Rockies put hurt on Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt, left, attempts to stretch his right hamstring after injuring it while covering first on a grounder. Schmidt left the game, which was won by Colorado, 6-3, Monday in Los Angeles.

? The Colorado Rockies mostly have been known over the years for hitting the long ball, scoring a lot of runs and losing.

Now, the Rockies have speedsters at the top of the lineup, and their pitching staff appears to be more of a strength than a weakness. They hope their new approach translates into a winning season for the first time since 2000 – and perhaps more.

Jeff Francis allowed two runs in 62â3 innings, Willy Taveras and Kaz Matsui each scored runs thanks to their speed, and the Rockies beat Los Angeles, 6-3, Monday to snap the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak and spoil their home opener.

Garrett Atkins homered and drove in his first three runs of the season, and Jeff Baker, filling in at first base for Todd Helton, had three hits, including an RBI triple for the Rockies.

“They’ve done a fantastic job – I don’t think you could have asked for anything more,” Atkins said regarding the Rockies’ starting rotation. “They keep it up, I think we’ll be right there.”

As far as Taveras and Matsui are concerned, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said: “It’s the fastest first two hitters we’ve had since I’ve been here, and I’ve been here since ’97. I’d stick my neck out and say it’s the most speed up there in Rockies history.”

The Dodgers were able to breathe a sigh of relief afterward since two players who had to leave the game because of injuries shouldn’t be sidelined for very long.

Jason Schmidt (1-1), making his second start for the Dodgers after signing a three-year, $47 million contract in December, left in the fifth due to tightness in his right hamstring.

“It’s OK. It’s definitely not a hamstring pull,” he said. “I just got dehydrated out there and got a little cramp in it.”

Right fielder Matt Kemp came out in the fourth because of a sore right shoulder after banging into the auxiliary scoreboard trying to catch Baker’s triple. X-rays on Kemp’s shoulder were negative, and he said he doesn’t believe he’ll be out for more than a couple days.

Mets 11, Phillies 5

New York – All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins made a key error as the Mets rallied for seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Phillies.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 0

Pittsburgh – Albert Pujols doubled and scored the only run needed by Braden Looper (1-1), who allowed two hits over seven innings.

Astros 5, Cubs 3

Chicago – Adam Everett broke a 3-3, eighth-inning tie with a two-run homer off Bob Howry (0-2) in the Wrigley Field home opener.

Marlins 5, Brewers 3

Miami – Miguel Cabrera hit his third homer and drove in three runs, and the Marlins beat the Brewers for the ninth time in a row. Anibal Sanchez (1-0) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings, and Henry Owens earned his first career save.

Padres 1, Giants 0

San Diego – Pinch-hitter Geoff Blum hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, and the Padres beat former manager Bruce Bochy and the Giants despite getting just two hits.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 2

Phoenix – Orlando Hudson hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, and Arizona won its fifth straight game.

American League

Orioles 6, Tigers 2

Baltimore – Daniel Cabrera allowed two runs in 72â3 innings, Kevin Millar homered in a four-run third inning, and the Orioles began the home portion of their schedule with a win.

Yankees 8, Twins 2

Minneapolis – Alex Rodriguez homered for the third straight game, and Bobby Abreu went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and four RBIs.

Rangers 8, Devil Rays 4

Arlington, Texas – Ian Kinsler went 4-for-4 for the Rangers, while Carl Crawford homered for Tampa Bay.

White Sox 4, Athletics 1

Oakland, Calif. – Scott Podsednik broke a tie with his fifth-inning solo home run.