Although it took just shy of eight years to accomplish, the Dodgers walked away with a three-game sweep of the Rockies on Sunday afternoon—and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
With the victory in the series finale, the Dodgers have now won 13 of their last 17 games and currently find themselves just 2-1/2 games behind the division lead.
To say that the Los Angeles offense was prolific over the weekend would be an understatement. The Dodgers scored a total of 33 runs in the entire series. And there seemed to be a different hero in each game.
In the 11-8 win on Friday night, Yasiel Puig went 4-for-5 at the plate, hammering a double, a home run and two RBI to trigger the offense. Rookie pitcher Dennis Santana, who was eventually credited with the victory, delivered a clutch double to the warning track in the fourth inning to help his own cause on the mound. Chris Taylor remained hot at the plate, belting two key hits and four RBI. And Matt Kemp, who seemingly has been carrying the offense on his shoulders all season, launched his eighth home run of the year in the first inning.
On Saturday, an eight-run seventh inning propelled the Dodgers to a 12-4 victory. Kemp hit a screaming line drive over the left field wall to highlight the frame, but Joc Pederson was the big hero of the day, going 4-for-5 with two long balls, a double, two RBI and four runs scored. Taylor chipped in with another two hits and utility man Breyvic Valera also contributed two hits and three RBI of his own.
In the finale on Sunday, first baseman Max Muncy kept the Dodgers in the game early with a pair of homers, but catcher Yasmani Grandal delivered the big blow in the top of the ninth with a two-run blast to right-center field off All-Star reliever Wade Davis. Most importantly, it was probably Justin Turner who grinded out the most productive AB of the day when he scored Logan Forsythe on a fielder’s choice grounder to first base, giving the Dodgers an 8-7 lead.
“We battled. Everybody battled,” Grandal said after Sunday’s game. “As soon as you start to put pressure on guys they have to perform. Davis left a couple pitches in the zone and we were able to capitalize and break through.”
As stellar as the offense was, the starting pitching took a beating, which was to be expected in Denver. The Dodgers used six different pitchers in a bullpen game on Friday. Santana got clubbed for five earned runs on six hits and a walk in his debut, but he will live to see another day—likely to start in the upcoming series in Pittsburgh. Saturday saw Walker Buehler get tagged for four runs in the second inning alone; however, the young righty still held on to eat five very important innings. And, on Sunday, starter Alex Wood got cuffed for six runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batsmen before being pulled after just two innings in favor of Erik Goeddel. Still, behind seven different pitchers in the finale, the Dodgers erased a five-run deficit as they rallied again to complete the sweep.
Looking ahead, the Dodgers will have an off day on Monday as they travel to Pittsburgh ahead of a three-game set against the Pirates. Stay tuned tomorrow as Andy will provide a thorough preview of the series.