As the Dodgers' 10-6 victory over Colorado approached the four-hour mark, the wind overtook Coors Field. From his spot at second base, Logan Forsythe noted how the atmosphere at the ballpark "got colder, windier, trashier — all the above."
He was not talking about sleaze. He meant actual garbage. The detritus of a Sunday afternoon crowd whipped across the diamond and the outfield, powered by a frigid wind. It was unsightly and uncomfortable — but the Dodgers (4-3) were not complaining after staving off a sweep by the Rockies and delivering their first quality performance against a left-handed starting pitcher this season.
One outing by one man cannot shatter a hard-earned narrative. But Forsythe played a crucial role in a five-run flurry against Colorado left-hander Tyler Anderson. Forysthe led off the first inning with a double and scored on a two-run double by Justin Turner. He coaxed a walk out of Anderson in the second and scored on a two-run homer by Corey Seager. In the fourth, Forsythe provided an RBI single.
The lead shrank after the Rockies scored four runs off Kenta Maeda in five innings. But the Dodgers kept steady pressure on the Rockies bullpen, and capitalized on a series of miscues by their hosts to score three runs in the seventh.
"We needed to get a win today," Manager Dave Roberts said, especially heading into three games with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. As they did this weekend, the Dodgers will see two left-handed starters. On Sunday, the offense resembled the unit the front office envisioned when the team acquired Forsythe from Tampa Bay in the winter.
"It was big to get a win today, salvage the series and get out of here on that note," Turner said. "For whatever reason, we always seem to have a tough time playing here."
During the first 18 innings at Coors Field, the offense produced three runs. It needed three plate appearances on Sunday to score twice, and the sequence offered hope about the group's prospects going forward.
Up first was Forsythe, who was hitting .158 with nine strikeouts in his first week as a Dodger. His acquisition was the organization's signature maneuver designed to improve production against left-handed pitchers. Forsythe showed his capability in his first at-bat.
Anderson could not locate the zone, until a 3-1 fastball cut the plate in two. Forsythe pounded it off center-field wall for a double. He credited recent film study for helping him rediscover his stroke.
"It was definitely more of a feel thing," Forsythe said. "Mechanically, it wasn't anything too different. I just had to try and find that feel again."
Seager also benefited from Anderson's inexact command, working a four-pitch walk. Two runners were aboard for Turner. With his fastball still unreliable, Anderson tried to fool Turner with a changeup. Turner maintained his balance as he roped a double to left.
An inning later, Forsythe sparked another rally, this one with two outs. His walk set the table for Seager. Anderson tried a first-pitch cutter. The choice did not fool Seager, who volleyed the ball back over the fence in center.
"He just made some mistakes, and we capitalized," Seager said. "We didn't really miss the mistake today. That's what you're looking for."
In the fourth inning, after Maeda had allowed a two-run homer to center fielder Charlie Blackmon, Forsythe came up with a runner at second and two out. He flared a single into right to bring home Enrique Hernandez.
Up three runs, Maeda faded in the fifth. He issued a leadoff walk to the No. 8 hitter, backup catcher Tony Wolters. Blackmon singled. A single by outfielder Gerardo Parra brought home Wolters. A sacrifice fly from outfielder Carlos Gonzalez cut the lead to one. Maeda managed to escape when third baseman Nolan Arenado lined a slider into Yasiel Puig's glove in right field.
"I thought he pitched well," Roberts said. "But I think that leadoff walk got him off-track."
The seventh inning removed the tension from the afternoon. Anderson had departed after five. Jordan Lyles, a former Rockies starter now toiling in middle relief, entered in the seventh, the Dodgers leading 6-4 after scoring once against Scott Oberg in the sixth.
Lyles gave up a leadoff single to Seager. Turner walked. Both runners advanced on a passed ball. Seager was cut down at the plate on a ground out, but Turner scored on a throwing error by Wolters, whose pickoff attempt hit him in the back. Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson added RBI singles to pad the advantage.
All that was left was surviving the wind.
"It got a little cold and windy and there was stuff flying all over the place," Turner said. "But they have to be out there, too. You've just got to try to keep your concentration, catch the ball and take good at-bats."