Mile High Sports

Arenado’s error helps Dodgers take critical series opener, 4-2

Sep 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) celebrates with catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) after the game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies lost the opener of their three-game series to the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night at Coors Field, 4-2. Colorado is now 77-63 on the season and holds a mere half-game lead over the Dodgers for the National League West division lead.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Rockies’ starting pitcher Jon Gray was able to record the first two outs of the game before running into some trouble. Manny Machado hit a two-out single to right field with Gray then issuing a walk to Max Muncy. Cody Bellinger followed with a double to right field, scoring a run to give Los Angeles an early 1-0 lead.

Gray’s struggles continued into the second inning, where he surrendered a solo home run to Yasiel Puig to put the Dodgers on top by two.

The Rockies’ offense got going in the bottom of the second inning, where Matt Holliday hit a solo home run in the first at-bat of the frame. After the Holliday dinger, Ian Desmond hit a double to center field. Catcher Drew Butera, who the Rockies acquired in a trade with the Royals a week ago, then hit a RBI single to right field, evening the score at 2-2.

The next run of the ballgame would not come until the fifth inning; however, Gray would not get that far as he was unable to collect himself on the mound, laboring through four innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking five batters.

Chris Rusin came on in relief of Gray and did not fare much better as he walked the first two batters he faced in the fifth. The Rockies then opted to use youngster Yency Almonte with two outs in place of Rusin. Almonte was able to get Alex Verdugo to hit a groundball to Nolan Arenado; however, Arenado committed a throwing error on the play, allowing Verdugo to be safe and a Dodger run to cross the plate. Puig followed by hitting an RBI single to right field, making the score 4-2 — that score would hold up as the final.

From there, the Rockies were unable to find any spark on offense despite having a couple prime opportunities late in the ballgame. Colorado went on to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning, but were unable to generate anything from it. The Rockies pressed again in the eighth inning, where they managed to get the lead-off man in scoring position with no outs, but again, were unable to muster up a clutch hit.

It was a frustrating night for the Rockies across the board as they were only able to score two runs off of their 10 hits. The officiating also appeared to be an issue throughout the game as manager Bud Black was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a balk call, and several players were displeased with the strikezone.

Nevertheless, the late-game magic that has followed the Rockies recently was absent Friday as Colorado dropped the opening game of the series against the division rivals.

The Rockies and Dodgers will continue their series Saturday night, at Coors Field with first pitch set for 6:10 MST.