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Corey Seager is OK but Los Angeles Dodgers are 8-1 losers at Colorado

Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) reacts after striking out Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the first inning.
Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) reacts after striking out Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the first inning.
(Dustin Bradford / Getty Images)

Monday’s game was already miserable, saturated by rain but absent of Dodgers runs, when Corey Seager came to bat in the seventh inning. Colorado Rockies reliever Chris Rusin wound up and fired a 90-mph fastball up and in. Seager checked his swing, but not before the baseball connected with his left wrist.

“It always hurt when you’re hit,” Seager said. “You never really know until minutes later. It’s one of those things where you’re glad it’s not broken, and you move on.”

After an 8-1 Dodgers loss, an X-ray examination of Seager’s wrist proved his suspiciion correct. The scans came back negative. He will sit out Tuesday, but Manager Dave Roberts said that was determined before Seager got drilled.

Besides that scare, little of consequence happened for the Dodgers (73-58). Kenta Maeda held the Rockies to two runs but exited after five innings. The offense stranded 11 runners. The team could not build upon the momentum of last week, when they conquered the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs in consecutive series.

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But an injury to Seager, a lock for National League rookie of the year and a contender for most valuable player, would linger far beyond Monday’s tedium. Seager spun around in pain after the baseball hit him. He hunched at the waist near first base as Roberts and trainer Nate Lucero visited him.

“There’s a little bit of holding the breath,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers could soon exhale. Seager passed all the necessary tests. He flexed his hand to loosen up as he prepared to play defense in the bottom of the inning. He watched relievers Adam Liberatore and Pedro Baez combine to give up five runs and let the game slip away. J.P. Howell gave up an eighth run in the eighth inning.

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Maeda rejoined the team after an unusual assignment. To make room on the roster for Sunday starter Brock Stewart, the team optioned Maeda to the class-A Arizona League Dodgers. It was a “paper move,” Roberts said, because the Arizona League schedule ended Sunday, making Maeda eligible to return to face Colorado.

Maeda did not actually have to go to Arizona. But he was not allowed to work out at Dodger Stadium. To keep his arm loose, he played catch in a park in Santa Monica with his interpreter, Will Ireton.

In his rookie season, Maeda has looked unfazed in the thin air of Coors Field. Monday marked his third start at the ballpark. In his first two, he held the Rockies to two runs in 12 innings.

The first inning inspired stress, Maeda giving up a single to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and a walk to outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. Maeda pumped his fist when third baseman Nolan Arenado swung through a 2-2 fastball. Howie Kendrick ran down a well-struck drive at the warning track from rookie outfielder David Dahl for the third out.

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“Overall,” Maeda said, “I thought I pitched pretty well.”

Maeda traded scoreless innings with Colorado starter Jon Gray. Rain pelted the stadium during the early innings, including a particularly heavy dousing in the third. The game continued without interruption.

The Rockies struck first. Dahl roped a one-out single in the fourth. Two batters later, with two out and a runner at first, Maeda threw a thigh-high, two-strike slider to catcher Nick Hundley. Hundley sent the ball over the left-field fence.

“That one pitch led to the team losing,” Maeda said. “So that was regrettable.”

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Gray stranded eight Dodgers in the first five innings. He lost command in the fifth, issuing a walk to Kendrick and drilling Seager in the right calf with an 89-mph slider. But Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon slid across the grass to rob Adrian Gonzalez of a hit. When Gray hung a curveball to Yasmani Grandal, Grandal swung just underneath it, flying out to right.

The woes continued in the sixth. Gray hit another batter, Rob Segedin, with a two-out curveball. Roberts sent Enrique Hernandez to hit for Maeda. Hernandez missed a slider for the third strike.

The seventh inning presented a combination of fear and loathing. The loathing was reserved to the performance of the bullpen. The fear stemmed from Seager’s discomfort. Roberts would be able to exhale after the X-ray.

“Anything around the hand is pretty scary,” Roberts said. “But fortunately, he’s young, resilient.”

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andy.mccullough@latimes.com

Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


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