LOS ANGELES (AP) — Will Smith snapped a tie with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Saturday night.
Smith stroked a 3-1 pitch from Daniel Bard (7-7) into left field, scoring Max Muncy and Mookie Betts to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
“I feel pretty confident in those situations,” Smith said. “I've had a lot of success. I feel like I’m not afraid to fail in that moment.”
The Dodgers finally cashed in with the bases loaded after failing to score under similar circumstances in the first and third innings. Los Angeles added a run on pinch-hitter AJ Pollock’s single that scored Justin Turner, who was walked by Bard.
“We constantly had guys on base. It was tough to push runs across in the middle innings," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When you can start building innings by getting on base via walk or hit, it just creates opportunities.”
Six Dodgers pitchers combined to limit the Rockies to three hits. Blake Treinen (4-5) got the victory. Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his 29th save, giving him 341 in his career and tying him with Rollie Fingers for 14th on the all-time list.
“We just do what we’re called to do,” Treinen said of the bullpen. “You keep it simple. Know who your hitters are and execute your job.”
Los Angeles remained 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead and the best record in the majors.
Colorado dropped to 16-48 on the road.
The Rockies led 1-0 on Connor Joe's sacrifice fly to deep right in the third. They took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Ryan McMahon's RBI groundout to second that scored Trevor Story, who walked.
The Dodgers tied it at 1 in the third when Turner grounded into a double play at short, scoring Trea Turner. They tied it again at 2 in the fourth on Chris Taylor's 19th homer into the lower left-field seats.
Los Angeles had chances early, but couldn’t cash in. The Dodgers induced 32 pitches from Jon Gray in the first and left the bases loaded. They got just one run across in the third after loading the bases again.
They had more walks (four) than hits (two) in the first three innings. None of the first six Dodgers who walked ended up scoring.
Gray left the game in the second because of forearm tightness. He winced immediately after throwing a first pitch to Betts and signaled the trainer to come to the mound. Manager Bud Black said Gray would be monitored in the next few days. The right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out two and walked three.
“He threw a very powerful side session a couple days ago and didn’t feel anything, but yet he also said he felt a little soreness in the top of his forearm,” Black said. “It might have had a little something to do with that long first inning.”
Corey Knebel gave up one hit while pitching 1 2/3 innings as the Dodgers opener. He deftly fielded Elías Díaz's grounder and fired to second to start a double play before giving way to David Price. He allowed two runs and two hits in 3 2/3 innings, struck out one and walked two.
Rockies: Story returned to the starting lineup after aggravating a left leg injury three days earlier.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (right shoulder inflammation) threw a 25-pitch bullpen and will face hitters next week. ... LHP Clayton Kershaw (left shoulder inflammation) played catch.
Taylor Motter nearly knocked Díaz over with a scorching line drive down the third-base line before it went foul in the fourth. Díaz, who was on third, leaped out of the way and said something to Motter, who smiled.
A night earlier, Díaz got run down by teammate C.J. Cron, who came charging in on the catcher who was tracking a popup near the plate. Cron struck Díaz in the leg and the grimacing catcher went down on all fours but stayed in the game.
WHO'S ON SECOND?
Betts started at second base for the Dodgers, a way to ease himself back after missing time with a right hip injury. The move gave him less ground to cover than his traditional spot as the starting right fielder. Betts came up as a middle infielder but has played the outfield throughout his major league career, winning five Gold Gloves in the process. Betts later moved to right field in the eighth.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-9, 4.42 ERA) starts the series finale. He's 0-6 with a 5.24 ERA on the road this season.
Dodgers: RHP Mitch White (1-1, 3.06) is one of the few options the team has with so much of the pitching staff injured or in flux.
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