The Colorado Rockies dropped the final game of a six-game road trip to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, 4-2. Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw overcame a bumpy first inning to put together yet another impressive outing.
The Rockies were able to manufacture an early lead in the first inning. Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a walk, which was followed by back-to-back singles from DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado. After Carlos Gonzalez struck out, Mark Reynolds lifted a fly ball to deep right center to drive in Blackmon, giving the Rockies a 1-0 advantage. In the bottom of the second, Scott Van Slyke evened things up for the Dodgers with a solo shot to left center, knotting the score at 1-1.
In the fourth, Carlos Gonzalez left the game after being hit in the hand by a pitch from Kershaw and was replaced by Stephen Cardullo. Obviously losing CarGo for an extended period would be a bad thing, but the Rockies do have a few viable replacement options in Raimel Tapia and Jordan Patterson in addition to David Dahl and Ian Desmond once they return from their own injuries. Preliminary X-rays, however, were negative, so hopefully we aren’t looking at a long absence here.
After looking much better through the first four innings, things began to unravel a bit for Rockies’ starter Tyler Anderson in the fifth inning. A pair of doubles, a single, a throwing error by Anderson, and an RBI groundout led to three runs for Los Angeles and gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. Anderson left the game after the fifth having allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in his five innings. He walked only one and struck out five.
The Rockies were able to scratch across a run in the sixth to make it 4-2 on LeMahieu’s double and Cardullo’s RBI single, but that’s all they could muster against the three-time Cy Young award winner. Kershaw was his typical brilliant self, allowing just two runs on five hits in seven innings of work with a walk and ten strikeouts. He remains the best pitcher in baseball.
In the eighth, the Rockies threatened but were unable to score against the combination of Luis Avilan, Sergio Romo, and Kenley Jansen. Jansen handled the ninth inning for the home team as well and retired the Rockies in order to give the Dodgers the 4-2 victory.
Once again, the bright side in this one for the Rockies was the bullpen. Jordan Lyles, Jake McGee, and Carlos Estevez combined to allow only one hit in three scoreless innings, dropping the bullpen’s pristine ERA to 2.62 on the season.
The win improves the Dodgers to 8-8 on the season while the loss drops the Rockies to 10-6. After an off day on Thursday, the Rockies return to Coors Field for a seven-game homestand starting with three against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers also have an off day on Thursday, then travel to Arizona to begin a three-game set with the Diamondbacks on Friday.