The Rockies should take out a patent on their 5-3 victory over the Dodgers Saturday night. The victory featured:
* Two rallies.
* The end of a six-game losing streak to the perennial kings of the National League West.
* A gusty start by lefty Kyle Freeland, who outdueled Los Angeles all-star lefty Clayton Kershaw.
* Another save by closer Daniel Bard, who earlier in the day signed a two-year, $19 million contract extension. Bard has now converted 22 of 24 saves this season.
* An announced sellout crowd of 47,415 at Coors Field for a game that took just 2 hours, 43 minutes.
* A 2-for-4, three-RBI night from Randal Grichuk, who also saved Freeland’s bacon with a terrific running catch in center field to rob Max Muncy of a hit and close out the sixth inning.
Bard had to earn his pay in the ninth inning. After retiring Gavin Lux and Jake Lamb, Bard gave up a double to Muncy before getting Austin Barnes to center fielder Garrett Hampson.
Sure, Freeland would like to have every start be like his last outing at Milwaukee when he pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits in Colorado’s 2-0 victory. But Freeland’s No. 1 goal has always been to out-perform the opposing pitcher and give his team a chance to win.
Freeland did exactly that, outpitching Kershaw, the future Hall of Famer. Freeland gave up three runs on six hits over six innings. He struck six and walked none and plunked Max Muncy in the second inning.
Kershaw, who looks like a mere mortal when he comes to Coors Field, hung around for 5 1/3 innings. Colorado punched him for five runs (three earned) on eight hits.
Kershaw’s undoing was the sixth when the Rockies ambushed him with four consecutive hits to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead. Brendan Rodgers began the rally with a single to left and Jose Iglesias blooped a single to shallow right. Grichuk drove them both home with a triple into the right-field corner, and Elias Diaz followed with an RBI single to left.
Kershaw’s night was done and he departed the mound having blown a lead and owning a 4.82 ERA in 26 career starts in LoDo.
Freeland’s evening started off shaky. He gave up an RBI double to Will Smith in the first inning, and surrendered two runs in the third on a solo homer by Trea Turner, followed by a double by Freddie Freeman and an RBI single by Hanser Alberto.
The Rockies will attempt to split the four-game series against L.A. on Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers took Thursday’s opener, 13-0, and won Friday night’s game, 5-4.
Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (11-1, 2.26 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (6-8, 5.25)
1:10 p.m. Sunday, Coors Field
Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM
Marquez threw his third consecutive quality start In his last outing, on Tuesday, in Colorado’s 2-1 loss to the White Sox at Coors Field. He allowed just one run over six innings, walking one and striking out six. Over his last six starts, the 2021 all-star has lowered his ERA from 6.16 on June 24 to 5.25. He’s 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA over that span. Marquez has not pitched well in three starts against the Dodgers, going 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA. Marquez is 2-3 (the Rockies 7-7) in 14 career starts against the Dodgers, with a 3.56 ERA.
Gonsolin is coming off his first loss of the season, allowing four runs over six innings in a 4-1 loss to the Nationals. Still, he’s had a remarkable season. He’s just the sixth pitcher in Dodgers history to start 10-0 with a 1.54 ERA or better, and his 11-0 start was tied with Alex Wood for the best in franchise history. Over his first 18 starts, the all-star had 90 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five games (four starts) against the Rockies. In three games (two starts) at Coors Field, he’s 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.083 WHIP.
Trending: Second baseman Brendan Rodgers extended his home hitting streak to 10 games Friday night, the second-longest streak of his career behind a 15-game stretch earlier this year, from May 4-June 2. Rodgers went 4-for-4 on Friday night, matching his career-high for hits in a game.
At issue: Backup catcher Brian Serven’s base hit on Tuesday night against the White Sox snapped an 0-for-19 drought. He’s hitting .061 (2-for-33) in July.
Monday: Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-5, 4.90) at Padres Mike Clevinger (2-3, 3.38), 7:40 p.m., ATTRM
Tuesday: Rockies TBA at Padres TBA. Doubleheader., 2:10 p.m. and 8:10 p.m., ATTRM
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