It’s been some show the last four games. Joc Pederson putting the hurt on baseballs, turning them into mini-rockets that looked as if they could pierce straight through an outfield seat.
Pederson hit another home run in the Dodgers’ nightcap Tuesday, giving him four consecutive games with homers. His two homers Tuesday were both estimated at over 470 feet. Later for good measure, he added his first career triple.
All that and he still wasn’t the hero.
That was left to Alex Guerrero, who hit his first career grand slam in dramatic fashion, sending it just over the center-field wall with two outs in the ninth and the Dodgers down by three, to stun the Rockies, 9-8, at Coors Field.
But the Dodgers had one last rally left. They loaded the bases to open the ninth inning on consecutive singles by Alberto Callaspo, Jimmy Rollins and Chris Heisey off Rafael Betancourt. It appeared the reliever would get out of trouble when he struck out Justin Turner and got Pederson to pop up.
Bentacourt got ahead of Guerrero 1-2 when he tried to get a fourth consecutive fastball past him. Instead, with the Dodgers down to their final strike, Guerrero drove it just beyond the reach of centerfielder Charlie Blackmon and out for his 10th home run of the season.
For the second time in three games at Coors Field, the Dodgers had hit four home runs.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save in as many opportunities. Josh Ravin, who struck out his only batter while making his major-league debut in the eighth inning, earned the victory.
It remained a 1-0 game until Pederson went to work in the third. He crushed a homer off David Hale, sending it screaming into the night to nearly dead center. This one was estimated at 472 feet, meaning on the day he’d driven just two baseballs a total of 949 feet.
That gave Pederson a team-high 16 home runs on the season.
Hernandez followed with a single and Adrian Gonzalez drilled a two-run homer and the Dodgers were up, 4-0. Normally a four-run lead with Greinke pitching is a pretty safe bet. But this was in Coors Field and this was not vintage Greinke.
Greinke got into immediate trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up two leadoff singles. Hale’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up before Blackmon’s sacrifice fly scored one run and DJ LeMahieu’s single scored a second.
The Rockies pulled within one in the fourth after loading the bases on a pair of hits and a walk. Nick Hundley bounced out to second to score the tying run. Greinke struck out Brandon Barnes and got Hale to ground out to avoid more serious trouble.
Colorado took the lead with a two-out rally in the sixth. Ben Paulsen singled and scored on a Hundley double. Hundley scored on a Barnes base hit and the Rockies led, 5-4.
The Dodgers tied it again against reliever Brooks Brown in the seventh after Rollins led off with a walk, went to second on a groundout and stole third. That set the stage again for Pederson, who punched the sixth consecutive changeup offered by Brooks into center to score Rollins with the triple.
Greinke left after six innings, having allowed five earned runs and 10 hits. It was the most earned runs and hits Greinke had allowed in one game since last June 23 when he allowed five runs and 11 hits to Kansas City.
Yimi Garcia took over for Greinke in the bottom of the seventh, and it did not go as the Dodgers planned. Garcia gave up a single to LeMahieu and then the two-run homer to Tulowitzki.
After looking sensational early in the season allowing only one earned run in his first 14 games (0.64 ERA), it’s become a struggle for Garcia. In his last 10 games, he has a 9.39 ERA.