Gray dominates as Rockies roll past Dodgers in series opener

Jul 29, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (55) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first game of a three-game set at Coors Field, 9-1.

The win improves the Rockies’ record to 50-57 this season.

Ahead are takeaways from the victory.

Gray dominates Dodgers 

Jon Gray has been sensational for the Rockies throughout the 2019 season, and he put forth one of his best starts of the year versus the Dodgers Monday evening.

Gray was sharp from the jump, working a 1-2-3 first inning to open up the ballgame.

Gray returned to the mound in the second inning with some command issues. The flamethrower walked Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager to begin the second, a situation that has been disastrous for Gray in the past.

However, instead of folding under pressure, Gray turned things up a notch and proceeded to strike out the side, eliminating his miscues and preserving a then-scoreless game.

Following the second inning, Gray was dialed in on the mound. He sliced through the Dodgers’ lineup through the third, fourth and fifth innings, allowing just one hit over that span.

The Dodgers’ managed to plate a run in the eighth inning, but Gray was able to limit the damage.

Gray was sensational throughout the night, departing after eight innings pitched, allowing just one run on three hits.

Despite his brilliance on the mound, Gray’s command was a bit off. Of the 112 pitches he threw only 63 were called strikes.

Nevertheless, Gray’s dominance was on display all night long. Friday’s start was Gray’s third career outing in which he pitched eight-or-more innings.

Rockies route Maeda 

The Dodgers’ starting rotation has been one of the best in baseball this season.

Between Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers’ rotation is one of the deepest in the sport and is a significant reason they have compiled a record well above .500.

Maeda was the Dodgers’ starting pitcher in the club’s first game versus the Rockies.

Although Maeda has been sharp this season, he has been much better at Dodger Stadium as opposed to on the road.

Maeda entered his start at Coors Field with a 5.23 earned run average away from home this season.

Maeda’s struggles on the road continued versus Colorado.

The Rockies pegged a run against Maeda in the second inning. From there, Maeda buckled down in the third and fourth innings, but the Rockies’ offense platted five runs in the fifth inning, subsequently ending Maeda’s outing.

Maeda departed with a line of four innings pitched, allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out five batters.

Rockies’ outfield shines bright 

The Rockies’ outfield has been a bit of a revolving door this season. Raimel Tapia, Ian Desmond, Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl have all shifted around the different outfield spots throughout the season.

With Blackmon dealing with back spasms, the Rockies rolled with a trio of Dahl, Tapia and Desmond in the outfield for the first game versus the Dodgers, a decision that paid dividends.

Desmond ripped a triple in the bottom of the second inning and scored after Tapia poked a single right field for the first run of the ballgame.

Dahl added to the Rockies’ lead in the fifth inning where he drove home a run after smacking to a single to center field, extending the Rockies’ lead to 2-0.

Dahl also his a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The home run was good for Dahl’s sixth of the season versus the Dodgers, which ties a club record for the seventh-most single-season home runs for a Rockies’ batter versus the Dodgers.

The trio compiled six hits and drove home four runs en route to a much-needed victory for Colorado.

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