With first place on the line, the Dodgers wasted no time in taking command of the game Monday night. Joc Pederson homered on the fourth pitch he saw in the first to set the tone on offense.
Before an out could be recorded in the home half of the third, the Dodgers would knock Rockies’ starter Jon Gray from the game after putting six runs on the board. Coasting to an 8-2 win, the Dodgers move back into the top spot in the NL West with half-game lead over Colorado.
All those runs wouldn’t be needed as Hyun-jin Ryu locked up the Rockies with seven shutout innings in his strongest start of the year. The lefty allowed just four hits and no walks while striking out five, needing just 93 pitches.
The Dodgers really got rolling in the third when Pederson smoked a leadoff double down the right field line, the first of six straight hits to start the frame. After Justin Turner singled to put runners on the corners, Manny Machado lofted a pop fly to center that dropped in to score Pederson.
Gray left an 87-mph slider out over the plate on the very next pitch that Muncy didn’t miss. The Dodger first baseman sent the ball into the right field pavilion to give his club a 6-0 lead.
Maximum power, Maximum results. pic.twitter.com/RgKF6NOyms— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 18, 2018
Colorado manager Bud Black would let his right-hander throw just one more pitch, pulling him when Yasiel Puig laced the first pitch up the middle for a base hit. When the dust settled, Gray would be charged with six runs on seven hits and two walks in two plus innings.
Pederson wasn’t done with his big night at the plate, launching his second homer of the night in the fourth. It was the 26-year-old’s first homer off a lefty since June 27 of last season.
The two-run shot put the Dodgers up 8-0 behind Ryu’s solid effort.
With Clayton Kershaw on the mound Tuesday and Walker Buehler going Wednesday, the Dodgers are in position to take control of the division.
The Dodgers and Rockies continue the series with Kershaw (8-5, 2.51) taking the ball against fellow lefty Kyle Freeland (15-7, 2.96).
Home Runs: Pederson 2 (23), Muncy (33)
WP: Hyun-jin Ryu (5-3): 7 IP, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts
LP: Jon Gray (11-8): 2 IP, 7 hits, 6 Runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout