Walker Buehler settled in after a rough start and the Los Angeles Dodgers received yet another home run from Yasiel Puig in a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies that completed a series sweep and extended their lead in the National League West to 2.5 games.
A leadoff single and Justin Turner’s throwing error immediately put Buehler in trouble, which he compounded by walking the bases loaded with nobody out. Buehler nearly managed to escape the jam but Ian Desmond lined the first pitch he saw into center field for a two-run single.
Buehler threw 36 pitches, his most in any single inning this season. Despite the rocky start to his outing, the rookie right-hander managed to get through six innings with only the two unearned runs allowed.
Buehler not only blanked the Rockies the rest of the way, he finished with a career-high 12 strikeout. Buehler’s previous career high was nine strikeouts, which he reached in three of five starts heading into Wednesday night.
At 24 years and 53 days old, Buehler became the youngest Dodgers pitcher with a 10-strikeout game since Clayton Kershaw (23 years, 169 days) on Sept. 4, 2011.
Tyler Anderson’s start went in the opposite direction of Buehler’s as he began the night well before encountering some trouble along the way. Anderson retired the first five batters faced, which was snapped when Matt Kemp lifted a solo home run halfway up the pavilion in left field.
Anderson produced another streak of consecutive batters retired that spanned seven. Kiké Hernandez’s leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth broke that up. It also led to the Dodgers tying the game as Hernandez raced around to score on Brian Dozier’s double to left field.
Even if accounting for the two runs, Anderson’s outing would have to be considered a success for the Rockies considering he entered with an 8.49 ERA in his past nine starts. It was all for naught, however, as an inconsistent Colorado bullpen buckled again.
Max Muncy’s walk and Yasmani Grandal’s double set the stage for Puig, who took a Scott Oberg slider that was low and away over the fence in center field.
After Puig’s pinch-hit home run, Kenta Maeda and Scott Alexander combined to toss a scoreless eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth. Maeda’s appearance was his first in consecutive games since being placed in the bullpen.