Thursday marked the first of two consecutive games the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to a starting pitcher who was fresh off the 15-day disabled list. Brett Anderson’s return to the mound against the Colorado Rockies wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
But that’s not to say Anderson got off to a poor start, as he retired the side in order in the first inning. He ended it by striking out Nolan Arenado. Chase Utley led off the bottom of the first with a base hit to left field.
Tyler Chatwood then struck out Andrew Toles, and induced Corey Seager into an inning-ending double play. Colorado opened the second with three consecutive hits.
After a Carlos Gonzalez single, Nick Hundley doubled to right field. Josh Reddick’s error allowed Gonzalez to score and the Rockies to take a 1-0 lead.
The Rockies loaded the bases behind a David Dahl single and Stephen Cardullo walk. Daniel Descalso’s sacrifice fly and Charlie Blackmon’s RBI infield single extended the Rockies’ lead to 3-0 before Anderson could get out of the inning.
The Dodgers cut into their deficit in the bottom of the third behind Yasmani Grandal’s opposite-field solo home run. The homer was Grandal’s 26th this season, which leads all catchers. For as much as Anderson struggled in the second inning, he only needed six pitches to retire the side in order in the third.
Chatwood worked around a one-out walk in the bottom half of the inning to keep the Rockies’ lead at 3-1. Anderson retired six in a row prior to allowing a two-out single to Descalso in the fourth inning.
Utley then made a spectacular play after bobbling a routine grounder, throwing no-look behind his back to Adrian Gonzalez to record the final out of the inning. After Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk to open the bottom of the fourth, Grandal’s grounder to the right side found a hole in the shift for a single.
But both runners were stranded as Chatwood proceeded to retire Reddick, Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick. LeMahieu connected for a solo home run with one out in the fifth. Considering Anderson was due to lead off the bottom half of the inning, it marked the end of his night’s work.
He allowed four runs on six hits, including one home run. Chatwood struck out pinch-hitter Rob Segedin and Utley in the bottom of the fifth, and got Toles to pop-out. Josh Ravin took over for the Dodgers in the sixth and set the Rockies down in order.
A Gonzalez one-out base hit was followed by a double from Grandal. Reddick’s RBI groundout trimmed the Dodgers’ deficit to 4-2 prior to the inning coming to a close. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier led off the bottom of the seventh with a double.
The Rockies then called on left-handed reliever Boone Logan, which was countered by Justin Turner pinch-hitting for Utley. Logan retired Turner, but walked pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig, Seager and Gonzalez, with the last of the three bringing in a run.
Logan’s troubles continued as he surrendered a grand slam to Grandal, which gave the Dodgers a 7-4 lead. Grandal became the first Dodger to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game since Orlando Hudson in 2009.
Grandal also became the first Dodgers catcher with multiple five-RBI games in a single season since Mike Piazza in 1995. Joe Blanton worked around a one-out single to toss a scoreless eighth inning.
He benefitted from LeMahieu seemingly suffering a mental lapse as he neither ran toward second base or attempted to retreat to first, on a line drive Gonzalez knocked down. That resulted in the Gold-Glove first baseman turning an unassisted double play to end the inning.
In his first action since Saturday, Kenley Jansen shut the door to earn a save in the Dodgers’ 7-4 victory.