After the first two games were controlled by the starting pitchers, today’s series finale came down to a battle of the bullpens. Both Ross Stripling and Chad Bettis had nothing to do with the final decision.
The Dodgers got excellent relief work from Scott Alexander, Daniel Hudson and Kenley Jansen. The Rockies, who had not had to rely on their pen in the first two games of this weekend’s series, saw their pen give up four runs in five innings pitched.
The game was tied 4-4 going to the bottom of the eighth and Matt Kemp, who had driven in one run in each of his first three plate appearances was leading off the eighth inning against Adam Ottavino.
“He threw me a fastball middle middle, middle in,” Kemp said after the game, “and I put a good swing on it and I hit it hard.”
Kemp was able to find a way to get his fourth run batted in as he hit a solo shot over the wall to give the Dodgers a one-run lead. Kemp did not have a great June, as he suffered his first slump of the season, though he still had some pop, hitting .220./286/.463 in June. But on Sunday he had three hits on Sunday falling a triple short of a cycle.
“No, I just couldn’t wait to get to July, Kemp said, “I think the last week, two weeks, it has been a little rough, you try to do something different, today is July 1st, so we’re off to a good start.”
Still in the eighth inning, with one out, Yasiel Puig doubled to left. Joc Pederson got his third hit of the game, an infield single to second. And when the Rockies slow-played that ball, Puig scampered home with the second run of the inning.
“Woody [third base coach Chris Woodward] is asleep in that situation too,” Puig said with a laugh, “like everybody, me too, I don’t know, is the ball up, when I see the little throw from second base to first base.”
Kenley Jansen entered the game for the first time this series and he retired all three hitters, two by strikeout for the save.
Stripling pitched six innings, he gave up four runs and nine hits. Stripling had seven strikeouts against one walk today, but only had one 1-2-3 inning in the six he pitched.
“Wasn’t very sharp in Chicago, wasn’t very sharp today,” said Stripling after the game, “I don’t think I am fatiguing, they’ve now seen me throw 80 innings, they got an idea what’s coming and I just got to stay sharp, that’s a good lineup, but I think my stuff plays against anyone, so I feel like my stuff plays against anyone so I just need to be sharp every outing and try to limit traffic.”
Scott Alexander completed a scoreless seventh inning with just a walk to Arenado to besmirch his inning and Daniel Hudson would pitch a perfect eighth inning to get the win.
The Dodgers scored first when Chris Taylor scored from third on a Matt Kemp ground out. The Rockies tied the game as Carlos Gonzalez also scored from third on a Ian Desmond ground out.
The Rockies took a two-run lead in the third inning, DJ LeMahieu singled and Gerardo Parra doubled him to third. Nolan Arenado drove in the game’s third run from a ground out to make it 2-1. With two out, Trevor Story doubled in Parra.
The Dodgers would make it a one-run game when Kemp doubled home Max Muncy in the bottom of the third inning.
Bettis then left the game with an injury. In his three innings pitched, he gave up two runs and two hits. Bettis struck out two and walked two, he also hit a batter.
Chad Bettis left the game with a "hot spot" on his right middle finger, Rockies say. Something he suffered earlier this season in L.A.— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) July 1, 2018
Leading by a run, Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in fifth inning to give the Rockies their two-run lead again.
However, the Dodgers were able to mount a rally against Chris Rusin in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Max “There’s that man again” Muncy singled and Justin Turner walked. Kemp drove in his third run of the game with a single to left and on an error on the throw to the plate, both runners moved up to second and third.
That allowed Turner to score and tie the game on a Cody Bellinger ground out. The game remained tied until Kemp untied it in the eighth.
The Dodgers host the Pirates for their only regular season trip to Dodger Stadium. Alex Wood will take the mound for the Dodgers, the Pirates have not announced their starting pitcher. First pitch will be at 7:10 p.m.
Home runs: Nolan Arenado (21), Matt Kemp (14)
WP - Daniel Hudson (3-2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Adam Ottavino (4-2): IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 9 strikeouts
SV - Kenley Jansen (22): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts