In the war of attrition that became a battle of the bullpens, the Rockies got the better of the Dodgers on Friday night. Brandon Barnes hit a two-run triple off the wall in right center field off of Chris Hatcher in the eighth inning, lifting Colorado to a 7-5 win in the opener of a three-game weekend series.
The Dodgers bullpen entered the game with one earned run allowed in their last 26⅓ innings, but on Friday allowed three runs in their three innings for the loss.
One hit and two walks was all the Dodgers got against the Rockies bullpen in their four scoreless innings.
Both starters were done after five innings in what felt like a true Coors Field game. Both allowed two home runs, and both had their moments. Scott Kazmir lasted longer than any of his last two outings, so that was a small win, and he had scoreless innings in the first, third and fifth.
Jon Gray struck out a career-high 10 in his 10th major league start, but also left trailing 5-4. It also could have been much worse for Gray, who allowed a triple to Chase Utley, and home runs to Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez in his first four batters faced for a quick 3-0 Dodgers lead.
But he was able to settle down and get to the fifth inninng, where a Gonzalez bases-loaded single for two runs gave the Dodgers a lead they would later relinquish.
The good news the Dodgers received in the bullpen on Friday — the return of Pedro Baez after passing concussion protocols to throw a scoreless sixth inning — was tempered by Yimi Garcia leaving one inning later with an injury, with more to come on the latter.
A tale of two throws
Yasiel Puig had arguably the best throw of his career in the fifth inning, a stunning rocket on the fly from nearly the right field wall, on the fly into the waiting glove of Justin Turner at third base to nail Trevor Story, trying to stretch a double into a triple.
With Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado due up and just one out at the time, Story in scoring position would have been bad news for the Dodgers, but Puig's scramble and throw made the rally disappear even before it happened.
But in the seventh, with the Dodgers nursing a one-run advantage with one out and runners on second and third, DJ LeMahieu lofted a fly ball down the line in right field. This time, Puig had time to settle under the throw but didn't, and when caught the ball on the left side of his body the subsequent movement to his throwing arm negated any chance he had of nailing Barnes at the plate, tying the score.
Rockies roster moves
Before the game Colorado made a few roster moves, activating Gray and recalling relief pitchers Carlos Estevez and Gonzalez Germen from Triple-A Albuquerque as well. Miguel Castro, the 21-year-old with eight strikeouts in six innings this season, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, and the club also optioned pitcher Jason Gurka and designated pitcher David Hale for assignment.
Kenta Maeda gets his first crack at Coors Field on Saturday night, a 5:10 p.m. PT start. Tyler Chatwood starts the middle game of the series for Colorado.
Home runs: Corey Seager (2), Adrian Gonzalez (3); Nolan Arenado (7), Ryan Raburn (3)
WP - Chad Qualls (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
LP - Chris Hatcher (2-2): ⅔ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk
Sv - Jake McGee (1): 1 IP, 1 strikeout