On a day of celebration in a country touted as the land of the free, facing a pitcher named Freeland, the Dodgers got fireworks from freely available talent in beating the Rockies 5-3 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
After dropping their first two series to the last-place Rockies this season, including getting shut out at Coors Field of all places last Monday night, the Dodgers at home continued to be stymied by Colorado pitching. Kyle Freeland retired his first 13 batters faced, with only one ball reaching an outfielder, a harmless flyout to left by Will Smith in the second inning.
Justin Turner was the Dodgers’ first baserunner of the game with a single in the fifth inning, then Chris Taylor worked a walk. Trayce Thompson got ahead against Freeland then swung through a 3-1 slider. But he didn’t miss a second straight slider.
Good timing by Thompson at the plate gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, just like good timing on his availability brought him back to Los Angeles. Thompson was in Triple-A for the Tigers, his second organization this season, was nearing an opt-out date on his minor league contract, and the Dodgers were in desperate need of anyone who could capably play the outfield after Mookie Betts fractured a rib.
They got Thompson for cash on June 20, and so far the return has been pretty good.
Thompson at the plate with the Dodgers is 10-for-35 (.286/.342/.543) with three doubles, two home runs, eight runs batted in, and three walks, after singling once in 14 at-bats during his brief time with the Padres earlier in the season.
He’s started once in center field and seven times in right field, the latter including Monday’s start with Mookie Betts getting some time at second base, as is the plan as his broken rib fully heals. Thompson shifted over to left field in the sixth inning, with Betts moving to right.
Taylor, who sat out Sunday after suffering a left foot contusion on Saturday, exited Monday’s game with swelling in his left ankle, possibly exacerbated by crashing into the left field wall on José Iglesias’ solo home run in the top of the fifth inning.
#Dodgers Chris Taylor said his foot kept getting worse as the game went on. Will get a scan tomorrow and be out for a few days.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) July 5, 2022
That was the only run scored by the Rockies against Urías, who batted through six innings and struck out seven. He’s allowed only nine runs over his last six starts.
It seems like every other day there’s a Dodgers starting pitcher burnishing their All-Star credentials, and Urías is no different. He doesn’t have the eye-popping win total like last year, but the left-hander does rank fifth in the National League with a 2.57 ERA.
Dating back to last year’s All-Star break, Urías is 16-6 and the only NL pitcher with a better ERA than his 2.32 mark is Braves left-hander Max Fried (2.22).
- Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ first batter to reach base on Monday, had three singles.
- The Dodgers didn’t exactly did get Freeland out of the game early, but they did eventually score four runs off of him, which definitely counts as improvement over the last month or so.
- After Urías, Phil Bickford and Brusdar Graterol each pitched perfect innings in relief.
- Reyes Moronta allowed a home run to C.J. Cron in the ninth, the third straight game in which in which Moronta has allowed a long ball. The Dodgers record for longest streak of relief appearances giving up a home run is four, done four times, the last by John Purdin in 1969.
- A single and a walk after the home run ended Moronta’s night with two outs in the ninth. Yency Almonte was called in to record the final out with a three-run lead. Almonte allowed a single to pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon to put the tying run on base, but recovered to strike out Connor Joe for his second career save, having also saved a game for Colorado in 2020. Almonte is the fourth different Dodgers pitcher to record a save this season.
Home runs: Trayce Thompson (2); José Iglesias (2), C.J. Cron (20)
WP — Julio Urías (7-6): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
LP — Kyle Freeland (4-6): 5⅔ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Sv — Yency Almonte (1): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
Mitch White gets the call in the middle game of the series on Tuesday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network), with Germán Márquez on the mound for the Rockies in his third appearance against the Dodgers this season.