It began to feel like the Rockies were never going to beat the Dodgers ever again.
Not in 2020 and maybe never again.
Then, Kevin Pillar mashed a two-out grand slam in the top of the eighth to flip the lead and gave Colorado a 6-5 advantage.
Mere minutes later, the realities of the final six outs began to soften the excitement. By the time Carlos Estévez induced a fly ball from Chris Taylor for the first out, Los Angeles had a three-run lead thanks to a home runs by AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson.
Jeff Hoffman didn’t fare much better as a two-run dinger by Mookie Betts gave the Dodgers even more wiggle room, 10-6.
Obscured by the final score was the outstanding start by Antonio Senzatela, who matched the fiery flare of Dustin May as the two youngsters each exited in the sixth with two earned runs against.
Raimel Tapia sparked the scoring with a leadoff long ball, his first home run of the season.
Max Muncy matched it with no one on base in the bottom of the first before Sam Hilliard’s sixth homer of the season was the difference in the fifth, 2-1.
In the end, it was the bullpen eight runs between innings six and eight that decided the destiny of LoDo beleaguered ball club on this night.
Player of the Game: Senzatela – 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
His last start in LA produced four home runs and dropped him to 0-3 with an 8.20 ERA (18.2 IP, 17 ER) at Dodger Stadium. Somehow, this 25-year-old responded with a near-quality start when the club needed it most.
Besides the Muncy solo shot in the first inning, there were no other extra-base hit. He left the game as the winning pitcher of record and continued to make his case as the best starting pitcher in the rotation this season.
Moment of the Game: Grand Slam by Pillar puts ahead Rockies
In the eighth, Trevor Story just missed getting all of a Brusdar Graterol slider with Josh Fuentes in scoring position and it seemed Colorado’s best scoring opportunity would be wasted.
However, Las Cucarachas did not die. Nolan Arenado drew a walk and an ugly bloop miscue by Charlie Blackmon landed to load the bases for Pillar, who mashed an 0-1 offering by Caleb Ferguson to put ahead the Rockies, 6-5.
Defensive Gem: Unique 3-5-1 double play aids Senzatela
Betts couldn’t quite replicate Tapia’s leadoff long ball, but he did snap the hopes of a no-hitter with a single on the fourth pitch. With a shift against DH Corey Seager, Daniel Murphy fielded a grounder and tossed to Nolan Arenado at second base. The almost alley-oop toss over the head of Betts reached first base in time with Senzatela covering for the strange 3-5-1 twin killing.
- With so much history between the two clubs, it stands to reason a few veterans have done some things. Blackmon’s career batting average against the Dodgers (.308, 147-for-477) is fifth all-time in Rockies’ franchise history entering the night.
- Arenado’s 28 home runs and 83 RBI versus Los Angeles are second to only Todd Helton’s 48 and 153, respectively.
- Senzatela was 2-3 with a 7.22 ERA (28.2 IP, 23 ER) across six starts facing the formerly Brooklyn-based club.