Dodgers 5, Rockies 2: Will Smith comes through late again

Any game lost against the Rockies when they’re on the road is a bad one, so yesterday’s definitely stung. Tonight the Dodgers looked like they were somehow about to repeat the feat, but the third time was the charm for the lineup, taking advantage of their third bases-loaded situation in the 8th with Will Smith playing hero in a 5-2 win.

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An opener for a quasi-pen game should be something that Dodger fans are used to be now, and Corey Knebel got the nod tonight. He struck out one and required five batters to get five outs, facing the minimum after having a single erased with a double play.

Bulk guy David Price then took over, ending the 2nd with an out in a soft landing. The 3rd didn’t go so smoothly, with a single and a walk starting things, a sacrifice bunt moving both runners over, and a Connor Joe sacrifice fly putting the Rockies up 1-0 early.

The Rockies countered with Jon Gray, who should’ve found disaster early if the Dodgers were competent right now. Unfortunately, the offense is struggling and after loading the bases behind a single and two walks in the 1st, the rally stalled.

Their next chance went … um, slightly better. Trea Turner led off the 3rd with a bloop single over short, and his speed caused trouble as Joe rushed and tried to barehand it in left but came up empty, allowing Trea to cruise into second. He then stole third and Max Muncy walked. At that point Gray threw a ball to Mookie Betts and looked to be in some discomfort and ended up exiting the game with injury.

Tyler Kinley took over, threw three more balls to Betts to walk him load the bases. He then got Justin Turner to chase a pitch out of the zone to start the next at-bat, threw another ball, and got JT to hit a ball at his ankles for a double play that scored Trea and tied it 1-1. Smith then struck out to end the threat, because sure.

As if to add insult to injury, Price immediately gave the run back in the 4th behind a walk, double, and ground out that made things 2-1.

The Dodgers did get the run back against Kinley in the 4th, as Chris Taylor yanked a ball that stayed barely fair in left for his 19th dinger of the year to tie things at 2-2.

Yency Almonte kept the bats quiet in the 5th and 6th, and Jhoulys Chacin did the same in the 7th.

Despite the pair of runs, Price did make it into the 6th, getting an out before being relieved by Phil Bickford. Guitar Center got through the rest of the 6th and started the 7th with a K before giving way to Justin Bruihl, who got a pop out and a strikeout to end that frame. Blake Treinen kept things moving along with a 1-2-3 frame in the 8th.

Daniel Bard faced the Dodgers for the second night in a row to start the 8th, and it was a mess for him. Max Muncy led the inning off with a bloop single into left, and then Mookie Betts and Justin Turner drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for the third time in the game.

Smith stepped up, having been the guy the Dodgers have relied on in this wobbly stretch, and he came through late again by driving a 3-1 pitch into left for a two-run single and a 4-2 lead.

That knocked Bard out of the game, and Robert Stephenson took over. He limited the damage, but AJ Pollock did single to drive in a run and make it 5-2.

That set up Kenley Jansen for the save in the 9th, who got a pop out, strikeout, and fly out to end it.

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The Dodgers are now 82-48, and remain 2.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West.

The series finale will be tomorrow at 10:10 AM HT/1:10 PM PT/4:10 PM ET with Julio Urias facing Antonio Senzatela.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times