- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Joc Pederson failed to beat the Colorado Rockies with small ball his first time up. He found success swinging away in his next at-bat.

It wasn’t enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pederson homered for the third straight game for his team-leading 15th of the season, but the Dodgers fell to the Rockies 6-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

“We know we played a good game but we didn’t come out on top,” the rookie outfielder said.

Pederson has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games to raise his average by .256. He tried to get on with a two-strike bunt to lead off the game but it went foul for first out of the day.

He swung away in the third and sent a shot an estimated 477 feet, one of the longer drives in the majors this season. The home run, his 13th since April 27th, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

They managed just one more run on a bases-loaded walk by Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth that tied the game at 3.

Pederson has two homers already in June. He had nine in May, which tied the Dodgers record for most by a rookie in a calendar month. James Loney accomplished the feat in September 2007.

“We knew the talent was there, the swing was there,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Just the consistency of at-bats, the best is yet to come.”

Mattingly used five different pitchers, including two innings from spot starter Juan Nicasio.

Los Angeles managed just four hits against Jorge De La Rosa and three relievers.

“Pitching-wise, it was OK we just didn’t do enough,” Mattingly said. “We had the one chance when Gonzo walks and had people all over the place. We just didn’t do enough to deserve the win.”

The game was a makeup of a rainout on May 9.

De La Rosa (2-2) had his start pushed back twice because of a cut he got from the seams on a baseball. The lefty allowed three runs and struck out six for his 71st win with the Rockies, one shy of matching Aaron Cook’s team record.

John Axford pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 10th save.

Ian Thomas (0-1) allowed four runs in three innings after taking over for Juan Nicasio, who made a spot start against his former team. Thomas was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to be the 26th man for the doubleheader.

De La Rosa ran into trouble in the fifth when he loaded the bases and walked Gonzalez. He struck out Howie Kendrick - on his 42nd pitch of the inning - to escape more trouble.

Nicasio allowed one run over two innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. It was his first start since June 15, 2014, when he was with Colorado. The Rockies later moved Nicasio to the bullpen before dealing him to Los Angeles in the offseason, where he’s emerged as a reliable reliever for the Dodgers.

OUCH!

Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell stayed in the game after taking D.J. LeMahieu’s line drive off his right biceps in the sixth inning. The lefty was sporting a baseball-sized welt on his right arm after the game but said he was fine. “It was cool. It didn’t hit me in the face so I’m pretty happy. It was lucky. I’ll take that anytime.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: OF Scott Van Slyke was put on the 15-day DL with back inflammation. “We think it’s a rest thing,” Mattingly said. … RHP Joel Peralta (shoulder soreness) threw on and off the mound Monday.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.48) will pitch the night game. He’s 2-0 in six career starts at Coors Field.

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