A pitchers’ duel between Kyle Freeland and Clayton Kershaw didn’t exactly live up to its billing as they weren’t overly sharp but both succeeded in limiting damage. In the end, neither factored into the decision of a 3-2 walk-off victory in the 10th inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chris Taylor was responsible for putting the Colorado Rockies 1.5 games back of first place in the National League West as he clubbed a hanging slider for a home run off Adam Ottavino.
Manny Machado nearly provided early fireworks but had to settle for a one-out double that hit high off the wall in center field. Although he missed a home run by about a foot, Matt Kemp ensured the run was not lost as he slapped an RBI single into right field to give the Dodgers a lead.
Kershaw needed all of eight pitches to get through each the first and second innings, but the third saw him labor and it was a struggle from there. He walked the Rockies’ No. 8 batter, ending an early bid for a perfect game, then walked Charlie Blackmon with two outs.
A chopper to third base got by Justin Turner and Chris Taylor overran the ball in left field, and the two errors allowed Garrett Hampson to score and tie the game without so much as a play at the plate.
Kershaw retired Nolan Arenado to strand two runners in scoring position but needed 27 pitches to get through the inning. The fourth saw Kershaw pitch under more duress.
He allowed a one-out single to Ian Desmond, breaking up a no-hitter. Desmond promptly stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. Chris Iannetta extended the inning by drawing a walk, though the Rockies left runners at the corners and the game remained tied.
Kershaw wasn’t as fortunate in the fifth inning, however, as Blackmon drove a go-ahead home run halfway up the pavilion in right-center field. Despite issuing five walks, the two runs (one earned) were all Kershaw allowed over seven innings, keeping the Dodgers in the game.
That lead he allowed the Rockies to take was short-lived, as they returned the favor with sloppy play of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Taylor’s dribbler up the third base line resulted in mayhem as Arenado fielded it and quickly turned to third base in an attempt to catch Austin Barnes off guard.
His toss got by Hampson, who collided with umpire Lance Barrett. Barnes scooted home to score the tying run before Freeland could retrieve the ball in foul territory. The game remained tied until Taylor’s heroics in the 10th inning.