LOS ANGELES — belly punch. root canal. Stub your toe in the middle of the night.
So did the Rockies’ 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Mookie Betts hacked a bases-loaded, high-jumping infield hit to the back of the mound for a walk-off single-off from closer Daniel Bard to complete the Dodgers’ three-game sweep. It was the first walk-off hit of Betts’ career in Los Angeles.
Colorado has fallen to 9-28 at Dodger Stadium since 2018, winning just two of 12 series in that span.
Bard came into play after executing 16 of 18 saves and allowing just one earned run (.52 ERA) in his last 15 games. But he dropped singles to Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux and led Austin Barnes to load the bases with no outs.
Then, against Colorado’s five-man infield, Betts hit a bouncer over Bard’s head. Shortstop José Iglesias couldn’t handle it cleanly as he tried to play to the plate quickly to save the game.
“Bellinger went down and dug out a fastball for a base hit and Lux hit a groundball in just the right spot. That’s baseball,” said manager Bud Black when asked what happened to Bard in the ninth. “And then Betts hit a topper. They put the ball in play.”
The Rockies managed just one hit, but miraculously they were still in the game until the Dodgers made the final at-bat.
Before the bitter end of a strange game, starter José Ureña rolled in his Rockies debut.
The veteran right-hander, who was called up by Triple-A to fill in the injured Antonio Senzatela’s rotation point, was burdened with just one run in 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, two batting and three footing. He threw 89 pitches, 53 of them for strikes.
Black said Ureña will have another start coming up against San Diego at Coors Field on Monday.
“We were just trying to hit up and down because they were hitting the fastball so aggressively,” Ureña said. “The most important thing was trying to get the ball on the ground.”
Ureña persuaded the Dodgers via groundballs in seven outs, including two double plays.
“At first the ball-to-strikes ratio wasn’t great, but he ended up throwing strikes when needed,” Black said. “He has a composure and from what I’ve been told this guy is a fighter. He competes hard – with good stuff. You saw that tonight.”
The Dodgers didn’t make Ureña sweat until the seventh inning when they bit him with three singles. Ureña nearly escaped by getting Jake Lamb to throw himself into a doubles match, but back-to-back, hard-hitting singles from Bellinger and Lux ended Ureña’s night.
Black brought on right-hander Jake Bird, who made his major league debut on June 16. Bird immediately dropped Barnes to load bases, then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Bellinger to race home from third place. Bird broke the Dodgers’ rally by prompting Betts to close in on third baseman Ryan McMahon.
Ureña, who started the season with Milwaukee as a reliever, was signed by the Rockies on May 16 to a minor league contract. He spent more than two weeks in Scottsdale, Arizona stretching out as a starter. He made his first start with Triple-A Albuquerque on June 5. In five starts with the Isotopes, he was 0-1 with a 7.29 ERA.
Ureña sees himself as a starter, which is why his solid performance on Wednesday night meant so much to him.
“That was really important to me,” he says. “So now I can help the (Rockies) no matter how much they need me. I just want to be ready and prepared.”
Dodgers starter Mitch White not only blinded the Rockies for five innings, he also failed to hit them. The Rockies finally scraped a run in the sixth when Kris Bryant pulled a one-out walk and Brendan Rodgers shot a single down the middle. Bryant advanced to third and Bellinger threw himself wildly into the Dodgers’ dugout, allowing Bryant to score.
Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (6-7, 6.53 ERA) on Diamondbacks LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-6, 8.27)
7:40 p.m. Thursday, Chase Field
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
In Thursday’s game, two left-handers try to regain their form. Gomber will make his 14th start of the season after returning to the rotation in a start against the D-Backs at Coors Field last week. He got the win despite conceding four runs on six hits, including two home runs, over 5 2/3 innings. Gomber is 2-0 with a 4.67 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against Arizona.
The Rockies beat Keuchel last Saturday at Coors Field, hauling him in for seven runs (six earned) in six hits and pulling three walks over five innings. There has been speculation that he will be removed from the rotation but the D-backs have been hit with injuries so it’s likely the left-hander will make at least one more start. Arizona’s Zach Davies was recently put on the 15-day injured list with a shoulder problem.
Trend: On May 21, Charlie Blackmon shortened .216/.281/.403. In the 38 games since then, Blackmon hit .314/.353/.519 with seven homers and 28 RBIs, increasing his slash line to .269/.319/.466 (entering Wednesday).
In question: The Rockies went into play Wednesday with a record 12:24 away, a .324 win ratio that was the lowest among the majors with Detroit.
Friday: Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (5-5, 3.83) at Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.40), 7:40 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.43) at Diamondbacks LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-8, 3.74), 2:10 p.m., ATTRM
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/07/07/rockies-swept-dodgers-mookie-betts-infield-hit/ Rockies fall 2-1 to Dodgers as Mookie Betts scores infield – Greeley Tribune