What was an uncharacteristically quiet game at Coors Field turned into a slugfest in the late innings, with the Los Angeles Dodgers pounding out an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies thanks to home runs from Chris Taylor and Brian Dozier in the ninth inning.
Pinch-hit home runs off the bats of Joc Pederson and Max Muncy gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. It was the first such homer of Muncy’s career, while it was a second off the bench for Pederson.
The Dodgers as a team are up to five pinch-hit home runs this season, which is tied for the Major League lead. The last time they hit two in the same inning was July 23, 1975, when Willie Crawford and Lee Lacy combined for the feat.
That nearly proved futile as Pedro Baez was trusted with a high-leverage situation. Nolan Arenado led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, David Dahl walked with one out, and Desmond’s flare into center field loaded the bases.
A cross up between Baez and Yasmani Grandal resulted in a passed ball that allowed a run to score, and Baez then surrendered a go-ahead three-run home run to Chris Iannetta.
True to form for this season, the Rockies bullpen failed to hold up. Seung-hwan Oh retired the first two batters faced in the eighth inning only to give up a ground-rule double to Matt Kemp. Cody Bellinger followed with a mammoth 439-foot game-tying home run to right-center field.
It was then Wade Davis’ turn to stumble in the ninth. Taylor ambushed his first pitch for a go-ahead home run, Yasiel Puig notched a pinch-hit single, and Dozier took Davis deep to provide insurance and knock the Rockies closer out of the game before he could record an out.
Scott Alexander allowed a one-out single to Iannetta but followed it by inducing a double play to conver his second save of the season. Kenley Jansen was taken to the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat and was unavailable. Meanwhile, Caleb Ferguson continued to be a shining beacon out of the bullpen, allowing two hits and issuing one walk over 1.2 scoreless innings.
While he ultimately did not factor in the decision, Ross Stripling turned in a strong effort in his return from the 10-day disabled list. Taylor’s sacrifice fly spotted him with a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Stripling allowed a leadoff single to Nolan Arenado in the bottom of the second and walked Ian Desmond to start the following inning. But he managed to face the minim through three innings because of a caught stealing and double play, respectively.
It was a two-out walk of Carlos Gonzalez in the fourth cost Stripling, as Arenado followed with a game-tying RBI double. However, it was the lone run Stripling allowed on four hits over six innings.
Dating to back to 2017, the Dodgers have now won six consecutive games at Coors Field.