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It was the third straight rough night at the office for the Colorado Rockies on Friday night and their third straight loss against one of the other two teams vying for fist place in the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers came with an extraordinary two-strike approach, putting quality contact swings on tough pitches against Kyle Freeland to scratch out run after run while the Rockies found themselves taking bad swings, even in hitter’s counts.
This trend started in the very first inning when Colorado got runners to second and third but failed to score, seeing strikeouts from Mark Reynolds and Ian Desmond and then the Dodgers cashed in on a first and third, one out situation with a sac fly from Cody Bellinger.
The Rockies tied it up on a double from Tom Murphy, scoring Raimel Tapia all the way from first base. Tapia showed off his speed on the play, putting pressure on Franklin Gutierrez and ultimately scoring easily. As it turned out, that was the only run they would score in the game as Alex Wood continues his reign of terror, bettering his record to 8-0 but actually raising his ERA to 1.86. He came into the game at 1.70.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, continued to grind out at-bats, getting three straight two-out, two strike hits from Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Bellinger to make it 4-1. Other than the final double from Bellinger, none of the balls were hit especially hard, and even that swing was off-balance, but Los Angeles was insistent on getting the ball in play and taking the shortened approach and it paid off in a big way.
Yasiel Puig finally legitimately crushed a curveball that caught too much plate in the fifth — though, again did so in a two-strike (full) count — depositing a long home run over the center-field fence to make it 5-1, Dodgers.
Freeland’s final line: 6 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. He threw 68 of 110 pitches for strikes.
That was all the scoring until the bottom of the eighth when Jordan Lyles came in and surrendered a triple to Austin Barnes, walked Chase Utley, and allowed a sac fly to Logan Forsythe to make it 6-1. And that would be the final.
The Rockies tallied just three hits in the contest. None after the second inning. They played bad all-around, and especially situational, baseball tonight.
Colorado fell to 47-29 and are now two-and-a-half games out of first place despite sitting in that position just three days ago. For those wondering, the Rockies are still eight-and-a-half games up on the Chicago Cubs for the second Wild Card spot. The only division other than their own in MLB in which the Rockies would not be in first place is the AL West. Oddly enough, the Arizona Diamondbacks lost to the Philadelphia Phillies tonight and so remain in a virtual tie with the Rockies.
On Saturday, Colorado will aim to avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season. They face Clayton Kershaw.