‘They weren’t fazed.’ Dodgers come out swinging after weather delay to rout Rockies

Dodgers' David Peralta congratulates J.D. Martinez.
Dodgers’ David Peralta, left, congratulates J.D. Martinez after his two-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Peter Lambert during the fourth inning on Thursday in Denver.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
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The start of Thursday night’s game between the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies was delayed for 1 hour and 50 minutes while members of the Coors Field grounds crew shoveled piles of hail from a late-afternoon storm into wheelbarrows and used leaf blowers to dry the remaining moisture from the outfield grass.

A heavy thunderstorm three hours before the scheduled first pitch turned the steps from the Dodgers’ dugout to the clubhouse into a water feature. Rain then morphed into macadamia-nut-sized hail that pelted the stadium, leaving what looked like foot-high snowdrifts on the floor of each dugout.

But once the crazy weather conditions cleared and the field was deemed playable, baseball’s most hitter-friendly park returned to its normal self, yielding a flurry of hits and runs, sending outfielders scurrying into the cavernous gaps and pitchers ducking for cover.


The teams combined for 14 runs and 19 hits … in the first five innings — the Dodgers doing most of the damage with a six-run, four-hit fourth. That outburst helped propel the Dodgers to a 14-3 victory over the Rockies and their sixth win in eight games.

“You know, I wasn’t too encouraged about the possibility of playing, but the grounds crew was pretty optimistic that they could clean some things up, that the field would dry, and they were right,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And to the guys credit, they weren’t fazed by the delay.”

In addition to making his seventh All-Star Game, Mookie Betts will compete in the home run derby for the first time.

June 29, 2023

The Dodgers amassed 18 hits in the game, eight for extra bases, and scored in six of nine innings. They went 11 for 23 with runners in scoring position. J.D. Martinez had four hits, including a two-run homer, and scored twice, and Jason Heyward had three hits, including two doubles, and two runs.

“We were all saying, ‘We’re here, might as well go for it,’ first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “Two hours of rain — I don’t know if you call that rain, it was like snow pretty much. They were talking about how we might have to make it up on our one [common] off day and play, like, 20 days in a row, so we were all ready to roll. The bats came out hot.”

Freeman, Mookie Betts and Martinez, who were all named All-Star starters earlier Thursday, combined for eight hits and eight RBIs, with Betts doubling to spark rallies in the first and third innings.

“It starts with Mookie,” Freeman said. “When he doubles off the right-center field wall [to lead off the game] and we’re able to get him in, that’s huge, to get a run after a two-hour delay. J.D.’s been swinging the bat well all week. It was just a good overall performance by everyone, not just us three.”

The Rockies scored twice off Dodgers rookie right-hander Emmet Sheehan to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third, with cleanup man Elias Díaz driving in both runs with a 258-foot bloop single to shallow left-center field.


But the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth against Rockies starter Chase Anderson on Heyward’s leadoff double to right-center and walks to Miguel Vargas and James Outman.

Austin Barnes struck out, but Betts drove a sacrifice fly to center for a 3-3 tie. Freeman, with chants of “Freddie! Freddie!” filling the visiting park, lined an RBI single to right for a 4-3 lead.

Dodgers' J.D. Martinez watches his two-run home run against the Colorado Rockies.
Dodgers’ J.D. Martinez watches his two-run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the fourth inning on Thursday in Denver.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Max Muncy greeted reliever Peter Lambert with a two-run double off the right-center field wall for a 6-3 lead, and Martinez, who clubbed two homers here Tuesday night to become the 156th member of baseball’s 300-home-run club, drove a two-run homer to right for an 8-3 lead.

The Dodgers weren’t done. Heyward led off the fifth with another double to right-center, and Outman lined a one-out single to center and took second when center fielder Randal Grichuk overthrew the cut-off man in the infield.

Barnes grounded out, but Betts walked, Freeman lined a two-run single to right for a 10-3 lead, and Muncy followed with an RBI single to right for an 11-3 lead.

The Dodgers added another run in the sixth when Vargas, mired in a two-for-46 slump, drove an RBI triple to right-center for a 12-3 lead.


Sheehan, the 23-year-old right-hander who was making his third big-league start, gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking none, to earn his second big-league win.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora apologized to ex-Dodgers players Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Kiké Hernandez for his role in the Astros’ cheating scandal. The trio now plays for Cora.

June 29, 2023

The Dodgers wasted no time punching in for their swing shift, Betts opening the game with a double off the right-center field wall. Freeman was hit by a pitch, and the Dodgers caught a break when Grichuk lost Martinez’s routine one-out fly ball in the twilight sky, the ball dropping well in front of him for an RBI single and a 1-0 Dodgers lead.

The Rockies countered with a run to tie the score in the bottom of the first, with Jurickson Profar leading off with a single to right-center, Ezequiel Tovar grounding into a fielder’s choice, Ryan McMahon lining a single to right-center to advance Tovar to third and Díaz driving a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center.

Betts jump-started the offense again in the third, leading off with a hustle double to left-center and sliding headfirst into second. He took third on Freeman’s fly ball to center and scored on Martinez’s two-out RBI single to center for a 2-1 lead.

“I think tonight started with Mookie,” Roberts said of Betts, who started at shortstop. “I don’t know if it’s him being on the dirt, but he was really dynamic tonight with the way his body was moving.

“He set the tone. When Mookie provides that energy, guys want to follow it. You can just see the pep in the step tonight from the guys, so I do believe it’s contagious.”