Dodgers defeat Rockies, 3-2, thanks to three solo homers

Chris Taylor
(Associated Press)

Chris Taylor has two solo shots and Will Smith has one as Dodgers win rubber game of three-game set.

Dodgers win two of three from Rockies and remain two games behind Giants in NL West.

Dodgers defeat Rockies, 3-2

Max Muncy is expected to return to the Dodgers’ lineup for this week’s showdown series with the first-place San Francisco Giants. Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux and Corey Seager will not be back this week, and Cody Bellinger might or might not.

As the final two months of the season approach, the offensive help figures to come from within. The pitching help? This is the week we find out.

The trade deadline looms Friday. Clayton Kershaw and Corey Knebel are expected to return soon, but the Dodgers’ pitching staff could use an external boost.

That became clearer on Sunday, in a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, when the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect made his first major league start but did not last beyond the fourth inning. And, in a potentially related development on the East Coast, the man who could become the best available starting pitcher in the trade market might have suddenly become available.

Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, has proven he can find an incremental update without a trade. He will give up prospects — although not elite ones — to get a potential difference-maker. In 2017, that difference-maker was Yu Darvish. In 2018, it was Manny Machado.

In 2021, could it be Max Scherzer? His Washington Nationals were swept this weekend by the lowly Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals are in fourth place in the National League East, eight games out of first place, 11 games out of a wild card spot.

The Giants are looking for pitching too, and talk about a difference-maker: For the Giants and Dodgers, the three-time Cy Young Award winner could be the difference between an NL West championship — and a bye into the division series — or a one-game, sudden-death wild-card playoff.

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We go to the ninth, Dodgers lead 3-2

Rockies: Right-hander Phil Bickford now pitching for the Dodgers. Rodgers (hey, that rhymes) singled to right. Blackmon popped to second. Story grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Dodgers: Garrett Hampson in at second. Right-hander Carlos Estevez now pitching for the Rockies. Turner grounded to short. Smith a hit a high fly ball that seems to stay up forever. It carried, it carried and landed just over the fence for a home run. Dodgers lead, 3-2. Beaty flied to left. Pollock singled to left. McKinstry fouled to second.

Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Rockies 2


Still 2-2 after seven innings

Rockies: Fuentes hit a ball about five feet in front of the plate and was thrown out. Connor Joe, batting for the pitcher, struck out swinging. Tapia grounded to the pitcher.

Dodgers: Right-hander Tyler Kinley now pitching for the Rockies. Raley struck out swinging. Cody Bellinger, batting for Graterol, grounded to second. Taylor singled to right-center. McKinney grounded to first.

Score after seven: Dodgers 2, Rockies 2


It’s 2-2 after six innings

Rockies: Right-hander Brusdar Graterol now pitching for the Dodgers. Cron struck out swinging. Diaz grounded to the pitcher. Hilliard grounded to short.

Dodgers: Beaty struck out swinging. Pollock grounded to second. McKinstry flied to right. Blackmon and Hilliard collided, but Blackmon held on to the ball. Great catch. And it appears everyone is OK.

Score after six: Dodgers 2, Rockies 2


Dodgers tie it on Chris Taylor’s second homer of game

Rockies: Right-hander Jimmy Nelson now pitching for the Dodgers. Tapia beat out a slow roller to short. Rodgers struck out looking. Tapia stole second. McMahon popped to short. Story struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Sheldon Neuse, batting for Nelson, struck out swinging. Taylor homered to left, estimated at 381 feet. McKinney walked on seven pitches. Turner flied to left. Smith flied to left.

Score after five: Dodgers 2, Rockies 2


Rockies lead 2-1 after four innings

Rockies: Story was hit by a pitch, until it was he reviewed and it was obvious the ball didn’t hit him. He then made an out. Cron walked on seven pitches. Diaz walked on six pitches. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Hilliard was walked intentionally. Bases loaded, one out. Fuentes struck out swinging. Gray struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Beaty struck out swinging. Pollock doubled to right. Pollock stole third. McKinstry bounced to first and Pollock was thrown out trying to score. Raley struck out looking.

Score after four: Rockies 2, Dodgers 1


It’s 2-1 Rockies after three

Rockies: Jon Gray struck out swinging. Tapia lined to center. Rodgers singled to left. Blackmon grounded to second.

Dodgers: Josiah Gray struck out swinging. Taylor lined to left. McKinney walked. Turner singled off the pitcher’s glove. Smith fouled to first.

Score after three: Rockies 2, Dodgers 1


Rockies take 2-1 lead on Diaz’s homer

Rockies: C.J. Cron lined to center. Elias Diaz homered to left. Sam Hilliard struck out swinging. Josh Fuentes grounded to short.

Dodgers: AJ Pollock grounded to third. Zach McKinstry flied to left. Luke Raley grounded to second.

Score after two: Rockies 2, Dodgers 1


It’s 1-1 after one

Rockies: Right-hander Josiah Gray pitching for the Dodgers. Raimel Tapia walked on five pitches. Tapia stole second. Brendan Rodgers grounded to first, Tapia to third. Charlie Blackmon struck out swinging. Big out. Trevor Story singled to center, scoring Tapia. Story was picked off first.

Dodgers: Right-hander Jon Gray pitching for the Rockies. Chris Taylor homered to left, estimated at 375 feet. Just like that it is tied. Billy McKinney grounded to second. Justin Turner popped to second. Will Smith walked on seven pitches. Matt Beaty grounded to short, forcing Smith.

Score after one: Dodgers 1, Rockies 1


Dodgers put Mookie Betts on IL; he’ll miss Giants series

Eight days ago, the Dodgers removed Mookie Betts from a game because of what they called irritation in his right hip.

“I’m good,” Betts said after that game. “I just made it a little more mad today than normal.”

Betts has not played in the field since then, and he has batted just once. The Dodgers played a man short for a week, hoping at worst that he could return for this week’s series against the first-place San Francisco Giants.

Not happening, not even after a week of rest and a cortisone injection. On Sunday, the Dodgers put Betts on the injured list. He’ll miss the entire Giants series and then some; he would be eligible to return next week.

Betts has battled nagging injuries to his back, forearm, hip and shoulder all season, and he skipped the All-Star game in favor of four days of healing. This is his first stint on the injured list this year.

He is batting .270, with 14 home runs in 82 games. He has an .876 OPS, trailing only Max Muncy and Justin Turner on the team.

The Dodgers filled Betts’ roster spot by activating reliever Jimmy Nelson. The Dodgers also sent reliever Corey Knebel to triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehabilitation assignment.


Inside the Trevor Bauer disaster and how the Dodgers got here

In spring training teammates and front office executives spoke confidently about Bauer's Dodgers future.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

What could be Trevor Bauer’s last public comment in a Dodgers uniform was uttered in frustration as the pitcher stood up to leave a videoconference following a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on June 28.

“I can’t believe they didn’t ask me about f — ing Angel Hernandez,” Bauer said, making no attempt to hide his disdain for the much-maligned umpire.

Bauer had pitched well that Monday night, limiting the National League West-leading Giants to two runs in six innings and striking out eight. Nearly halfway through the season, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and a then NL-best 137 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings .

He received a rousing ovation from a Dodger Stadium crowd of 47,835 after escaping a sixth-inning jam, pounding his chest three times and pointing both arms toward fans above the third-base dugout as he walked off the mound.

But Bauer seemed irritated, a bit distracted, during a brief postgame video call in which several of his answers were clipped and his walk-off quote was tinged with scorn.

A day later, the scattershot strike zone of a notoriously erratic umpire and the inadequate inquiries of a few sportswriters would be the least of Bauer’s concerns.

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Dodgers try their Kryptonite against the Giants

Julio Urias
Julio Urías
(Associated Press)

When the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants open a three-game series in San Francisco on Tuesday, the Giants will be in first place in the National League West.

The Giants moved into first place May 31. They have remained there since, with 82 days in first place. The Dodgers have been in first place 25 days, the San Diego Padres 14.

For this week’s series in San Francisco, the Dodgers have lined up their starting rotation to take advantage of a Giants weakness. The Giants entered play Sunday with a 44-24 record in games started by right-handers and a 17-13 record in games started by left-handers.

The Dodgers’ three starters in San Francisco: left-handers Julio Urías and David Price, plus their best starter, right-hander Walker Buehler.

The probable starters:

Tuesday: Urías (12-3, 3.63) vs. Logan Webb (4-3, 3.54)
Wednesday: Buehler (10-1, 2.31) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (10-4, 2.87)
Thursday: Price (4-0, 3.35) vs. Johnny Cueto (6-5, 4.09)


Dodgers could be without Mookie Betts and Corey Seager for a while

The Dodgers' Mookie Betts catches a fly ball.
Mookie Betts
(Curtis Compton / Associated Press)

When the Dodgers left Denver last Sunday, they hoped Mookie Betts would rejoin the lineup the next day, with shortstop Corey Seager to follow within days.

Neither happened.

Betts has not started in eight days because of hip irritation that has nagged him much of the season. The Dodgers have played a man short for a week, ultimately hoping Betts could be ready by Tuesday, when the team opens a series against the first-place San Francisco Giants.

Before Sunday’s game, manager Dave Roberts said the team likely would decide later in the day whether to put Betts on the injured list or “continue to kick it down the road.” If the Dodgers do put Betts on the IL, he would miss all of the Giants series but would be eligible to return thereafter.

As Seager nears a return from a broken hand that has sidelined him since May 16, his recovery has stalled. Roberts said the Dodgers plan to have Seager participate in simulated games at their Arizona training facility this week. If that goes well, Roberts said Seager would “most likely” require a minor league rehabilitation assignment thereafter.

The Dodgers had floated the idea of playing center fielder Cody Bellinger at first base Sunday, to get his bat in the lineup while minimizing pressure on his sore hamstring. Instead, Roberts said, they decided to give him two more days — Monday is an off day — and then evaluate him again Tuesday.

Sunday’s Dodgers lineup, against the Colorado Rockies, in the first major league start for Josiah Gray:

Chris Taylor, ss
Billy McKinney, rf
Justin Turner, 3b
Will Smith, c
Matt Beaty, 1b
AJ Pollock, cf
Zach McKinstry, 2b
Luke Raley, lf
Josiah Gray, p

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed reliever Jake Reed off waivers from the Dodgers, who had designated him for assignment last week.


Kenley Jansen, Dodgers can breathe sigh of relief after win over Rockies

The Dodgers' Justin Turner playfully yanks the beard of Kenley Jansen after the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 1-0.
(Associated Press)

After blowing saves Wednesday and Thursday against San Francisco, Kenley Jansen was asked how he kept himself right mentally.

He told the Dodgers’ television network, SportsNet LA, that he meditated.

“Breathe in and breathe out,” Jansen explained.

On Saturday night, all the Dodgers could exhale when the veteran closer sealed a 1-0 victory over Colorado.

“It’s always great to see Kenley have some success,” winning pitcher Tony Gonsolin said. “He’s been working really hard. You know, a couple flukes happen. He’s our closer. He’s a guy we trust late in a game.”

The Dodgers had lost five of six with their previous three defeats coming after blowing a late lead.

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is contesting a restraining order request filed against him by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

July 23, 2021

Following an All-Star-like first half, Jansen opened the second by squandering his first three save opportunities, the last two coming against first-place San Francisco.

But Jansen retired three of the four Rockies he faced in the ninth, striking out C.J. Cron to secure his 22nd save.

“Just give everything I’ve got,” Jansen told SportsNet LA. “Obviously, I got two hiccups starting the second half. Nothing I can do about it but put it behind me and stay focused.”

Jansen came into the game to cheers but only after a brief ripple of concern passed through the crowd of 42,245. He had been booed after his previous two outings at home.

Manager Dave Roberts never wavered in his public support of Jansen, insisting that he didn’t see the need for a change at closer. Roberts said he thought the positive crowd reaction aided Jansen.

“I know Kenley fed off of it,” Roberts said. “I really do believe that. He was really good tonight. To have him close out a one-run game was big for all of us.”

The Dodgers' Austin Barnes runs after homering off Rockies starter Kyle Freeland in the second inning.
The Dodgers’ Austin Barnes runs after homering off Rockies starter Kyle Freeland in the second inning for the game’s only run.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

After retiring Charlie Blackmon on a popup and Trevor Story on a fly ball, Jansen walked Ryan McMahon. But he rebounded to dispatch of Cron on three pitches.

In his previous three appearances, Jansen allowed eight runs (all earned) on nine hits and four walks. The opposition batted .600 against him with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.684.

“You’ve got to keep your head straight, keep your mind straight,” Jansen said. “The thing that’s going to get me over the hump this year is not my physical. It’s how strong I can be mentally.”

The game’s only run came on Austin Barnes’ homer leading off the second inning. After that swing, the Dodgers turned to Gonsolin and the bullpen. Roberts said he deployed his starting pitcher with the simplest of instructions: Throw strikes and do so for as long as you can.

Highlights from the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Gonsolin responded with 5-1/3 shutout innings, tying his longest outing of the season.

After he departed, Alex Vesia pitched 1-1/3 innings and Joe Kelly struck out the only batter he faced. Kelly hadn’t appeared since a 16-pitch effort Tuesday against the Giants because of what Roberts described as arm soreness.

Blake Treinen then delivered a 1-2-3 eighth inning on only eight pitchers. That set up Jansen, and this time he came through.

Gonsolin’s velocity had dipped in his previous two starts, prompting questions about the soundness of his arm. Roberts insisted that the right-hander was healthy.

Against the Rockies, Gonsolin’s velocity returned — he averaged nearly 95 mph on his fastball — as he struck out seven to equal another season high.

He surrendered only a first-inning double to Blackmon and a fourth-inning single to McMahon. Gonsolin walked two.

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin pitched 5-1/3 shutout innings against Colorado.
Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin pitched 5-1/3 shutout innings against Colorado. He gave up just two hits.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

“We had to prevent runs,” Roberts said. “Tonight, the story was run prevention, and Tony, Austin and those relievers did it.”

Gonsolin’s performance came a day after David Price produced his finest start as a Dodger in an eventual 9-6, 10-inning loss to the Rockies.

Having lost Dustin May (elbow ligament) after only five starts, the Dodgers also are without Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw. Bauer remains on administrative leave and Kershaw is dealing with elbow inflammation.

After Friday’s 10th-inning loss to the Rockies, the Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games this season.

July 24, 2021

The contributions of Price and Gonsolin would help ease the burden on the pitching staff as the second-place Dodgers attempt to keep up with the Giants in the National League West.

“I felt good coming out of the game,” Price said Saturday. “Felt good today. ... So everything was positive.”

The 5-2/3-inning effort was his longest as a Dodger and longest since going six innings for Boston on July 24, 2019.


Kenley Jansen saves Dodgers’ 1-0 victory

Rockies: Right-hander Kenley Jansen now pitching for the Dodgers. Blackmon popped to third. Story flied to right. McMahon walked on eight pitches. Cron struck out swinging. No muss, no fuss.

Final score: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


We go to the ninth and Kenley Jansen with the score 1-0 Dodgers

Rockies: Right-hander Blake Treinen now pitching. Matt Adams, batting for Freeland, struck out swinging. Tapia grounded to first. Hampson popped to second.

Dodgers: Right-hander Mychal Givens now pitching for the Rockies. Raley grounded to second. Matt Beaty, batting for Treinen, grounded to second. Taylor struck out swinging.

Score after eight: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


Still 1-0 Dodgers after seven

Rockies: McMahon flied to left. Cron popped to first. Hilliard walked on four pitches. Elias Diaz, batted for Nunez. That brought in right-hander Joe Kelly. Diaz struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Barnes singled to center. Neuse grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. McKinney grounded to first.

Score after seven: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


After six: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0

Rockies: Tapia struck out swinging. Hampson walked on four pitches. And that’s it for Gonsolin. Left-hander Alex Vesia is coming in to pitch to the left-handed hitting Blackmon, who lined to right. Story flied to right.

Dodgers: Turner popped to second. Pollock singled to center. Pujols grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Score after six innings: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


Dodgers 1, Rockies 0 after five innings

Rockies: Hilliard grounded to second. Nunez struck out swinging. Freeland struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Raley grounded to second. Gonsolin struck out swinging. Taylor struck out looking. Plate umpiring this year has been awful.

Score after five: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


It’s 1-0 Dodgers after four

Rockies: Blackmon grounded to short. Story flied to right. McMahon singled to left. Cron struck out looking.

Dodgers: Pujols grounded to short. Barnes flied to center. Neuse reached first on shortstop Story’s throwing error. McKinney flied to left.

Score after four: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


Dodgers have 1-0 lead after three

Rockies: Kyle Freeland flied to left. Tapia flied to right. Hampson popped a bunt attempt to first.

Dodgers: Taylor struck out swinging. Turner grounded to third. Pollock lined to center.

Score after three: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


Dodgers take 1-0 lead on Austin Barnes’ homer

Rockies: Ryan McMahon struck out looking. C.J. Cron walked on six pitches. Sam Hilliard struck out looking. Dom Nunez struck out looking. Gonsolin’s curve ball is really fooling people.

Dodgers: Austin Barnes homered to left, estimated at 399 feet. Just sneaked inside the foul pole. We now enter the split-squad portion of the Dodger lineup today. Sheldon Neuse struck out looking. Billy McKinney singled to right-center. Luke Raley flied to center. Tony Gonsolin struck out swinging.

Score after two: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0


No score after one inning

Rockies: Right-hander Tony Gonsolin pitching for the Dodgers. Raimel Tapia grounded to first. Garrett Hampson grounded to the pitcher. Charlie Blackmon doubled to left. Trevor Story fouled to first.

Dodgers: Left-hander Kyle Freeland pitching for the Rockies. Chris Taylor reached on a bunt single. Justin Turner flied to center. AJ Pollock struck out swinging on a check swing that was less of a swing than Darin Ruf’s the other night. Albert Pujols flied to center.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Rockies 0


Clayton Kershaw’s return continues with bullpen session

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals on July 3, 2021.
The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw hasn’t pitched in a game since July 3 at Washington because of elbow inflammation.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw’s return from elbow inflammation continued Saturday afternoon with a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium.

The left-hander last pitched in a game July 3 at Washington.

Manager Dave Roberts said the plan is to have Kershaw next participate in a simulated game in San Francisco during the Dodgers’ three-game series there beginning Tuesday.

Reliever Joe Kelly remained out Saturday as he deals with what Roberts called soreness in his right arm.

Kelly has been unavailable since pitching 1-2/3 innings and throwing 16 pitches Tuesday against the Giants. Roberts described Kelly’s arm as “kind of not bouncing back.”

“I don’t think it’s something long-term,” he said. “We just want to make sure we get him feeling that he can go out there and get outs and still recover after an outing.”

Shortstop Corey Seager, out since mid-May because of a fracture in his right hand, is expected to play in games at the Dodgers’ training facility in Arizona while the team is on its upcoming trip.


Dodgers recall outfielder Luke Raley, option reliever Darien Núñez

The Dodgers' Luke Raley reacts after hitting a home run at San Diego on April 16, 2021.
The Dodgers’ Luke Raley reacts after hitting a home run at San Diego on April 16.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The Dodgers recalled outfield Luke Raley on Saturday and optioned reliever Darien Núñez.

Raley was immediately inserted in the lineup, batting eighth and playing left field as the Dodgers faced the Colorado Rockies in the second game of a weekend series.

Cody Bellinger, whose left hamstring tightened Friday and was moved from the opener against the Rockies, wasn’t in the starting lineup Saturday.

Bellinger did participate in some on-field pregame work, including taking ground balls at first base. Manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger playing some first base could be an option, particularly since that position requires less running than center field.

After Friday’s 10th-inning loss to the Rockies, the Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games this season.

July 24, 2021

Mookie Betts (hip) continues to be sidelined after receiving a cortisone shot. The Dodgers still hope he can return next week during the team’s trip to San Francisco.

Max Muncy remains away from the team on paternity leave.

The Dodgers’ lineup: Chris Taylor, SS; Justin Turner, 3B; AJ Pollock, CF; Albert Pujols, 1B; Austin Barnes, C; Sheldon Neuse, 2B; Billy McKinney, RF; Luke Raley, LF; Tony Gonsolin, P.


Bullpen falters again in loss to Rockies; Cody Bellinger’s hamstring tightens

The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon runs after hitting a two-run homer off Dodgers reliever Jimmie Sherfy in the 10th inning.
The Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon runs after hitting a two-run homer off Dodgers reliever Jimmie Sherfy in the 10th inning Friday night.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Cody Bellinger took an 0-for-25 skid into Friday night’s game, the Dodgers center fielder looking overmatched for most of the last three weeks and hitting into some bad luck at times, like his 100-mph one-hopper up the middle that went for an out against a shifted infield Thursday night.

“It just seems like whoever has the [voodoo] doll with the pins in it,” Dodgers hitting coach Brant Brown said earlier Friday, “we need to find it and take them out.”

The Dodgers might want to hold off on that exorcism. Bellinger ended his hitless streak with a two-out, run-scoring double in a three-run first inning, capping an eight-pitch at-bat with a 99-mph drive to right field.

Bellinger lined out to right in the third but drove an 0-and-2 fastball from Rockies left-hander Ben Bowden off the right-center-field wall for a triple in the sixth and scored on AJ Pollock’s single for a two-run lead.

The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger reacts after hitting a first-inning RBI double to end an 0-for-25 skid.
The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger reacts after hitting a first-inning RBI double to end an 0-for-25 skid. He added a triple but left after seven innings with hamstring tightness.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Dodgers relievers Brusdar Graterol and Darien Núñez combined to give up two runs in the eighth, the team’s third bullpen meltdown in as many nights tying the score. Sam Hilliard put the Rockies up by one with a two-out, pinch-hit solo homer off Nunez in the ninth.

The Dodgers rallied for a run on Justin Turner’s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score 6-6. But with the bases loaded and no outs, and needing only to put a ball in play for the win, Will Smith, Sheldon Neuse and AJ Pollock all struck out.

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is contesting a restraining order request filed against him by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

July 23, 2021

Trevor Story then hit an RBI single and Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer off reliever Jimmie Sherfy to give the Rockies a 9-6 victory, the Dodgers’ third straight game in which the bullpen could not hold a late lead.

Bellinger didn’t make it to the eighth. His first multi-hit game since June 11 produced a modest improvement on an injury marred season in which he’s batting .162 with a .524 OPS, four homers and 20 RBIs in 42 games, including a 20-game stretch before Friday in which he hit .069 (five for 72) with a .282 OPS, one homer, five RBIs and 23 strikeouts.

The Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, celebrates his home run with Cody Bellinger during the third inning.
The Dodgers’ Justin Turner, right, celebrates with Cody Bellinger after Turner homered during the third inning.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

But it came with a price. Bellinger left the game after seven innings because of left hamstring tightness, most likely incurred when he legged out his triple, and the severity of his injury was not immediately known.

Asked before the game what it would take for Bellinger to end his funk, Brown said: “To be honest, I just think a couple of hits. They don’t even have to be hit hard. Just a couple of left turns.”

The left-handed-hitting Bellinger took so many left turns in 2019 that he won the National League most valuable player award, batting .305 with a 1.035 OPS, 47 homers, 34 doubles, 115 RBIs and 121 runs.

If you needed evidence that these Dodgers are not last year’s World Series champions, witness the ninth inning Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

July 23, 2021

A right shoulder that he dislocated several times in 2020 slowed Bellinger during the pandemic-shortened season, when he hit .239 with a .789 OPS, 12 homers and 30 RBIs in 56 games.

Bellinger aggravated the shoulder with a violent forearm bash with teammate Kiké Hernandez while celebrating his home run in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series against Atlanta. He had surgery to repair the shoulder last November and did not play in spring-training games until mid-March.

Dodgers starter David Price pitches during the first inning July 23, 2021.
Dodgers starter David Price gave up three runs in 5-2/3 innings.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Then, in the fourth game of the season, Bellinger suffered a hairline fracture in his left fibula, an injury that sidelined him for seven weeks. He returned on May 29 but went on the injured list again in mid-June because of left-hamstring tightness.

“The first thing we need to understand is that after his surgery, he didn’t have the ability to have a normal offseason with his strength and conditioning,” Brown said. “He had to work his way into spring training, and once he got into the season, his leg got stepped on.

“So now you’re dealing with a shoulder that’s coming off surgery and a back leg that’s been cracked. Obviously, from 30,000 feet, it looks off. He’s playing at the highest level against the best pitchers, and when it’s a little bit off and you’re fighting things you can’t control, it’s a tougher process.”

Highlights from the Dodgers’ 9-6, 10-inning loss to the visiting Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

Short hops

Left-hander David Price gave up three earned runs and four hits in 5-2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one in a solid 74-pitch start. … Turner hit his 18th homer of the season, a solo shot to left, in the third. … An MRI test on Mookie Betts’ inflamed right hip “didn’t show anything new,” Roberts said. The right fielder, who has not started the last six games, will probably sit out the weekend games in hopes of returning Tuesday at San Francisco.


Rockies defeat the Dodgers 9-6 in 10 innings

Rockies: Right-hander Jimmie Sherfy now pitching for the Dodgers. Hampson is the runner at second. Story singled to left, scoring Hampson, Story taking second on a throw home that never had a chance of getting the runner. Blackmon homered to right. It’s 9-6. Cron grounded to short. McMahon lined to right. Diaz grounded to short.

Dodgers: Left-hander Lucas Gilbreath, looking for his first career save, now pitching for the Rockies. Dom Nunez in to catch. Pollock is the runner at third. Beaty fouled to third. McKinstry struck out swinging. Barnes grounded to third.

Final score: Rockies 9, Dodgers 6


We go to extra innings, 6-6

Rockies: Diaz flied to center. Fuentes flied to right. Sam Hilliard, batting for the pitcher, homered to right. It’s 6-5 Rockies. Tapia walked on four pitches. Hampson struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Right-hander Daniel Bard now pitching for the Rockies. Hilliard in at left. Austin Barnes, batting for Nunez, singled to center. Taylor singled to right, Barnes to second. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Second and third, nobody out. McKinney walked on six pitches. Bases loaded, nobody out. Turner walked on six pitches, forcing in a run. It’s tied, with the bases still loaded and nobody out. Smith struck out swinging. Neuse struck out swinging. Pollock struck out swinging. Bases loaded, nobody out, and they can’t push across the winning run.

Score after nine: Dodgers 6, Rockies 6


Rockies tie it, 5-5, against Dodger bullpen

Rockies: Sheldon Neuse to second base. McKinstry to left. Pollock to center. Bellinger out of the game. That’s troubling. Right-hander Brusdar Graterol now pitching in his first game back from the minors. Hampson singled to right. Story popped to first. Blackmon doubled to left, Hampson scoring. Cron grounded to short. And that’s it for Graterol. With a left-hander coming up, that brings in left-handed pitcher Darien Nunez. McMahon singled to right, scoring Blackmon. We’re tied. McMahon was picked off first.

Dodgers: Right-hander Mychal Givens now pitching for the Rockies. Bellinger is out because of a tight left hamstring. Smith grounded to short. Neuse singled to right-center. Neuse stole second on a 2-and-2 count to Pollock. Pollock struck out swinging. Beaty walked on six pitches. First and second, two out. McKinstry grounded to first.

Score after eight: Dodgers 5, Rockies 5


Dodgers maintain 5-3 lead through seven

Rockies: Left-hander Alex Vesia now pitching for the Dodgers. Fuentes flied to left. Connor Joe, batting for the pitcher, flied to left. Tapia fouled to third.

Dodgers: Right-hander Justin Lawrence now pitching for the Rockies. Taylor struck out swinging. McKinney flied to left. Turner grounded to second.

Score after seven: Dodgers 5, Rockies 3


Eventful sixth inning ends with Dodgers leading 5-3

Rockies: Tapia struck out looking. Hampson grounded to third. Story homered to deep center. It’s 4-2 Dodgers. Blackmon walked on six pitches. And that’s it for Price. Right-hander Phil Bickford now pitching for the Dodgers. C.J. Cron singled to center, Blackmon to second. McMahon singled to right, Blackmon scoring, Cron to third. Diaz struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Left-hander Ben Bowden now pitching for the Rockies. Bellinger triple off the top of the wall in right-center. Missed a homer by about two inches. Pollock singled to left, scoring Bellinger. It’s 5-3 Dodgers in the sixth. Beaty struck out swinging. McKinstry flied to right. Albert Pujols, batting for Bickford, was announced. And that’s it for Bowden. He is replaced by right-hander Tyler Kinley. Pujols struck out swinging.

Score after six: Dodgers 5, Rockies 3


Dodgers 4, Rockies 1 after five innings

Rockies: Diaz flied to right. Fuentes grounded to second. Gonzalez struck out swinging. David Price has been solid tonight. Five innings, three hits, one run, three strikeouts. 56 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Dodgers: Taylor struck out looking. McKinney struck out swinging. Turner was hit in the back of the left shoulder by a pitch. He seems OK. Smith grounded to short, forcing Turner.

Score after five: Dodgers 4, Rockies 1


After four: Dodgers 4, Rockies 1

Rockies: Story grounded to short. Blackmon singled to left. Cron hit a grounder to second that McKinstry had trouble coming up with. It was called a hit. First and second, one out. McMahon grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Dodgers: Beaty flied to center. McKinstry grounded to first. Price grounded to the pitcher.

Score after four: Dodgers 4, Rockies 1


Keibert Ruiz has hit three home runs for Oklahoma City tonight


Justin Turner’s homer gives Dodgers a 4-1 lead

Rockies: Elias Diaz homered to left. 3-1 Dodgers. Josh Fuentes fouled to right. Chi Chi Gonzalez struck out looking. Tapia hit a roller up a first. Price fielded it and tried to flip it to first with his glove and flipped it right past the first baseman for a two-base error. Hampson grounded to short.

Dodgers: Turner homered to left-center. Smith flied to right. Bellinger lined to right. Pollock flied to center.

Score after three: Dodgers 4, Rockies 1


It’s 3-0 Dodgers after two innings

Rockies: Charlie Blackmon lined to left. C.J. Cron flied to right. Ryan McMahon lined to right.

Dodgers: David Price struck out swinging. Taylor lined to second. McKinney flied to right.

Score after two: Dodgers 3, Rockies 0


Cody Bellinger ends 0-for-25 skid, Dodgers lead 3-0

Rockies: Left-hander David Price pitching for the Dodgers. Raimel Tapia grounded to short. Garrett Hampson grounded to short. Trevor Story struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez pitching for the Rockies. Chris Taylor doubled to left. Billy McKinney grounded to second, Taylor to third. Justin Turner fouled to first. Will Smith doubled, scoring Taylor. Cody Bellinger doubled to right, ending his 0 for 25 slump, scoring Smith. AJ Pollock walked on four pitches. Matt Beaty singled to left, scoring Bellinger, Pollock to second. Zach McKinstry struck out swinging.

Score after one: Dodgers 3, Rockies 0


Dodgers lineup will not be filled to the Max against Rockies

No Max Muncy this weekend against the Rockies.
(Associated Press)

The Dodgers will play the weekend series against the Colorado Rockies without All-Star first baseman Max Muncy, who traveled to Phoenix after Thursday night’s game to be with his wife, Kellie, who was scheduled to have labor induced to deliver the couple’s first child, a girl, on Friday.

Muncy will be placed on paternity leave before Friday night’s 7 p.m. game in Dodger Stadium, and he is scheduled to rejoin the team for a three-game series at San Francisco that starts Tuesday night.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, who has been slowed by a right hip-pointer, is not in the lineup for a sixth straight game.

Center fielder Cody Bellinger will look to snap out of a lengthy slump in which he is hitless in his last 25 at-bats and is hitting .069 (five for 72) with a .282 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, one homer, five RBIs, 23 strikeouts and nine walks in his last 20 games.

Manager Dave Roberts said closer Kenley Jansen, who blew three save opportunities in five days, including two ninth-inning meltdowns in losses to the Giants Wednesday and Thursday, will be down tonight.

Jansen went 1-2 with a 1.24 ERA and converted 21 of 23 save opportunities in his first 36 games, giving up five earned runs and 15 hits, striking out 41 and walking 22 in 36 1/3 innings.

The right-hander is 0-2 with three blown saves in his last three appearances, giving up eight earned runs and nine hits, striking out three and walking four in two innings.

DODGERS LINEUP: SS Chris Taylor, RF Billy McKinney, 3B Justin Turner, C Will Smith, CF Cody Bellinger, LF AJ Pollock, 1B Matt Beaty, 2B Zach McKinstry, LHP David Price.

ROCKIES LINEUP: LF Raimel Tapia, 2B Brendan Rodgers, SS Trevor Story, RF Charlie Blackmon, 1B C.J. Cron, 3B Ryan McMahon, C Elias Diaz, CF Garrett Hampson, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez.


ICYMI: Kenley Jansen blows another save in tough loss to Giants

Kenley Jansen reacts after walking Darin Ruf with the bases loaded in  the ninth inning.
(Associated Press)

Dave Roberts was adamant about keeping Kenley Jansen as his closer after Wednesday night’s blown save, the Dodgers manager saying, “I’m not going to re-think his role.”

As hard as this may seem to believe, Roberts plans to stick with Jansen as his ninth-inning specialist after another, even uglier meltdown Thursday night, when the right-hander was tagged for four runs and four hits in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Summoned to protect a two-run lead, Jansen imploded before an irate Dodger Stadium crowd of 47,316 that booed him off the mound for a second straight night, the Dodgers losing three of four games to the Giants and falling three games behind them in the National League West.

But Roberts, citing two plays on which the Dodgers thought they had sealed the victory, refused to pin Jansen’s third blown save and loss in as many appearances on his closer.

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