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Cody Bellinger, Dodgers' offense make up for lapses in win over Rockies

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers' offense make up for lapses in win over Rockies
Dodgers' Cody Bellinger, center, celebrates hitting a solo home run with Max Muncy, right, as Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta stands in the foreground in the eighth inning. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Dodgers on Sunday night whipped up some ingredients usually found in losses. Their starting pitcher didn’t get out of the fourth inning. Their second baseman lost track of the number of outs in the third, costing the team a run. Their bullpen encountered some more turbulence. It was, at times, ugly during a 3-hour 52-minute clash with the Colorado Rockies. And it didn’t matter because their offense, an unyielding force, did not decelerate in Coors Field’s altitude in a three-game series sweep.

The Dodgers scored runs in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings on the way to beating the Rockies 12-6 for the eighth straight time. The Dodgers produced two runs on right fielder Charlie Blackmon’s two errors and two on Max Muncy’s home run, a blast in the sixth inning that extended the Dodgers’ franchise-record home run streak to 10 games to begin the season.

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Cody Bellinger hit a solo blast to the second deck in right field in the eighth inning for his league-leading seventh home run. He also worked one of the Dodgers’ 10 walks, singled and doubled, pushing his batting average to .455 and slugging percentage to 1.023.

“I just feel really good,” Bellinger said. “Just trying to stay within myself in the cage and not get too ahead of myself and not give in to the hype.”

Justin Turner and Corey Seager each contributed two hits. Even Julio Urias, the starting pitcher, registered an RBI single in the second inning for his first hit since May 2017. Center fielder A.J. Pollock was the only starter not to reach base.

Through 10 games, the Dodgers (8-2) have scored 84 runs, slugged 24 home runs, and outscored their three opponents -- all division foes -- by 36 runs. They head to St. Louis to begin a four-game series Monday against the formidable Cardinals boasting a five-game winning streak and baseball’s best offense, a unit that has regularly concealed blemishes in other departments and made Urias’ short outing Sunday a footnote.

“We’re good,” Bellinger said. “One through nine, we’re deep.”

The Dodgers are being careful with Urias. He’s only in the starting rotation because Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill began the season on the injured list. Otherwise, he would be in the bullpen, where the Dodgers can better restrict his workload in hopes of having him untethered in the postseason. Urias will join the relief corps once Kershaw returns, but he will make at least one more start.

Urias’ first outing was a dominant display. He held the San Francisco Giants scoreless for five innings and was pulled after throwing 77 pitches. Before Sunday’s game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Urias would have a longer leash in his second outing. He didn’t last long enough to need one.

Urias exited after just 3⅔ innings. He allowed four runs on four hits and four walks. He threw 74 pitches and left 16 outs for the Dodgers bullpen.

“He didn’t have command of anything, to be quite honest,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

After not issuing a walk in his season debut, Urias immediately encountered trouble with his command Sunday. He began his night by walking Blackmon. Two batters later, Nolan Arenado walked on four pitches. Two batters after that, Mark Reynolds worked a 3-and-2 count before walking to load the bases for Ian Desmond. Urías was on the ropes for the first time this season. Bellinger saved him with a difficult catch in foul territory to conclude the inning.

Urias relayed the escape into some offense in the bottom of the frame, jumping on the first pitch he saw from Chad Bettis to smack a single to right field with two on and two outs. The groundball through the hole scored Bellinger, who doubled, and rolled under Blackmon’s glove in right field. The error allowed Austin Barnes to score from first base. Urias wound up at second base.

Some other Dodgers, the ones paid to hit, supplied a four-run third inning. Seager ignited the effort with a leadoff double. David Freese, starting against a right-hander for the first time since joining the Dodgers in September, slammed an RBI double. Enrique Hernandez then cracked a line drive down the left-field line for a two-run double. One pitch later, Barnes concluded the barrage with an RBI single up the middle. Bettis lasted one more batter for the Rockies (3-7). He was chased after allowing six runs (five earned) in 2⅔ innings. He walked four and didn’t record a strikeout.

The extra padding proved crucial in the bottom of the frame as Urias sputtered. Blackmon whacked a leadoff triple. Next, Urias allowed his first run this season on Trevor Story’s RBI single. Nolan Arenado then thumped a ball off the right-field wall for a triple to score Story. Two batters later, after a walk and a strikeout for the inning’s first out, Urias induced the double-play groundball he needed. Seager, the shortstop, charged to field it and threw it to Hernandez at second base, but Hernandez, thinking that was the third out, thought the inning was over and didn’t throw the ball to first base. Instead, he began jogging off the field. He took a few strides before realizing his mistake. Arenado scored on the gaffe to slice the Dodgers’ lead to three.

The Rockies’ defense returned the favor in the fourth inning when Blackmon committed his second run-costing error of the night, dropping a routine fly ball off Bellinger’s bat at the warning track. The three-base error scored Seager, who had hit his second double.

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The Dodgers added two runs in the fifth inning to seize a six-run lead. Urias was done by then, pulled before he could log four innings. That typically spells trouble for a team. It didn’t for the Dodgers on Sunday.

“I still think there’s more in there,” Roberts said. “I think that to put a complete game together, there’s been a few of them, but we got to still stay hungry.”

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