Rockies' Morneau homers in 7-4 loss to Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Morneau hit a two-run homer and went 2 for 3 to take a slight lead in the NL batting title race with a .319 average.

That was only highlight for Colorado in a 7-4 loss to the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Morneau is two hits away from 1,500 for his career, and his 160 hits this season are his best total since he had 187 in 2008. He spent time on the disabled list in July with a neck strain.

"It's very cool to see the season Morney's put together," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's one of the guys you pull extra hard for."

Morneau leads Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison for the batting title with two games remaining. Harrison was at .318 Friday night.

The Rockies fell to 6-37 on the road since June 16 with their second straight loss and third in their last four games.

Jordan Lyles (7-4) was charged with five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked none in his final start of the season.

"He threw the ball better than whatever his line was. He gave up some soft hits," Weiss said. "He did a good job navigating, but that's the next step for Jordan: consistently being in good counts."

The Rockies scored three times in the third on Morneau's 17th homer and Rafael Ynoa's fielder's choice grounder. Ben Paulsen added a two-out homer in the ninth.

Justin Turner's two-run infield single highlighted a six-run sixth inning for the Dodgers, who have won three in a row.

The Dodgers' 92nd victory tied their total from last season, and the club has posted consecutive 90-win seasons for the first time since 1976-78.

Scott Elbert (1-0) recorded the final out of the sixth for his first win since July 3, 2012, against Cincinnati. He had Tommy John surgery in June 2013 and didn't return until late July.

Colorado's pitching fell apart in the sixth when its 3-1 lead disappeared. Scott Van Slyke had an RBI single before Turner's single to second base put Los Angeles ahead 4-3 and chased Lyles.

Juan Uribe added a two-run single and pinch-hitter Darwin Barney's sacrifice fly made it 7-3.

Yasiel Puig's RBI single in the first gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Two days after winning their second straight division title, the Dodgers lifted Puig in the sixth along with Adrian Gonzalez, and Turner left in the seventh as Los Angeles rested some of its starters ahead of next week's playoff opener.

Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.


Colorado challenged a ruling that Ynoa was out on a tag play at home in the seventh, but the call was upheld. He was thrown out by left fielder Carl Crawford.

"It looked like a super close play," Weiss said. "After seeing the replay, it was going to be tough to overturn."


Rockies: 2B DJ LeMahieu left in the bottom of the sixth with a left knee sprain. He was replaced by Charlie Culberson.

Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder inflammation) felt good after throwing 25 to 30 pitches off a bullpen mound Friday. If everything goes well, he will throw a full bullpen on Sunday and follow with a simulated game next week before the playoffs begin.


Rockies: Eddie Butler (1-1, 5.56 ERA) will make his first career road start for the Rockies and third overall. He made his major league debut against the Dodgers on June 6, giving up six runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 loss.

Dodgers: Dan Haren (13-11, 4.03 ERA) is 7-4 in 15 home starts with a 3.30 ERA while limiting opposing batters to a .228 average. He is 7-9 in 18 career starts against the Rockies with a 5.19 ERA.

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