Dodgers fall to Rockies as bats go cold late, Clayton Kershaw grinds through bumpy start

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to first base after fielding a ball hit by Colorado's Brendan Rodgers.
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to first base after fielding a ball hit by Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers in the first inning Saturday.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw allows five runs (three earned) over 5 1/3 innings, including three in the sixth, in the Dodgers’ 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

Final: Dodgers go cold down the stretch to lose 5-3

DENVER — For five innings on Saturday night, Clayton Kershaw navigated both a last-place opponent, the high-altitude elements and a quickly elevated pitch count.

Despite giving up two unearned runs in the first inning, he had kept the Colorado Rockies quiet over the next four as the Dodgers took a lead at Coors Field.

In the bottom of the sixth, however, it look just seven pitches for his outing to come to a screeching end.

The Rockies hit back-to-back singles against his curveball. They pulled in front with a two-run triple and an RBI single on consecutive first-pitch sliders.

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Rockies retake lead, knock Clayton Kershaw out of the game in the sixth

For five innings, Clayton Kershaw had navigated the Rockies lineup.

But then, with one out in the sixth, the hosts ambushed him with four straight hits to retake the lead and knock him out of the game.

It started with back to back singles by Brendan Rodgers and José Iglesias, both on curveballs.

In the next at-bat, Randal Grichuk stayed back on a first-pitch slider and lined a triple the other way, scoring two runs to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead.

Elias Díaz came up next, and also went hunting a first pitch, lining another slider into left for an RBI single.

It was Kershaw’s last action of the game.

Caleb Ferguson escaped the inning after that, giving Kershaw a final line of: 5 1/3 innings, five runs, eight hits, zero walks and three strikeouts.

His ERA is 2.66.

End 6th: Rockies lead 5-3


Dodgers back in front with two-run third inning

The Dodgers didn’t stay behind for long.

In the top of the third, Trea Turner hit a home run to tie the game — using his 16th blast of the year to run his current hitting streak to 17 games.

Then, Freddie Freeman doubled and scored on an RBI single from Hanser Alberto.

End 3rd: Dodgers lead 3-2


Dodgers strike first, but then fall behind after Max Muncy error

For a fifth-straight game, the Dodgers scored in the first inning after Will Smith hit a two-out double that got Freddie Freeman home from first.

This time, however, their lead didn’t last long.

With two on and two outs in the bottom of the first, José Iglesias hit a chopper to third base. Max Muncy was there, but couldn’t field it, letting the ball get by him for a run-scoring error.

In the next at-bat, Randal Grichuk blasted a line drive past Freeman at first base to plate another run, though Grichuk was thrown out at second to end the inning.

End 1st: Rockies lead 2-1


James Outman called up to big leagues for first time

James Outman warms up before a spring training game between the Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs in March 2021.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The Dodgers made their first deadline week trade Saturday, acquiring reliever Chris Martin in exchange for utility player Zach McKinstry.

As a result, they also had to make a roster move, replacing McKinstry on the big league roster with 25-year-old prospect James Outman, who will make his MLB debut this weekend in Denver.

A former seventh round pick in 2018 out of Sacramento State, Outman has emerged as one of the better young outfielders in the organization the last two years.

This season, he had a combined .279 batting average, .915 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and 21 home runs between his time with double-A Tulsa and triple-A Oklahoma City.

According to MLB Pipeline, he is the No. 17 ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system.

“I found out about 12:45 last night,” Outman said. “I was kind of half asleep. I got the news and then I was wired. It was kind of a blur up.”

Outman, who will be on the bench Saturday but is expected to start in right field Sunday, said he had to do a “total rebuild” with his swing after being drafted by the Dodgers.

“I came in to pro ball swinging the bat kind of like a caveman — really stiff, not much there,” he said. “Tried to loosen it up, get some more length through the strike zone and it’s paid off.

“I still look at my swing and it still looks a little stiff to me, just compared to other guys. But compared to when I first came in, its way looser.”

Outman, who was already on the 40-man roster at the time of Saturday’s trade, might not be with the big-league club long-term.

Chris Taylor is scheduled to begin rehab assignment on Monday as he recovers from a foot fracture. Edwin Ríos is already out on a rehab assignment, though will need to spend at least two weeks in the minors after a two-month absence with a hamstring strain, manager Dave Roberts said.

Still, a wide-smiling Outman couldn’t hide his excitement while talking to reporters in front of his stall in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field on Saturday.

“It was a goal of mine to get here at some point this year,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Here’s the Dodgers full lineup Saturday, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound:


Dodgers acquire Cubs reliever Chris Martin for Zach McKinstry

Chris Martin pitches for the Chicago Cubs against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 24.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

DENVER — It didn’t rock the boat, but the Dodgers are hoping their first pre-trade deadline acquisition Saturday can help steady the ship down the stretch.

The team added veteran right-handed reliever Chris Martin in a deal with the Chicago Cubs, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed, adding an experienced arm to a bullpen still waiting to get several other key relievers back from injuries.

The trade was more functional than flashy.

In 34 games this year, the 36-year-old has a 4.31 ERA, but also one of the best strikeout rates (30.1%) and walk rates (3%) in the major leagues. He relies mostly on a mid-90s mph fastball, but has six total pitches in his arsenal. He has recent postseason experience, having been with the Atlanta Braves each of the past three Octobers.

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Back in the majors, and back in Dodger Blue, Trayce Thompson is where he belongs

Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson bats against the San Francisco Giants on July 21.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Bat bags and an extra-large suitcase.

In many ways, they’ve been the defining mementos of Trayce Thompson’s transient career path.

Over 13 years in professional baseball, the journeyman outfielder has been with nine franchises; played for 19 major and minor league teams; been traded, purchased or claimed six times.

At the end of each revolving stint, two things usually happen:

He packs up his suitcase to move to a new city, a new clubhouse, a new organization.

And he stows the old bat bag in his family’s storage unit, adding to a collection that now feels like a kaleidoscope of discarded baseball relics.

“It’s a little daunting,” he said, “to see all the different colors.”

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Craig Kimbrel’s near meltdown raises the question: Should Dodgers trade for a closer?

Dodgers relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel reacts after the final out of Friday's 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

DENVER — Time and again, Dave Roberts has insisted his Dodgers team doesn’t have any major needs heading into Tuesday’s trade deadline.

On Friday night at Coors Field, however, they were reminded of one of the biggest issues they have to address.

Though the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies for a second straight night, prevailing 5-4 behind early two-run home runs from Will Smith and Trayce Thompson plus a strong seven-inning start from left-hander Julio Urías, the game finished much closer than it should have been.

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season

Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season: