A maddeningly frustrating weekend ended in particularly frustrating fashion with an agonizingly frustrating game in the series finale. The Rockies worked the Dodgers in the middle innings and delivered the knockout blow in the form of a 12-5 win on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.
The Dodgers were swept in Colorado in a series of at least three games for the first time since dropping a four-game series from Sept. 18-20, 2007.
For a while it looked like things might fall the Dodgers' way on Sunday. Their first run came thanks to an overthrow by all-world defender Nolan Arenado, who had all the time at third base to throw out a half-jogging Alex Wood at first. Then, the Dodgers loaded the bases in the third inning and tallied three runs on three dribblers that might have traveled 200 feet in total.
That put the Dodgers up 4-1, which became 4-2 heading into the fourth when the Rockies loaded the bases with one out. DJ LeMahieu hit a grounder that Alex Guerrero charged in from third base to field, but instead of throwing home for the sure out to prevent the run (and still leave open the possibility of a 5-2-3 double play) Guerrero inexplicably threw back across his body to second base, with a throw poor enough that second baseman Howie Kendrick couldn't turn the double play.
The inning still alive and the Rockies now within a run, Arenado turned the game upside down with a three-run home run to give the Rockies a 6-4 lead, the kind of big hit that terrorized Dodgers starting pitchers all weekend.
Wood kept pitching into the sixth, but three more runs in the inning put the game away. Wood allowed eight runs on 11 hits in his 5⅓ innings.
Dodgers starting pitchers in this weekend series allowed 21 runs (18 earned) on 28 hits in 13⅓ innings, a 12.15 ERA with six walks, four strikeouts and five home runs allowed.
Colorado added three runs in the eighth inning against Ian Thomas and Jim Johnson, officially moving Sunday's game into mercy killing status.
The Dodgers' magic number remains at two, meaning the club has to win one of four games to clinch the National League West in San Francisco. In the series opener on Monday night at AT&T Park, Zack Greinke starts for Los Angeles, with Jake Peavy starting for the Giants.
Home run: Nolan Arenado (41)
WP - Chris Rusin (6-9): 5⅓ IP, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned runs), 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Alex Wood (11-12): 5⅓ IP, 11 hits, 8 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout