It was a real Coors Field slugfest last night in Denver, with the Dodgers hitting four home runs and Carlos Gonzalez adding one for the Rockies in a 10-8 Dodger victory that puts the team in a second place tie with the host Rockies, 2 1/2 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Yasiel Puig added to his legend, scoring from second base on a groundout to start out the offensive display. Adrian Gonzalez followed up a Puig double by hitting a grounder to first base. Puig rounded third and didn’t slow down, catching the Rockies so far off-guard that the catcher never really seemed to get set for the relay throw, allowing Puig to steam home safely with the run as the ball flew past the catcher and went to the backstop. A good throw probably gets Puig, but few players who have ever played the game would even attempt to pull off this sort of stunt. Just another example of Puig’s aggressiveness creating something spectacular and setting the tone for the rest of the team while giving fans a “did you see that?!?” moment.
Carlos Gonzalez tied up the score in the bottom of the first, hitting his NL-leading 23rd home run of the season, a massive fly to right center that Puig could only watch go over the wall.
Zack Greinke struggled for the second consecutive start and the wheels appeared to come off the wagon in the bottom of the second. D.J. LeMahieu’s RBI double plated Todd Helton and Jonathan Herrera to give the Rockies a 3-1 lead, then an intentional walk to Carlos Gonzalez was followed by an unintentional bases loaded walk to Michael Cuddyer, bringing the Rockies lead to 4-1 before Greinke found a way to get out of the inning.
Earlier this season, a 4-1 deficit was practically a reason to pull up stakes and fold the tent. However, the past month, the Dodgers have begun to show that they have the ability to come back from a multi-run deficit and win.
After trading zeros in the third inning, Hanley Ramirez led off the top of the fourth with a single. Two outs and a wild pitch later, he scored from second on A.J. Ellis’s RBI single. Juan Uribe followed that with a game-tying homer hit halfway up the bleacher seats in left-center field. Zack Greinke, known for being a good-hitting pitcher, lived up to his reputation with a double, then Mark Ellis tripled to plate Greinke and the Dodgers had a 5-4 lead on the Rockies.
Adrian Gonzalez extended the lead to 6-4 leading off the top of the fifth, a blow that landed halfway up the second deck in right field, Gonzalez’s second home run in as many games.
The Rockies got back within a run in the bottom half of the fifth. A pair of walks and a line drive that Yasiel Puig caught at the wall put runners on first and third. The line drive created a scary moment, Puig hanging into the ball somehow and making a strong throw back to the infield before crumpling to the ground in pain. After several minutes, Puig got up and stayed in the game, but was lifted for a defensive replacement later. X-Rays were negative and Puig is day-to-day with a bruised hip. It has not been ruled out that he will play tonight’s series finale, but a decision on that has not yet been made. An RBI force out at second by Jonathan Herrera scored Will Rosario from third base to make the score 6-5 in favor of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers got another run in the top of the sixth. Singles by Skip Schumaker (hitting for Greinke) and Mark Ellis combined with a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with one out. Puig lifted a fly ball deep enough to left-center field to score Schumaker. The Dodgers led 7-5. As a precaution, Puig left the game at the end of the inning, Andre Ethier moved from left field to right field, and Skip Schumaker remained in the game in left as part of a double-switch.
The Dodgers extended the lead in the top of the seventh. Hanley Ramirez hit a sharp double to center, took third on a wild pitch, then after an Ethier walk scored on Matt Kemp’s ground out to third. The Dodgers entered the latter part of the game with an 8-5 lead.
Jose Dominguez, who was sharp in his Dodger debut last week, had some control problems in the mile-high altitude of Coors Field. Dominguez walked Michael Cuddyer and gave up a single to Will Rosario. Todd Helton grounded out to score Cuddyer from third base. Nolan Arenado followed up Helton’s RBI with one of his own, a single to right field that plated Rosario. The Rockies were within 8-7, and Paco Rodriguez was called in from the Dodger bullpen to settle things down, managing to retire the next two hitters without incident.
After Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen combined to retire the side in the bottom of the eighth, the Dodger offense struck again in the ninth inning off reliever Rex Brothers. Hanley Ramirez capped off a 4-for-5 night with a hard line drive homer over the center field wall. Two batters later, Matt Kemp showed that he’s been rediscovering his stroke, getting a ball over the wall in the deepest part of left-center field for just his third home run of the season, giving the Dodgers a 10-7 lead.
Kenley Jansen gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth, but given the wild nature of the game and catchers’ indifference when Will Rosario stole second after leading off the inning with a walk (then took third on a wild pitch,) it’s almost excusable. Jansen then settled in, getting Tyler Colvin to pop out to end the game and securing a 10-8 Dodger victory with a four out save.
This marks the first time this season the Dodgers have scored 10 runs in a game, and it couldn’t have come on a better night, considering the struggles of Greinke and the fact the Colorado offense also seemed to be generating a lot of opportunities to score. As for the pitchers of record, Greinke comes away with a win despite his struggles and improves to 6-2 on the season, though his ERA ballooned to 4.30 after the rough outing. Tyler Chatwood, who had not given up a home run all season, gave up two including the Gonzalez bomb in taking the loss. Chatwood’s record falls to 4-2 and his ERA rises from 2.14 to 2.75 after he gave up five earned runs of his own. Kenley Jansen picked up his eighth save of the season.
The Dodgers will look to go for a series sweep tonight at 5:10 p.m. local time. Chris Capuano (2-5, 4.72 ERA) looks to improve on his last outing in which he couldn’t get past the third inning and allowed seven runs. He’ll be countered on the Coors Field mound by Jhoulys Chacin (7-3, 3.59 ERA) who is coming off an outing in which he gave up only three hits and no runs in eight innings against the San Francisco Giants.
- Moving Day: Dodgers 8, Rockies 0 (ericsdodgersblog.wordpress.com)
- Puig exits early in Dodgers’ wild 10-8 win over Rockies (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Ramirez Lifts Dodgers To 10-8 Win Over Rockies (denver.cbslocal.com)
- Yasiel Puig Leaves Game After Suffering Injury While Making A Great Catch (theinscribermag.com)
- Cuban Defector Puig Celebrates First Fourth of July (breitbart.com)