Mark Reynolds puts the exclamation mark on four-game sweep of Dodgers

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Colorado Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds put the exclamation mark on a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. His eighth-inning grand slam put Colorado up six runs and all but sealed one of the best weekends in Rockies baseball in a long time.

Colorado walloped the Dodgers in Game 1, chasing Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning. Game 2 was a nail-biter the Rockies eked out thanks to back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles to beat Yu Darvish. In Game 3, Trevor Story had a home run and three RBI in Colorado’s 6-5 win over Alex Wood. And in Game 4, Reynolds had the knockout blow in a 8-1 statement win.

Nolan Arenado provided all of Colorado’s offense through the first seven innings Sunday. In fact, his RBI single in the first inning and solo home run in the third were the only offense from either side.

Rich Hill (9-8, 3.67 ERA) gave the Dodgers five innings, as did Tyler Chatwood (7-12, 4.70) for Colorado. Chatwood allowed five hits and walked two, but did not surrender a run. He has allowed just 3 earned runs in his last 17.2 innings pitched.

Carlos Estevez allowed a hit in the sixth for Colorado. Mike Dunn walked one in the eighth. Scott Oberg struck out the side in the eighth in another strong performance.

The Rockies loaded the bases with one out in the eighth for Reynolds via a base hit and a pair of walks by Walker Buehler. The home run was Reynolds’ 29th of the season and RBIs 90 through 93. Colorado continued to pile on against Tony Cingrani in relief of Buehler, plating another run on a Tony Wolters RBI single. Trevor Story added a solo home run in the ninth.

Adam Ottavino gave up a leadoff home run to pinch hitter Alex Verdugo, then a single and a walk before retiring the next three hitters including a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

The win was a crucial one for the Rockies, who are fighting to stay in the playoff picture. They carried a three-game lead over two pursuers, Milwaukee and St. Louis, into the series finale with the NL West leaders.¬†Colorado hadn’t swept Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium in any series since 2007, and a win meant their first winning record in L.A. since 2013.

The loss was the Dodgers’ 10th in a row. They still own 92 wins on the season and the best record in baseball.

After going 47-26 over the first 73 games, the Rockies are just 31-39 since June 21. They maintain a three-game lead on Milwaukee and St. Louis for the final Wild Card spot – a margin they’ve held over each for since Sept. 7.

Colorado next heads to the other team above them in the standings, Arizona. Things don’t get any easier for the Rockies as they travel to the Diamondbacks, who entered Sunday having lost two in a row but won 13 in a row prior to that. Jon Gray (7-4, 4.07) will start for Colorado against the always tough Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.01). First pitch is 7:40 p.m. in Phoenix.

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