The Colorado Rockies just cannot find a way to get out of Dodger Stadium with a win. Tonight they held two, one-run leads early and another late in the game but could not hold on. Dustin May was impressive as he tallied five strikeouts in another fine performance. Will Smith hit a big two-run home run in the seventh inning to put the Dodgers up 4-2. But the Rockies would come back to take the lead on a Kevin Pillar grand slam to go up 6-5. It would be short lived. The Dodgers began the eighth inning with a single and then back-to-back home runs by A.J. Pollack and Joc Pederson to go up 8-6. The loss drops the Rockies to 18-20 and puts them on the outside of the playoff picture as the end of the season draws near. The Dodgers improve to 30-10 and maintain a healthy six-game lead over the second place Padres.
Starting pitchers on both sides came into tonight’s game with some momentum and they both turned in successful performances. Antonio Senzatela had good command of his fastball, slider, and changeup. Senzatela had a mix of fielding support as he avoided disaster in the first inning by inducing a 3-5-1 double play from Corey Seager clearing the bases before Max Muncy tied the game with a home run. Garrett Hampson and Kevin Pillar both committed errors with Senzatela on the mound, the latter of which allowed the Dodgers to tie the game 2-2 in the sixth inning when Mookie Betts scored on a Corey Seagar single. The final line for Senzatela was 5 ⅓ IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 K.
Dustin May had himself a night, despite giving up two home runs. His fastball was consistently in the upper 90s and touched 100 on a few occasions. The rookie right-hander’s streak of giving up two earned runs or less continues as he was able to hold the Rockies to just two runs over 5 ⅔ innings.
Welcome aboard Kevin Pillar
Jeff Bridich made two notable moves at the trade deadline, bringing in Kevin Pillar, a veteran right-handed outfielder better known for his fielding than his offense, and Mychal Givens, a right-handed relief pitcher formerly with the Baltimore Orioles. Pillar had a rough start to this game committing an error in center field and going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. But, in his fourth at-bat he launched a ball over the left field fence for his second career grand slam to give the Rockies a 6-5 lead, their third one-run lead of the game.
It was a night to forget for the Rockies’ bullpen. Givens was first up, taking the ball with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth. He managed to get out of the inning unscathed, salvaging a 2-2 tie. In the seventh, however, he began the inning allowing a single to Chris Taylor followed by a home run off the bat of Will Smith. The Dodgers would go on to smash three more home runs off of the bullpen, all in the eighth inning. The total line for the bullpen was 2 ⅔ IP, 8 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Truly awful.
The Rockies and Dodgers are back at it again tomorrow for the second of three games. German Márquez (2-5, 4.88 ERA) will take on Tony Gonsolin (0-0 0.51 ERA).