The Los Angeles Dodgers had their familiar struggles against a left-hander, and the Colorado Rockies managed to squeeze out just enough against Hyun-Jin Ryu to get a win in their 2017 home opener.
Kyle Freeland’s MLB career began with a strikeout of Logan Forsythe. Justin Turner singled with two outs, and Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke kept the inning alive by working walks. However, the bases were left loaded when Yasmani Grandal grounded out.
Ryu struck out Charlie Blackmon to start the bottom of the first, but he reached on a wild pitch. Blackmon was subsequently thrown out trying to steal second base, which proved key as DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon singled.
Nolan Arenado’s RBI double gave the Rockies an early lead before Ryu worked his way out of the inning. The Dodgers defense unraveled a bit in the bottom of the second, beginning with Kiké Hernandez committing an error on a chopper to shortstop.
Two batters later, Ryu fielded a sacrifice bunt and threw low to second base. The ball rolled into center field, leaving runners on the corners. But Van Slyke bailed out the Dodgers by fielding a chopper, then throwing home to complete an inning-ending double play.
Turner doubled in the third after Forsythe and Franklin Gutierrez struck out. Turner to that point was responsible for both of the Dodgers’ hits in the game. He was stranded when Arenado made a terrific diving stop to his left to rob Puig of a base hit and potential RBI.
Following a Van Slyke leadoff double in the fourth inning, Grandal laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Hernandez tied the game with an RBI groundout. Ryu set the Rockies down in order in the bottom of the fourth, marking the second consecutive inning he’d done so.
Dustin Garneau jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Ryu to lead off the bottom of the fifth with a home run that banged off the foul pole in left field. Freeland singled and Blackmon walked, but the Dodgers then caught a break on a grounder that resulted in a double play when Blackmon’s slide into second base was challenged.
Carlos Gonzalez’s base hit put runners on the corners and knocked Ryu out of the game. Ross Stripling struck out Arenado to end the inning. Stripling remained in the game in the sixth and retired the side in order.
Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez worked around a leadoff single by pinch-hitter Corey Seager in the seventh to keep the Rockies’ 2-1 lead intact. Grant Dayton turned in a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and so too did Josh Fields in the eighth, with Fields striking out the side.
The Dodgers bullpen combined for 3.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts, but it was in a losing effort. Jake McGee struck out the side, consisting of pinch-hitter Chase Utley, Grandal and Seager, to earn a save in the Rockies’ 2-1 victory.