Joc Pederson and Matt Kemp supplied the power, and both were right in the middle of things in a eight-run explosion in the seventh inning that gave the Dodgers a second win over the Rockies in as many days, 12-4 on Saturday at Coors Field.
This was a 4-4 game through six innings, and that’s when the Rockies turned to their bullpen. Perhaps not so coincidentally, that’s when the game tiled in the Dodgers’ favor.
Kemp hit a two-run home run to cap Bryan Shaw‘s one-out, three-run appearance, then Mike Dunn allowed two singles and two walks to the four batters he faced, followed by a walk, a wild pitch and a Chris Taylor triple against Harrison Musgrave to complete the carnage.
The eight runs in the eighth inning were the most by the Dodgers since also scoring eight in the seventh inning on Aug. 16, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Pederson had a single in that seventh inning, one of four hits on the day for Pederson to tie his career high. Two of those hits were home runs, after he hit one in his first 53 games this season, including none in his last 110 plate appearances dating back to April 21.
Pederson took German Marquez deep just over the left field wall in the fourth inning, two innings after a double that keyed a two-run second inning for the Dodgers. Pederson added another home run against Marquez in the sixth inning, this one a towering fly ball that landed in the right field seats. It was Pederson’s first two-homer game since Sept. 10, 2016, and his first career game with three extra-base hits.
His 4-for-5 night did wonders for Pederson’s slash line, starting the day at .244/.331/.382 and ending it at .265/.346/.449. That’s an 82-point improvement in OPS.
It is June 2 and Kemp, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two driven in, a walk and his second home run in this series, is hitting .347/.379/.580. He leads the Dodgers in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, hits (61), home runs (nine), doubles (14) and RBI (33).
Saturday also vaulted Kemp to the top of the National League leaderboard in adjusted weighted runs created (wRC+):
Kemp also made a fantastic throw from left field in the first inning to erase Charlie Blackmon at home plate in the first inning, temporarily keeping the Rockies off the board.
Walker Buehler consolidated the bulk of his damage in just the second inning, but it was a costly frame. Five hits and a walk produced for runs for the Rockies, the key blow a two-run double by D.J. LeMahieu. Buehler had LeMahieu down 0-2 with two outs and just one run in in the inning, but a double and a single later gave Colorado a 4-2 lead.
Buehler has allowed a pair of four-run innings in his young career, both are against the Rockies. The other came last Sept. 10 at Dodger Stadium in just his second major league appearance.
He settled down nicely though. After working around a leadoff double in the third inning Buehler did not allow a hit to his final 10 batters faced. He ended up getting through five innings, allowing those four runs.
- Breyvic Valera had a two-run single in the seventh and another run-scoring single earlier, giving him his first three major league RBI.
- Taylor tripled for a second straight night, giving him six on the season to tie Carlos Sanchez of the White Sox for the major league lead. Taylor led the Dodgers in 2017 with five triples all season.
Alex Wood gets the finale on Sunday afternoon for the Dodgers, a 12:10 p.m. PT start and back on SportsNet LA. Chad Bettis starts for the Rockies.
Home runs: Joc Pederson 2 (3), Matt Kemp (9)
WP - Pedro Baez (2-3): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk
LP - Bryan Shaw (2-4): ⅓ IP, 3 hits, 3 runs