The Dodgers badgered Antonio Senzatela for the second time in 12 days, rolling behind Trevor Bauer in a 7-0 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Scoring started early for the Dodgers, thanks to home runs by Corey Seager and Chris Taylor in a span of three pitches in the first inning. It was the first home run of the season for Seager, who also hit his fifth double and walked.
Mookie Betts — who noted the Dodgers’ 3-1 record in the four games he missed over the previous six days and quipped, “I think that just shows how deep we are, and we don’t really need me” — welcomed himself back into the lineup with a towering home run to left field in the third.
Sheesh, @mookiebetts. pic.twitter.com/aS0zr1tSQH— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 14, 2021
That home run simultaneously ticked a pair of boxes for Betts, who has at least one hit and one run scored in each of his six games played, the first Dodger dating back to at least 1901 to do this.
It was also the third home run against Senzatela, who allowed five runs and was chased in the third inning.
“We executed flawlessly,” said manager Dave Roberts.
The matchup with the Dodgers has not been kind to Senzatela, who pitched eight scoreless innings at Coors Field against the Diamondbacks in his other start this year, and posted a 3.44 ERA in 12 starts last year. So far this year the Dodgers have scored 12 runs in six innings against Senzatela, who has thrown 143 pitches against Los Angeles.
In six career starts and one relief appearance at Dodger Stadium, Senzatela has allowed 24 runs (23 earned runs) and 10 home runs in 27 innings. That’s a 7.48 ERA, which helps explain why the Rockies have lost all six of those starts.
On the other side, Bauer looked roughly the same as he did in his first start against Colorado. On April 2 at Coors Field, Bauer allowed no hits and no runs in his first six innings, with nine strikeouts. On Tuesday, Bauer also held the Rockies scoreless through six with eight strikeouts, and their lone hit was a swinging bunt by Garrett Hampson in the third inning.
Bauer in Colorado got his 10th strikeout in the seventh inning but also allowed a pair of two-run homers. He fared much better on Tuesday, getting through a spotless seventh inning for his longest start yet as a Dodger. Bauer retired his final 14 batters faced, allowing only the one hit and two second-inning walks, needing 99 pitches to get through seven.
Bauer had to settle for nine strikeouts, after back-to-back starts with 10 strikeouts. Just as Karl Spooner (1954) and Yu Darvish (2017) before him, Bauer found a third straight double-digit-strikeout game elusive, something no pitcher has done to start their Dodgers career.
Name your Price
With Dodgers starters lasting six or more innings in nine of their 11 games, plus two more starts of 5⅔ innings, and two early off days, there hasn’t been much room for long relief.
David Price last pitched on April 5, and Roberts said before the game that he would try to work in Price in some capacity during the three-game series.
“David’s been fantastic, as far as his preparation. The teammate,” Roberts said. “Initially coming into the season, trying to find three- or four-inning stints to get him to log some innings. But when I look at seven days and he hasn’t pitched in a game, I’ve got to find some opportunities for him, whether it’s a short little run, whatever it might be.”
That opportunity came with a 7-0 lead, and Price pitched a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts in his first time on a Dodger Stadium mound since winning the clinching Game 5 of the 2018 World Series.
Home runs: Corey Seager (1), Chris Taylor (2), Mookie Betts (2), Max Muncy (2)
WP — Trevor Bauer (2-0): 7 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
LP — Antonio Senzatela (1-2): 2⅔ IP, 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
After grinding Senzatela to dust, the Dodgers face a pitcher they had trouble with in Colorado, as Jon Gray didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning of his start on April 3. On Wednesday night (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), he’ll face Dustin May, who has yet to allow a run in 2021.