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Bullpen unable to hold lead as Dodgers lose 5-4

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A pinch-hit two-run homer would pay dividends

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers were unable to record their second consecutive come-from-behind win, as they fell to the Colorado Rockies 5-4. LA took the lead in the fifth inning, but a two-run home run at the hands of Ryan McMahon in the seventh would be enough for the Rockies.

A daunting task presented the Dodgers as they prepared to face Jon Gray, who hadn’t lost a start since June 12. Over his last six starts, Gray had an ERA of 2.43. Versus the Dodgers in 2018, he owned a 1.59 ERA.

That didn’t faze LA, as they put up four runs on him in 5 ⅓ innings. For Gray, it was the second time in nearly two months he failed to go seven innings.

The Dodgers’ hot bats carried over to Friday’s contest, as three hits resulted in an early run in the first inning. Justin Turner doubled to right and then came home on an RBI single from Yasmani Grandal. Cody Bellinger, who has been red-hot in the month of August, singled to put two on for Chris Taylor. Unfortunately the Dodgers couldn’t capitalize, as Taylor struck out to end the inning.

The lead was short-lived, as it only took two batters for the Rockies to take the lead. Charlie Blackmon singled, and then DJ LeMahieu homered to right-center, quickly giving Colorado a 2-1 lead. Carlos Gonzalez would triple in the next at-bat, but Kenta Maeda managed to work around the jam and leave the inning with only a one-run deficit.

The Rockies tacked on another in the third inning. Cargo walked and then scored on a Trevor Story double, barely beating the play at the plate.

After going 12 games without hitting a home run, Max Muncy hit his second in as many nights, bringing in Bellinger with a two-run shot, tying the game in the fourth.

It looked as if the Rockies were going to use a two-out rally to retake the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back walks would bring up Gonzalez. Just like Maeda had done all night, he worked out of the jam, getting him to ground out on the first pitch to escape the inning untouched.

In the fifth, the Dodgers were able to put two on without recording a base hit. Turner was hit by his second pitch of the night, which was followed by a Brian Dozier walk. Bellinger recorded his third hit of the evening, lining a single to center to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. For the second time, Chris Taylor would strikeout with runners on the corners to end an inning.

Maeda responded with his first 1-2-3 inning of the night, including back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.

The Rockies threatened in the bottom of the sixth as Ian Desmond led the inning off with a single. Maeda answered back with a strikeout, his seventh of the night. His night was over, and Zac Rosscup entered the game. He proceeded to strike out the final two batters of the inning.

A LeMahieu single and Ryan McMahon home-run would give the Rockies a 5-4 lead, and ultimately win them the game, in the bottom half of the seventh. McMahon replaced Nolan Arenado earlier in the game as he left with an injury precaution.

It’s been a rough 2018 for Rosscup, as he’s allowed five runs in 3 ⅔ innings.

A two-out Max Muncy double would put him at second in the eighth. After a wild-pitch advanced him to third, Yasiel Puig had a chance to tie the game with a base hit. Puig, who’s been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the last few months, grounded out to end the inning.

John Axford appeared in the eighth, his second appearance since being acquired after the trade deadline. His previous outing versus the Astros was one he’d like to forget, as he labeled it the worst outing of his career. After allowing a lead-off triple, it appeared as if it was going to be another rough outing for the right-hander.

This didn’t phase the 35-year-old, has he worked around the jam, striking out two while hitting 97 on the gun.

Turner would get on with a two-out single, but Grandal grounded out to end the game.

The D-Backs lost to the Reds, so the Dodgers will remain tied for first place.

Up Next

Game three of the four-game set continues on Saturday. Walker Buehler (4-4, 3.65 ERA) faces off against Kyle Freeland (10-7, 3.04 ERA) at 5:10 PST.

Thursday particulars

Home Runs: DJ LeMahieu (9), Max Muncy (26), Ryan McMahon (3)

WP: Jake McGee (2-4) 1.2 IP, 0 ER

LP: Zac Rosscup (0-1) 1 IP, 2 ER, 3 K

SV: Adam Ottavino (5) 1 IP, 1 SO