The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their regression on defense and that played a factor in a 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Filed.
Kenta Maeda did his part to work around the Dodgers’ first error of the game — Joc Pederson dropping a routine throw from third base with one out in the first inning. The sun was shining directly in Pederson’s face, though his struggles at first base have been well-documented.
Pederson’s latest error cost Maeda additional pitches but he kept the game locked in a scoreless tie. That changed in the second inning, albeit on a play that was not ruled an error.
A.J. Pollock came up empty on his backhanded, sliding attempt in center field, which resulted in a one-out triple for Ian Desmond. What likely would have been a base hit immediately wound up costing the Dodgers as Raimel Tapia hit an RBI single.
For Desmond, he also hit a two-out single in the fourth inning and doubled off Josh Sborz in the seventh to finish a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Maeda got through four innings with just the one run allowed before the proverbial third time through a lineup spelled trouble. Tony Wolters’ leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth was compounded when Maeda walked Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray.
David Dahl’s RBI single extended the Rockies’ lead, and when Trevor Story’s grounder took a bit of a tricky hop, Max Muncy booted a potential double-play ball and it left the bases loaded. The Dodgers initially were not charged an error but the official scorer later made a rule change.
Regardless, Nolan Arenado made L.A. pay by lining a two-run single into right field. Maeda walked Daniel Murphy before allowing an RBI double to Ryan McMahon. He was removed without recording a single out in the Rockies’ five-run fifth inning.
Of the six runs Maeda allowed, five were earned. He dropped to 0-6 in his last 10 starts.
If there was a silver lining for the Dodgers, their much-beleaguered bullpen followed Maeda with three scoreless innings. Included in that was Caleb Ferguson escaping a bases-loaded jam upon an intentional walk when he entered in the fifth with nobody out.
Sborz couldn’t complete a spotless night for the bullpen, however, as he got through the seventh inning without issue but allowed a two-run home run to Dahl and RBI double to Murphy in the eighth.
Offensively, the Dodgers’ best look at the game was in the second inning when Gray inexplicably lost his command and issued back-to-back walks. A mound visit was followed by the right-hander striking out the side. Gray allowed just three hits over three innings.
He lost the shutout in the eighth, in large part due to Will Smith hitting a leadoff double and scoring two groundouts later.