The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t do Hyun-Jin Ryu any favors playing behind him but Alex Verdugo provided more late-game heroics in a 5-4 walk-off win against the Colorado Rockies, securing another series victory at Dodger Stadium.
The win was also the Dodgers’ 10th in a row against the Rockies, breaking a franchise record for most consecutive victories over their National League West counterpart. The streak dates back to last August.
Aside from the sloppy defense the Dodgers played, Ryu had an atypical start by his standards. Colorado took an early lead on Nolan Arenado’s RBI single with two outs in the first inning. That came two batters after Max Muncy dropped a throw to second base, resulting in a double for Ian Desmond.
Entering Saturday, opponents were just 3-for-59 (.051 batting average) with runners in scoring position.
After Rockies starter Peter Lambert kept a single inside the bag at first base to lead off the third inning, Colorado successfully challenged a force out call at second base as the MLB replay center ruled Chris Taylor never secured the throw to second base.
Taylor initially was credited with making a force out. Desmond immediately took advantage of the overturned call with a go-ahead RBI single. Desmond went on to finish with his first four-hit game since joining the Rockies.
Still looking to get through the third inning, Ryu walked Arenado — just his sixth walk issued this season — to load the bases with one out. What should’ve been an inning-ending double play didn’t materialize because Joc Pederson bobbled a clean throw to first base.
Despite facing a high pitch count, Ryu managed to get through six innings. With only one of the three runs allowed earned, Ryu recorded an 11th quality start. Moreover, it was a 15th consecutive start with two earned runs or fewer allowed, which is the longest stretch to start a season since Al Benton had 16 in 1945.
The Dodgers erased a deficit on three separate instances, beginning on Matt Beaty’s game-tying RBI single in the second inning. Justin Turner’s base hit in the third scored a run and cut the Rockies’ lead to 3-2, and Verdugo’s leadoff home run in the fifth inning pulled the Dodgers even.
Lambert otherwise had a strong performance in his homecoming. He held the Dodgers to just three runs despite allowing seven hits in five innings, and helped his cause by going 2-for-2 with a run scored.
A battle of the bullpens initially swung in favor of the Rockies when Caleb Ferguson surrendered a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. Cody Bellinger’s leadoff double in the eighth was later cashed in by Beaty on a flare single into left field that tied the game.
After the Dodgers squandered opportunities in the ninth and 10th innings, Verdugo delivered a walk-off home run in the 11th. The walk-off victory was the Dodgers’ second in a row, fifth this season, and second courtesy of Verdugo.
Not for nothing, Muncy extended his on-base streak to 31 straight games and his hitting streak to 10 games.