A.J. Ellis started 108 major-league games before Sunday and had never been penciled in higher than seventh in the batting order.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said because of - not in spite of - Ellis' high batting and on-base averages, he preferred the catcher at the bottom of the order to create a "balanced lineup."

But with three left-handers occupying the bottom five spots in the order, the right-handed hitting Ellis batted sixth Sunday. The manager couldn't have picked a better spot.

Ellis' three-run home run was the big hit in the Dodgers' six-run fifth inning and the turning point in an 11-5 win that concluded a sweep of the Colorado Rockies.