Pinch-hitting for Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday’s finale, rookie catcher Will Smith slugged a three-run, pinch-hit walkoff homer to secure both a 6-3 victory and series sweep over division rival Colorado.
All three victories came on walkoff home runs by three different rookies, an MLB first. Smith’s walkoff blast on Sunday was the second of his young career.
Smith was recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City after veteran David Freese was placed on the injured list with a hamstring strain.
Manager Bud Black and reliever Scott Oberg elected to pitch to Smith after deciding to intentionally walk Russell Martin. Earlier in the inning, Matt Beaty secured his second infield hit of the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Earlier in the game, the Dodgers certainly had a huge opportunity to secure the victory.
Batting for Austin Barnes in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Taylor smacked the first pitch he saw into the left field stands, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead and putting his squad back in the game. For a moment, it looked like that’s all the Dodgers would need to snag the win.
With one out in the seventh, Beaty eked out an infield single, then Enrique Hernandez followed with a double off the wall in right-center field. In the next AB, Taylor put the Dodgers back in the game with a single swing.
Taylor is now 13-for-33 (.394) with 3 doubles, 3 long balls and 11 RBI over the 11 games since Corey Seager was placed on the injured list.
Starter Kenta Maeda delivered another strong outing for the Dodgers. The Japanese righty scattered seven hits over seven full innings of work, allowing two earned runs while striking out six and walking two.
The Rockies got on the board first when David Dahl sent his eighth home run of the season over the center field wall. Two innings later, Garrett Hampson scored on a Ryan McMahon single to center, stretching the Colorado lead to 2-0.
Righty starter Antonio Senzatela was decent for Colorado through six innings of work. Prior to Beaty’s single, Senzatela surrendered just three hits and no runs while striking out five and walking two. He was credited with the runs scored by Beaty and Hernandez in the seventh.
In the top of the eighth inning, Pedro Baez allowed the Rockies to climb back into the game when Daniel Murphy scored on a Tony Wolters double down the right field line. Hernandez took the cutoff from Bellinger in right, but Martin was unable to handle the throw at home despite having more than enough time to nail Murphy.
Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the victory, his third of the year.
The win extended the Dodgers’ divisional lead over Colorado to 13 full games.
Oberg suffered the loss.
On Monday, the Dodgers will begin a three-game series against division rival Arizona on the road.