First pitch on Friday night between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers was delayed by 35 minutes due to the on-field ceremony that kicked off Vin Scully Weekend at Dodger Stadium. For Scott Kazmir, it was his first start with the Dodgers since Aug. 22.
He allowed a leadoff single in the first inning to Charlie Blackmon, then threw low to second base after fielding a comebacker. While Chase Utley managed to record the force out, his throw to first was wide of the bag.
Carlos Gonzalez singled with two outs but Nolan Arenado was thrown out at home plate to end the inning. Jon Gray started the bottom of the first with a strikeout, only to put the next three batters on.
Corey Seager drew a walk, Justin Turner was hit by a pitch, and Adrian Gonzalez walked to load the bases. Although Yasmani Grandal didn’t duplicate his grand-slam swing, he flared a two-run single into shallow right field.
Gray ended the inning by striking out Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles. Kazmir’s night was done after 19 pitches in one inning, as he was removed due to right intercostal (muscles between ribs) spasms, triggering a bullpen game.
Ross Stripling was the first reliever called on, and he retired the side in order. Aside from walking Stripling with one out, Gray struck out the side for a second consecutive inning.
Singles from Cristhian Adames and Blackmon put runners on the corners with one out in the third; Blackmon then stole second base.
Reddick laid out for a diving catch in shallow right field and used his momentum to quickly spring back up to his feet and throw a strike to home plate to prevent Adames from tagging. Stripling got out of the jam by striking out Arenado.
The Dodgers didn’t have any success in the bottom of the third, going down in order, including Gonzalez and Grandal by strike out. Los Angeles eventually managed to add to their lead, with Joc Pederson and pinch-hitter Andre Ethier connecting on back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth.
Arenado greeted Josh Fields in the sixth inning with a solo home run. The homer was Arenado’s 40th of the season, and got the Rockies on the board. Pinch-hitter David Dahl reached on an infield single and advanced to second base on Seager’s throwing error.
That cost the Dodgers as Blackmon followed with an RBI single to trim the Rockies’ deficit to 4-2. Utley was hit by a pitch to start the bottom half of the seventh. He then went first to third base on Turner’s line drive that skipped off DJ LeMahieu’s glove.
Utley’s heads-up baserunning paid off as he tagged on Gonzalez’s line drive to center field, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2. After throwing a scoreless seventh, Pedro Baez struck out Arenado on a high fastball in the eighth.
Grant Dayton then entered and struck out Dahl and Tom Murphy to end the inning. Pederson walked in the eighth, and Yasiel Puig hit a pinch-hit double, though nothing came of it. Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth to convert the save in the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory.
Coupled with the San Francisco Giants losing to the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers’ magic number is now two.