GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - A.J. Ellis may have put himself in position for a roster spot with one swing Thursday.
Ellis hit a three-run homer, capping a seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Colorado Rockies 7-5.
Ellis, who turns 30 on April 9, has never hit a major league home run in 141 plate appearances. Instead of enjoying the moment, he nearly sprinted around the bases after his game-ending shot against Chris Malone.
``When you don't hit them very often you run as fast as you can,' he said.
Ellis was a defensive replacement for catcher Hector Gimenez, who started when Dioner Navarro was scratched from the starting lineup with tightness in his right side. Navarro was sent for an MRI exam, which could possibly give Gimenez or Ellis to start the season with the Dodgers.
Dodgers shortstop Jamey Carroll played in the field for the first time since sustaining a bruised right index finger, when he was hit by a pitch, on March 5. He was 0-for-2 with a walk and was flawless in the field. He was also picked off at second base to end the fourth inning.
``I was just glad to be back on the field running around,' Carroll said. ``It wasn't a banner day but I'm glad to be back as part of the team.'
Gabe Kapler hit a two-run double with one out in the ninth. Ivan DeJesus had three hits for the Dodgers. Starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up five runs on eight hits over six-plus innings.
Ty Wigginton had two hits and drove in two runs for the Rockies. Seth Smith, Jonathan Herrera and Ian Stewart also drove in runs.
``I felt bad for the kids in the ninth inning,' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``It's unfortunate to see that happens but that is what major league baseball is all about.'
Jhoulys Chacin pitched four scoreless innings for the Rockies, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out three. He left the game when he developed a bruise between his thumb and index finger.
Tracy announced right-hander Esmil Rogers would be his fifth starter and that former first-round draft pick Greg Reynolds is still being considered for a spot in the bullpen.
``The stuff I've seen from this kid, that's not necessarily a No. 5 starter,' Tracy said of Rogers. ``I made it clear to him that consistency gets him to the majors and keeps him there. What he does with it is entirely up to him.'
NOTES: Rockies 1B Jason Giambi was held out of the lineup with a slight infection in his right ear. ... Rockies RHP Huston Street threw two scoreless innings in a minor league game. ... The Dodgers are 7-1-1 since ending an eight-game losing streak. ... Dodgers RHP Vicente Padilla threw a bullpen session and could throw batting practice Sunday. ... Tracy said RHP John Maine, who threw in a minor league game, will start the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Associated Press News Service
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