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Dodgers 5, Rockies 3: Rox can’t rally after losing early lead

Despite hits from nearly everyone in the lineup, the Rockies fall short on Opening Day

The Rockies fell 5-3 on Opening Day, falling to 0-1 on the season and 16-14 on Opening Days.

Opening Day starter

Kyle Freeland started off the day sharp, but faltered down the stretch. He started off with a strikeout/wild pitch that allowed Mookie Betts to head to first. Luckily, though, he sent down the next three batters in order.

In the second, Max Muncy singled but then Will Smith, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger all went down.

The third is where things started to falter a little bit. Gavin Lux walked and then Betts struck out, but then Freeland his Freddie Freeman. After that, both Turners (Trea and Justin) were retired.

“Those first three innings were really smooth for me,” Freeland said after the game. “I had a little bit of traffic but was able to execute pitches.

“Everything was working well for me today,” he continued. “[With] my curveball especially, I was able to execute that down in the zone and in for a strike when I needed it, and I was able to play that off my fastball really well.”

The fourth inning, though, is where things got really hairy (more on that in a second) and where Freeland’s day ended. He finished the game with 3 23 IP, five hits, five earned runs, one hit batter, one walk, six strikeouts and a wild pitch. Freeland threw 74 pitches, 44 for strikes.

About that fourth inning

As mentioned, the fourth inning is where things got hairy. The Rockies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second, but didn’t score again until the ninth. Unfortunately for them, the Dodgers did score. Five in the fourth inning, in fact.

After Muncy grounded to short, Smith and Taylor both notched hits. Bellinger fouled out to catcher, but then Lux hit a two-run single to tie the game. Betts then doubled in Lux and Freeman walked.

Enter Tyler Kinley.

Trea Turner singled to drive in Betts, but then Kinley threw a wild pitch to score Freeman. Justin Turner put the Rockies out of their misery by striking out to the end the inning. But the damage was done: 5-2 Dodgers.

The Rockies would score in the bottom of the ninth on a Charlie Blackmon RBI double, but that was it. However, every single Rockies starter notched at least one hit except for Brendan Rodgers and newly-acquired Randel Grichuk.

Opening Day moments

There were a few moments that stood out during Opening Day. The first was Kris Bryant’s first hit as a Rockie, a double to deep center in the fifth:

And there was one moment in the first inning that was extra special. José Iglesias hit an RBI single to score the first run and immediately broke down in tears. Iglesias’ father, Candelario, passed away not too long ago.

“This was the first hit that he couldn’t see physically, so it was for him and it was a very emotional moment for me,” Iglesias said after the game. “He was a big part of my life and a big part of my career, so that was for him.”

“He was everything to me,” Iglesias continued. “His dream was to watch me play in the big leagues. He told me once that ‘if I ever watch you play for one day, I’ll be good to go after that’ and he watched me play for 10 years so I’m very blessed.”

Up Next

Now that Opening Day is over, the Rockies return to Coors Field to continue their series against the Dodgers. 2021 All-Star Germán Márquez (12-11, 4.40 ERA) will make his 2022 debut against righty Tony Gonsolin (4-1, 3.23 ERA). First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. MT.