An 8-4 win for the visiting Dodgers over the Rockies avoided the sweep Wednesday night at Coors Field. A road trip that looked extremely promising after stops at Cincinnati and Atlanta all of a sudden took a wrong turn in Colorado, a daunting place for the Dodgers this season, but a win in the finale salvaged the series, and a 6-3 trip.
The Dodgers have played a few games at Coors Field in 2022. If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume these games were played at a pitcher’s paradise. One of the best offenses in baseball had topped out at five runs in the most hitter-friendly park in baseball. Before Wednesday, at least.
That getaway game at the end of a long road trip in which you often see the offense come out flat wasn’t a possibility for this Dodgers lineup, that came into this one trying not only to avoid a sweep but overcoming scoring only four runs in the first two games of the series at Coors Field.
The duel on the mound had a couple of familiar foes on each side. Dave Roberts sent out Julio Urías for his first start in Coors since that clunker in the opening series of the year, and he was opposed by the right-hander Germán Márquez.
Both starters were coming off impressive outings, as Urías had a career-high in whiffs on his fastball against the Braves with six innings on Friday, and Márquez battled through five walks to hurl seven and two-thirds scoreless innings versus the Twins, but the similarities stopped there.
Urías is having a strong year with a 2.48 ERA but has struggled immensely against the Rockies with a 5.61 ERA over 12 career starts versus Colorado, while Márquez has struggled in 2022 with a 5.58 ERA, but historically owns the Dodgers, as his 2.89 career ERA in 12 starts would indicate.
Urías got the better of the matchup. as the Dodgers offense jumped on Márquez for four runs in the first two innings. With all of the surrounding talk regarding Freddie Freeman, his moonshot in the first inning came at just the right time, both for him and the team that needed to get off to a hot start following back-to-back losses.
The Dodgers were in control of this one from basically start to finish, but even in blowout wins, you can look back at a specific moment in which things could’ve gone differently, and tonight that moment came at the bottom of the first.
With a runner on in the bottom of the first, Kris Bryant smoked a ball at a 103.5 mph exit velo, and it could’ve easily driven in one down the line for a double, but Eddy Alvarez made a heck of a play at third and finished off the inning with a sharp double play, turned by Gavin Lux at second.
Give Eddy Alvarez a medal for this one.pic.twitter.com/dakblPOaK1— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) June 30, 2022
Márquez left midway through the fourth inning apparently with a blister problem. The Dodgers held a 5-1 lead at the time, and Jhoulys Chacin stranded a couple of runners with a Trea Turner double play.
Urías looked in control through the majority of his night but left with a sour start running into some trouble in the sixth, facing the Rockies lineup for the third time around, and ultimately left with a couple of runners on, a couple in, and five strikeouts over five and a third.
Graterol came in and allowed one of those inherited runners to score, but managed to keep the damage at that, inducing a bases-loaded groundout from Ryan McMahon. It goes to show that no lead is ever truly safe in Coors, that it didn’t take a lot for the Rockies to get into a spot with the tying run up to bat down by four.
Colorado never got any closer.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (9), Will Smith (12), Cody Bellinger (10); Brendan Rodgers (7)
WP — Julio Urías (6-6): 5⅓ IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP — Germán Márquez (4-6): 3⅓ IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
The Dodgers return to Los Angeles for a long homestand starting with four against the Padres, then three versus these very same Rockies, and four with the Cubs. Mitch White will take the ball on Thursday (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, FS1) against Cy Young candidate Joe Musgrove for San Diego.