26 Aug

LA Dodgers squander six-run lead, come back to beat Colorado Rockies

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How crazy was this one? Dave Roberts said Yasiel Puig was his emergency catcher after using backup A.J. Ellis as a pinch hitter.“It’s a relief we don’t have to come back until August,” Roberts said. The manager was emotionally spent. A moment later, Adrian Gonzalez handed him a beer.The Rockies scored five runs in the eighth inning to take a 10-7 lead. The Dodgers scored five in the ninth. Trayce Thompson scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch by Rockies closer Jake McGee. Four pitches later, Chase Utley drove in Charlie Culberson with the go-ahead run, then clapped his hands on second base in a rare display of emotion.That was the only RBI in the game for Utley, who finished 2 for 6 and scored three runs. DENVER >> A six-run lead isn’t safe at Coors Field. If the baseball players don’t make sure of it, the baseball gods will.A whipping wind turned the Colorado Rockies’ home park into a swirl of napkins and plastic bags at times Sunday, not enough to cause a health hazard but enough to re-create a scene from the film “American Beauty.” The game itself was ugly; the path of a flying baseball was often impossible to predict.The wind still hadn’t died when the Dodgers’ six-game road trip ended with a 12-10 win before an announced crowd of 35,962.The final outcome was determined by the bullpens, the baseball gods, and whatever defense the Dodgers could muster against the Rockies and the elements. The script was straight from the “typical Coors Field game” file.center_img “I’ve been on both sides of it here,” he said. “Early on we swung the bats well. … Facing a tough closer we put some great at-bats together.”Joe Blanton (2-1) was the winning pitcher. He threw one pitch in the eighth inning and induced a double-play groundout. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his ninth save in nine chances.The Dodger bullpen was cruising until the eighth inning, when the Rockies rallied for five runs to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 10-7 lead. Chris Hatcher retired one of the four batters he faced in the inning; the other three ultimately scored. Hatcher has a 7.27 earned-run average 10 games into the season.“He’s getting lefties out, not really getting righties out,” Roberts said. “I think it’s the missed fastball command. That’s what it boils down to. … He’ll be fine.”The Dodgers’ defense looked good at times. Puig caught a Brandon Barnes fly ball as he slammed against the right-field fence to end a Colorado rally in the fourth inning. Coincidentally, Puig unleashed a historically strong throw after missing a catch in almost the exact same spot Friday, denying Barnes a triple.In the seventh inning, Trayce Thompson made a headlong dive to rob Gerardo Parra of an extra-base hit with a runner on second base. Sometimes though, the Dodgers’ defense looked bad. A line-drive single by Carlos Gonzalez rolled under Puig’s glove in the eighth inning, allowing the Rockies to take their first lead of the game. By then, left-hander Luis Avilan had replaced Hatcher on the mound. He fared even worse than Hatcher, allowing all four batters he faced to reach base.The Dodgers were leading 7-1 in the fourth inning when Thompson misplayed a fly ball by Parra that tangled with a zephyr. The ball fell on the warning track for a double, and the Rockies proceeded to rally for three runs.“I take pride in my defense,” Thompson said. “Playing the outfield here is like spring training. The ball carries a little bit. The wind’s blowing.”Since no error was charged on that play, Alex Wood’s earned-run average artificially inflated to an even 6.00. His fourth start of the season went better than his final line indicated: five runs in five innings, to go with three walks and five strikeouts.Justin Turner, who missed Saturday’s game with an injured left big toe, appeared as a pinch hitter and drew a walk in his only plate appearance.The twists and turns left the Dodgers with a 4-2 road trip that started in Atlanta and ended in the Mile High City. By the bottom of the ninth inning, their emotions were high but their bodies were spent.“It’s early in the season,” said the 37-year-old Utley, his stamina defying the gray hairs on his head. “If it’s 100 degrees out there, it might be a different story. We handled everything pretty well.”last_img read more