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Five late-inning home runs fuel Dodgers’ 8-5 win over Rockies

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The Dodgers hit two pinch-hit home runs in the same inning for the first time since 1975

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was a low-scoring pitcher’s duel at Coors Field on Thursday night through six innings before the bullpens took the wheel. Ross Stripling’s toe looked fine, and he only allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work in his first start off the disabled list. Tyler Anderson had an equally strong outing as well for the Rockies.

The Dodgers’ offense continued to struggle to gain any traction even in the thin air at Coors Field until Joc Pederson and Max Muncy hit two pinch-hit solo home runs in the seventh.

Then Pedro Baez happened, and a four-run seventh inning looked as though it was going to doom the Dodgers in the series opener, but Cody Bellinger tied up the game Coors Field style with a two-run home run in the eighth and Chris Taylor and Brian Dozier both hit home runs in the ninth to give the Dodgers a 8-5 win.

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The Dodgers got on the board first in the second inning. Enrique Hernandez doubled and scored on a Taylor sacrifice fly.

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There were a few defensive gems on the night. Yasmani Grandal made a great throw to mow down Nolan Arenado on a steal attempt in the bottom of the second to end the frame.

Arenado did make a rare error at third base in the first inning, but he followed that up with one of his signature highlight reel plays at the hot corner.

Charlie Blackmon also made a sensational running catch to rob Hernandez of extra bases after a 12-pitch at-bat in the fourth.

The Rockies tied it up in the home half of the fourth. The Rox cashed in a two-out walk to Carlos Gonzalez. Arenado, who had three hits on the night, took advantage of a poorly located 3-2 cutter up and over the plate from Stripling with a RBI double.

The Dodgers wasted another scoring opportunity in the sixth. Manny Machado had two hits on the night and started off the sixth with a single to center field, his 1,000th career base hit, but the Dodgers failed to get a clutch hit off Tyler Anderson with Machado in scoring position. Justin Turner and Matt Kemp both grounded out, and Cody Bellinger struck out.

Once the Dodgers were able to get to the Rockies bullpen in the seventh, the game started to unravel for Colorado. Joc Pederson blasted a pinch-hit solo shot off Scott Oberg. Then Max Muncy came off the bench and went the opposite way for a home run, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. That was Muncy’s first home run since July 25.

Kenley Jansen was not feeling good and unavailable out of the pen. After the game, it was announced that Jansen was experiencing an irregular heartbeat again, and he was taken to the hospital.

Pedro Baez took over for Chicken Strip in the bottom of the seventh, and things got dicey when the Rockies loaded the bases with one out. Grandal and Baez get crossed up, and Arenado was able to come home to score after a passed ball was deflected off Grandal’s glove. Then Chris Iannetta went deep for a three-run blast off Baez to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead.

You can never say never at Coors Field. In the eighth inning, the Dodgers rallied with two outs when Cody Bellinger tied up the game 5-5 with a two-run home run off Seunghwan Oh.

The Rockies threatened in the eighth, but Caleb Ferguson was able to get the game to the ninth inning with the tie intact.

Ferguson’s scoreless inning was key, because Taylor opened the ninth with a leadoff homer off Wade Davis to take back the lead 6-5. Then Brian Dozier hit a doozy, a two-run home run to extend the Dodgers’ lead to three runs.

Scott Alexander shut the door on the Rockies in the ninth, and the Dodgers move back into a first place tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks with the win.

Up Next

The four-game series continues on Friday in Colorado. Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.73 ERA, 3.19 FIP) will take on Jon Gray (9-7, 4.73 ERA, 3.11 FIP) at 5:40 PM PST.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: Joc Pederson (18), Mac Muncy (25), Chris Iannetta (8), Cody Bellinger (19), Chris Taylor (13), Brian Dozier (19)

WP - Caleb Ferguson (3-1): 1.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk

LP- Wade Davis (1-6): 0.1 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs

SV - Scott Alexander (2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout