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Kemp belts a solo homer in the first

DENVER -- An April to remember ended with a Monday night to forget for the Dodgers, who didn't get the ownership change they expected or a win in the series opener against the Rockies.

The change in owners is believed to be delayed only a day. The game, well, that's gone, a 6-2 loss to Colorado that snapped the Dodgers three-game win streak.

Nonetheless, the Dodgers finished the month 16-7, their most April wins since 1984, with a 3 1/2-game lead in the National League West.

"We've got to be happy with where we're at," said manager Don Mattingly, "but it's way too early to be thinking anything but getting off to a good start and playing well and winning close games. We've got to keep going."

Matt Kemp slugged home run No. 12 with nobody on base in the first inning, but struck out with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh as the Dodgers stranded 10.

Kemp is hitting .417 and has 25 RBIs. According to the Dodgers' publicity staff, he joins Barry Bonds, Larry Walker and Tony Perez as the only players to hit at least .400 with 10 homers and more than 20 RBIs in the month.

"I'm just aware we lost a game. I'm not worrying about historical or statistical," said Kemp, not in the mood to enjoy personal milestones.

Mattingly said Kemp and teammate Andre Ethier need from the rest of the batting order.

"We've got to get more balanced," Mattingly said. "We got right where we wanted to be tonight, and they don't come through. Matt and Andre are at a pace, history says, they can't really sustain, or at least it's asking a lot. We have to get production around them."

Aaron Harang (1-2) took the loss while the Dodgers' offense went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, coming away empty in that pivotal seventh inning after Kemp and Ethier struck out and pinch-hitter Juan Rivera popped out.

"We didn't get the job done, and that's it," said Kemp. "They got us out."

With two outs in the first inning, Kemp sent the first pitch he saw from Juan Nicasio the opposite way, the ball landing atop the out-of-town scoreboard and barely high enough for a home run. He's on pace to hit 84 this year, having extended his club record for home runs hit in April.

The Rockies answered immediately off Harang in the bottom of the first, as Marco Scutaro turned around left fielder Tony Gwynn with a double to the fence and finished his tour of the diamond on ground-ball outs by Jonathan Herrera and Carlos Gonzalez.

Harang retired nine straight batters entering the fourth inning, when Colorado took the lead. The first three batters reached base -- a single by Herrera, a walk to Gonzalez and a two-run double by Troy Tulowitzki barely over leaping third baseman Juan Uribe. Tulowitzki took third on the throw home and scored on Ramon Hernandez's sacrifice fly that backed Kemp against the center-field fence.

"Early in the game, I was more aggressive," said Harang. "Once I get to the third time around, I got a little tentative. ... I have to make an adjustment."

The Dodgers trimmed a run off the lead in the sixth on a flare double by James Loney and an RBI single by Uribe. The Rockies got that run back in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI double by Hernandez, one pitch after Harang thought he had struck out Hernandez to end the inning.

"I thought he was pretty good. This is a tough matchup for him and he held them to four," Mattingly said, excusing the final run after Harang didn't get the strike call from ump Laz Diaz. "He really got out of the other inning -- I'm not going farther that that. Four runs in six innings here? We'd take that."

Down by three in the seventh inning, Jerry Hairston and Dee Gordon singled to chase Nicasio, making only his fourth start since breaking his neck last year when hit by a line drive. Former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy then started maneuvering. He brought in right-hander Esmil Rogers, who walked Mark Ellis but struck out Kemp on a slider. Rogers has fanned Kemp five times in 12 at-bats.

"My brother asked, 'Who's coming to the next series?' And I said, 'The Dodgers,'" said Rogers, whose brother was an Orioles infielder. "He said, 'Oh, my, Matt Kemp.' I said, 'Why do you say that?' He said, 'He's breaking the league right now.' I said, 'Don't worry about it.'"

Tracy then brought in lefty Rex Brothers, who struck out Ethier, as he's done four times in five at-bats. Mattingly sent up Rivera to hit for Loney and Tracy countered with righty Edgmer Escalona, who popped up Rivera to end the threat.

Mike MacDougal, pitching for the first time in a week, walked his first batter on four pitches and allowed a run, but showed better velocity than his last outing.

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