Furcal's sacrifice fly pulled the Dodgers to 4-2. Martin followed with a run-scoring double and then Ramirez connected, breaking out of a 10-for-49 skid and chasing Francis (1-1), who allowed five runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"Not the way you want to start an inning, especially when it's the bottom of the order," Francis said of the leadoff walk. "After that, the pitches didn't go where I wanted them to go."
Monasterios, a rookie making his second career start — he got his first big league win as a reliever on April 24 at Washington — gave up four runs, two earned, in five innings.
Carlos Gonzalez singled to lead off the first and Seth Smith's grounder to first base got past Ronnie Belliard for an error. After a two-out intentional walk to Brad Hawpe, Monasterios sent a wild pitch over the head of catcher Martin, allowing Gonzalez to score from third. Miguel Olivo then hit an RBI single to put the Rockies up 2-0.
Colorado made it 4-0 in the fourth when Olivo tripled and scored on Ian Stewart's sacrifice fly, and Clint Barmes hit a home run that survived a replay review. A fan caught the ball behind the left-center field fence but his glove dropped down over the yellow boundary lining the top of the wall. The umpires ruled the ball had already cleared the fence when the momentum from the catch carried the fan's glove back over the wall.
Kemp, who had a close up view as the Dodgers center fielder, begged to differ.
"It wasn't a home run," he said. "He reached over the fence and grabbed the ball. But you know what? It's over and we won."
Andre Ethier began a two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque in Memphis on Friday night, and the Dodgers' OF, barring a setback, was expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list (broken pinky) on Monday, Torre said. … Rockies' LHP Jorge De La Rosa, on the DL with a torn finger tendon on his pitching hand, took the protective tape off and threw from 120 feet and 60 feet. The next step will be to make tosses off a slope. … The Dodgers recalled LHP Scott Elbert from Albuquerque and made room for him on their roster by designating INF Nick Green for assignment.