The nightcap of today's day-night doubleheader really played with a fan's emotions. If you're a Rockies fan, it was bad, then good, then REALLY bad in what would ultimately be a hard-to-swallow 9-8 loss.
The Dodgers got off to a quick start when Kike Hernandez, the second batter of the game, hit his second home run of the year off of Rockies starting pitcher David Hale to make it 1-0.
In the third inning, Hale was hurt by the long ball once again. Joc Pederson his his third tape measure home run in as many games against the Rockies, this one estimated at a ridiculous 480 feet, to put the Dodgers up, 2-0. Hernandez followed with a single before Adrian Gonzalez hit his 11th homer of the year to make it 4-0 bad guys. However, in the bottom of the inning, the Rockies answered right back against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, who entered the night with a 1.48 ERA. Singles from Nick Hundley and Brandon Barnes, a sacrifice bunt from Hale, a sacrifice fly from Charlie Blackmon, and an RBI single from DJ LeMahieu cut the deficit to 4-2.
The Rockies looked to have something promising going in the fourth inning as well as singles from Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado followed by a walk to Ben Paulsen loaded the bases with nobody out. Unfortunately, they were only able to score one run after Hundley drove in Gonzalez on a fielder's choice, Barnes struck out, and Hale grounded out to second. It was good to get another run back, but with the bases loaded and nobody out, that's a time the offense needs to put up a crooked number. Instead, the Dodgers hung on to a slim 4-3 lead.
The lead would not last. In the sixth, Greinke retired the first two Rockies before a single from Paulsen, a double from Hundley, and another single from Barnes put the Rockies on top, 5-4.
Hale was solid, if not spectacular, in his second spot start of the year for the Rockies. He allowed four runs, all earned, on seven hits in six innings. He struck out five, didn't walk a batter, and threw 57 of his 82 pitches for strikes, probably the most encouraging thing from his outing. He left the game in line for his second win of the season, but it was not to be as Pederson continued to hurt the Rockies, this time tying up the game on a measly triple off reliever Brooks Brown that brought home Jimmy Rollins.
Then, FINALLY, Rockies fans got something they've been waiting for all season. After a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a single from LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run shot an estimated 455 feet to dead center field, putting the Rockies ahead, 7-5. Not only was it a huge moment in this game, it could very well prove to be a turning point for both Tulo moving forward. He was very excited about it:
After Boone Logan and Scott Oberg combined to throw a 1-2-3 eighth, the Rockies tacked on an insurance run on Hundley's second double of the night and another RBI single from Barnes, making the score 8-5. The pair combined to go 6-for-8 with four RBI in the game.
Sadly, it would all go for naught. Rafael Betancourt came on for the ninth and promptly allowed three consecutive singles to load the bases with nobody out. After striking out Justin Turner and inducing a shallow fly out against Pederson, Alex Guerrero took Betancourt deep to put the Dodgers on top, 9-8. Tommy Kahnle would follow Betancourt and promptly load the bases as well on two walks and a single. FINALLY, Alberto Callaspo would line out to center to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tulowitzki struck out, apparently, on a call that was very questionable. Gonzalez would follow with a double, his third hit of the game, before Arenado smashed a ground ball that unfortunately went right at shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Paulsen would end the game on a strikeout in what was the toughest loss so far in the 2015 season.
Tomorrow night, Chad Bettis takes the hill as the Rockies look to earn a split of the four-game series. Game time is 6:00 PM MDT.
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