Continuing their season-long dominance over the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed another sweep of their National League West rival with Sunday’s 6-3 walk-off win at Dodger Stadium.
As was the case on Friday and Saturday with Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo’s respective walk-off home runs, the outcome of the three-game finale was again determined by a Dodgers rookie.
In his first Major League plate appearance since rejoining the club from Triple-A Oklahoma City just hours before first pitch, Will Smith provided the ninth-inning heroics with a game-winning blast of his own — his second in the month of June.
The historic home run helped the Dodgers set an MLB record for most walk-off home runs by rookies in a single season (four). Sunday was also notable as it marked a franchise record 11th consecutive win against Colorado.
Being on the losing side of each contest over the weekend, Rockies All-Star Nolan Arenado praised the Dodgers, via Nick Groke of The Athletic:
“Good teams win these games,” Nolan Arenado said. “They’re playing really good baseball and they’re winning them. If we want to get to where we want to go, we have to win these games. They are the best team in baseball and they’re playing really good ball. Their players are stepping up.”
While it was the Dodgers who held off the Rockies from a potential comeback win in Friday’s opener, the club had to overcome deficits in both of the ensuing contests.
On Saturday, the Dodgers trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth and were aided by Beaty’s game-tying, two-out RBI single — his second of the night. Three innings later, Verdugo capped it off with his second home run of the game.
On Sunday, the Dodgers battled back from an early 2-0 deficit and eventually took the lead in the bottom of the seventh via Chris Taylor’s three-run home run. While the Rockies would go on to tie things up one inning later, it was all for naught when Smith came through in the clutch.
Rockies manager Bud Black was encouraged by his team remaining competitive against the Dodgers, even if they ultimately had nothing to show for it in the win column.
In the wake of their second sweep over the second-place Rockies this season, the Dodgers increased their lead in the NL West to an MLB-leading 13 games — five more than the next best division leader (Minnesota Twins, eight games).