Rockies Open Series With Loss

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DENVER - (AP) Brad Ausmus doesn't balk at his backup role.

Even after years of being a starter, he's content playing second fiddle to Russell Martin, just waiting for his chance to contribute.

Ausmus certainly did his part Friday night, breaking a tie game in the ninth inning with a two-out single and helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies.

That's all he wants -- a chance to help.

"The bench players have to pitch in," Ausmus said. "Tonight was an example."

Ausmus was only in the game because Martin struggles against Rockies starter Aaron Cook. He made only his third start this season.

"When I signed with the Dodgers I knew that Russell was the guy," Ausmus said. "He's a great young catcher and a great young player. I knew that role coming in."

Ausmus lined a pitch past a diving Garrett Atkins at third, scoring James Loney, who had led off the inning with a double off Manny Corpas (0-1).

The Dodgers backup catcher also ignited a rally in the eighth with a two-out double off Huston Street that caromed off the centerfield wall. Mark Loretta followed with a flair that dropped into shallow left, scoring Ausmus.

The Dodgers added another run later in the inning on a wild pitch by Jason Grilli -- who came in to relieve Street -- to put the Dodgers up 5-3.

Colorado came back in the eighth off Hong-Chih Kuo. Chris Iannetta lined a one-out single up the middle and Clint Barmes followed with a tying pinch-hit homer to deep left.

Kuo (1-0) earned the win despite the rocky inning in which he surrendered two runs and two hits. Jonathan Broxton worked his way out of trouble in the ninth, striking out Iannetta with two runners on to end the game. It was Broxton's sixth save in as many chances.

"This was a game that we spent a lot and we had to win," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I'm just glad we did."

Andre Ethier finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Orlando Hudson extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fifth.

The Dodgers have won all four meetings against the Rockies this season.

Eric Stults had his string of two straight wins interrupted by the no decision. The lefty went five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. Stults also tied a career-high in walks by issuing five.

Stults started the season with Triple-A Albuquerque before replacing Hiroki Kuroda after Kuroda went on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.

Aaron Cook rediscovered the dip on his sinker, helping him work his way out of several jams.

Cook lasted six innings, giving up three runs and seven hits. He also tied a career-high with six walks as he remained winless this season.

Part of Cook's predicament has been the betrayal of his bread-and-butter pitch.

However, in reviewing the mechanics of Cook, the Rockies detected a flaw in the righty's delivery -- his stride was out of whack, taking the bite out of his sinker.

"We saw more of the Aaron Cook we've seen in the past," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He reclaimed his sinker -- much more efficient stuff."

Cook couldn't agree more.

"Got back to the basics, getting down in the zone, letting my sinker work," Cook said. "It's not the outcome I wanted, we definitely want to win, but I feel like I got over a little bit of a hump today. Hopefully, I carry that on to the next start."Friday.

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