The rollercoaster Dodgers offense was on the upswing on Monday night, especially so in a seven-run fifth inning in a 13-4 win over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
All seven runs in the fifth came after two outs. The Dodgers hit for the cycle in the inning, including a double by Freddie Freeman and a triple by James Outman. J.D. Martinez greeted reliever Jake Bird with a near grand slam down the right field line on the first pitch, which was called foul and upheld upon review.
Martinez settled for a two-run single to tie the game, then three batters later Jason Heyward hit a two-run shot to right field to cap the scoring, the seventh consecutive Dodger to reach base (and score) in the inning.
Weather or not
In 1985 or so, my brother and I were headed from Palm Springs to Hemet to visit my dad, only my brother’s truck broke down in an area off Highway 111 known as Windy Point. That moniker could have also described Dodger Stadium on Monday night, with swirling gusts confounding fielders throughout the game.
But it took 111 to best the elements, as Chris Taylor’s 110.7-mph drive cut through the wind like a hot knife through butter. Taylor’s first hit of the season have the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Windy night? The cold never bothered him anyway. pic.twitter.com/EPdQVwmTjq— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 4, 2023
Games can change in a hurry, to which Michael Grove can attest. The right-hander cruised through four scoreless innings with four strikeouts, allowing only a single. But within 18 pitches and only four batters, the Dodgers’ two-run advantage became a deficit, and Grove was out of the game.
He walked the first two batters of the fifth, though his full-count offering to Mike Moustakas looked like it caught a portion of the strike zone, so Will Smith’s throw to second base to nail the running Ryan McMahon was moot. Instead of a potential double play, Grove faced two on and nobody out, when Elias Díaz grounded a double just inside third base to score one. That got grove out of the game, and one pitch later Harold Castro singled off reliever Yency Almonte to bring home two more, part of a four-run frame.
The walks by Grove were just the second and third free passes issued by Dodgers pitchers this season.
Rockies starter Ryan Feltner saw a quick turnaround of his own. After Colorado seized the lead in the top of the fifth, Feltner got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, just one out shy of qualifying for a potential win.
But then Freddie Freeman doubled and Feltner walked both Smith and Max Muncy, earning the hook from manager Bud Black. When Feltner walked off the mound, he held a two-run advantage. Three of the seven runs in the inning were charged to his ledger, suffering the loss.
- Outman tripled and scored again in the seventh inning, the first Dodger with two triples in a game since Yasiel Puig hit three triples on July 25, 2014, the latter tying a modern major league record. Outman also tripled twice in a game in Triple-A last August 26, the first of his two cycles in a five-day span. Oklahoma City Dodgers broadcaster Alex Freedman noted that Outman was the first OKC player to have two triples in a game since then-Rangers infielder Matt Brown on August 5, 2010.
- Miguel Vargas was hit by a pitch on his right thumb in the seventh inning, and was examined on the field by trainer Nate Lucero, but stayed in the game.
Home runs: Chris Taylor (1), Jason Heyward (1), Will Smith (2)
WP — Yency Almonte (1-0): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 strikeout
LP — Ryan Feltner (0-1): 4⅔ IP, 4 hits, 5 runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
The Dodgers finish off the opening homestand on Tuesday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network), with Julio Urías on the mound for Los Angeles against Rockies right-hander Germán Márquez.