If it seems like we talk a lot about the venue when the Dodgers are playing the Rockies in Denver, it’s because there’s no other stadium in Major League Baseball that has as extreme an impact on the game. And this was a very Coors-y game.
The Dodgers struck first, knocking out Rockies starter Jordan Lyles after merely 2 2/3 innings. Lyles was charged with seven runs (five of which were earned). He walked five men and struck out none. Among the five hits he allowed was a home run off the bat of Joc Pederson, which came in the top of the third with no one on. Corey Seager also hit his first triple of the season that inning, capping off the Dodgers’ scoring for a while.
Alex Wood‘s line — 5 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, and a season high of 5 K — isn’t quite as ugly as it looks. It was really the fourth inning that was especially rough for him, which started when, with a runner on first and two outs, Gerardo Parra hit a ball that Trayce Thompson misplayed (but was ruled a double).
A walk and two singles made the score 7-4 in favor of the Dodgers. It could’ve been even worse, though, without help from this astounding catch by Yasiel Puig:
Wood faced two batters in the bottom of the sixth, both of whom reached base, and thus it was time to go to the bullpen. Pedro Baez made a fielding error on a DJ LeMahieu sacrifice bunt, which resulted in a run scoring. He then walked Dustin Garneau to load the bases. However, Baez navigated his way out of the jam with a strikeout and two fly outs, and the Dodgers kept a two-run lead until the bottom of the eighth.
That bottom of the eighth was an ugly frame for the Dodgers relievers. Chris Hatcher got an out, but allowed a run on two hits and a walk. He was replaced by Luis Avilan, who didn’t manage to retire any Rockies. Avilan gave up a pair of singles (one misplayed by Puig for an error) and a pair of walks (one intentional, one not) to give the Rockies a 10-7 lead. He was lifted for Joe Blanton, who induced a 1-6-3 double play to get out of it.
A three-run deficit isn’t necessarily a death sentence, especially not at Coors. Sure enough, the Dodgers turned things right back around in an absolutely wild top of the ninth. It started with a base hit by Adrian Gonzalez. Things got put on hold momentarily when Carlos Gonzalez dove into the grandstand after a Yasmani Grandal foul ball and tricked the umpire into thinking he’d caught it. It was originally called an out, but was easily overturned on replay. Grandal then proceeded to hit into a force out.
Howie Kendrick singled, and Enrique Hernandez walked to load the bases. Trayce Thompson hit what could have been a game-ending double play ball to short, but Trevor Story only got the out at second, a run scored, and the inning continued.
A.J. Ellis then came in to pinch hit, and singled home another run to bring to Dodgers to within one. They tied it on a Jake McGee wild pitch, and took the lead on a Chase Utley double. Seager followed that up with a double of his own to give the Dodgers a bit of insurance.
Kenley Jansen then came out for the bottom half of the inning, and worked around a leadoff walk to notch a save and record another scoreless inning. In nine appearances this season, Jansen has yet to give up a run.
One series at Coors Field down, two to go.
The Dodgers are back home tomorrow night, and it’ll be their first time seeing their former skipper Don Mattingly at the helm of the Marlins. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Pacific time. It’ll be Ross Stripling vs. Wei-Yin Chen.