Kris Bryant finally homers but Rockies lose to Dodgers again
LOS ANGELES — Kris Bryant finally hit paydirt Tuesday night, but the Rockies bit the dust.
Bryant hit his first homer for his new team, leading off the sixth with a 392-foot solo shot to center off of reliever Phil Bickford, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
The Dodgers prevailed, 5-2, as starter German Marquez’s difficult season continued and the Rockies’ road offense went AWOL, again.
“It’s kind of good to get that one out of the way and now we can focus on getting back to just baseball,” said Bryant, who signed a seven-year, $182 million contract to join the Rockies, the largest free-agent contract in franchise history.
But because of a back injury, Bryant had played in just 23 games entering Tuesday’s game.
Bryant’s homer arrived in his 24th game and 90th at-bat in a Rockies uniform. It was his first dinger in 143 at-bats, the longest homer-less drought of his career. Bryant had not launched a regular-season home run since Sept. 15 of last season at San Francisco’s Oracle Park against the Padres. Bryant was traded from the Cubs to the Giants at the deadline last summer.
Bryant did hit a home run for the Giants against the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler in Game 1 of the National League division series.
“It was good for Kris, for sure, and obviously there are more coming, his track record tells us that,” manager Bud Black said. “But it’s probably a relief for Kris. All players want to get that first home run.”
Marquez gave up only six hits over six innings and struck out seven, but two Dodgers homers were included in the box score.
And Colorado’s offense continues to break down on the road. It went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and is now hitting .203 with RISP away from Coors Field. The Rockies struck out 12 times Tuesday night.
“The difference in tonight’s game came down to they out-hit us in certain situations and they out-pitched us,” Black said.
Los Angeles won for the sixth time in seven games and improved to 25-13 at Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers have won eight of their last 11 games against Colorado. The Rockies are 9-27 at Dodger Stadium since 2018.
Marquez issued a leadoff walk to Will Smith in the second and Max Muncy made Marquez pay, hammering a two-run homer to right. Then Mookie Betts roped a one-out homer to left in the third.
Muncy’s leadoff double in the fourth, followed by Justin Turner’s run-scoring single to shallow right, stretched L.A’s lead to 4-1.
“(Marquez) had good stuff but made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of it,” Black said. “Munch ambushed him twice and the hanging slider to Betts came back to haunt him.”
Marquez, an All-Star a year ago, fell to 4-7 and owns a 5.90 ERA.
“It was a good game for me and I feel like my delivery is back and everything is on time again,” Marquez said. “I made a couple of bad pitches and they hit them. That’s part of the game.”
Black could see that Bryant’s at-bats were improving since Bryant came off the injured list on June 27.
“You see bat speed, you see timing, and there is nothing really more elaborate to it than that,” Black said. “He’s just swinging the bat with more authority, and the bat speed is there.”
Bryant knew he was getting closer to finding regaining his power.
“I feel like my at-bats have been really good and I’ve been hitting the ball hard,” Bryant said. “Some were just too high and some were not high enough. I’ve been trying to find that consistent path that gets the ball into the air.”
Bryant, hitting .293, also ripped a single to left in the eighth inning but the Rockies never hinted at a late-game rally.
L.A. locked up the game in the eighth against right-hander Alex Colome. Muncy drew a two-out walk and came around to score on back-to-back singles by Justin Turner and Trayce Thompson.
The Rockies struggled against rookie right-hander Ryan Pepiot, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Making his fourth big-league start of the season, Pepoit pitched five strong innings, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out six and walked just one.
Colorado carved out a run off Pepiot in the second on a single by Ryan McMahon (3-for-4) and Jose Iglesias’ RBI double into the gap in left-center.
The Rockies, who took two of three games from the Dodgers last week in Denver, will try to avoid a three-game sweep on Wednesday night.
Rockies RHP José Ureña (0-0, 3.52 ERA) at Dodgers RHP Mitch White (1-1, 1.54)
8:10 p.m. Wednesday, Dodger Stadium
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Ureña is filling in for right-hander Antonio Senzatela, who’s on the 15-day injured list with shoulder inflammation and not eligible to return until July 16. Ureña elected free agency in May after being outrighted by Milwaukee. The 30-year-old broke camp with Milwaukee and spent a month on the active roster, appearing in four games out of the bullpen and posting a 3.52 ERA. Ureña has appeared in five games for Triple-A Albuquerque, going 0-1 with a 7.29 ERA over 21 innings. He last started on June 29 vs. Sugar Land, allowing three runs on eight hits across six innings. He last faced the Dodgers in 2017. He’s gone 1-2, with one save and a 2.93 ERA in his career vs. Los Angeles.
White was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday but he’ll now pitch Wednesday’s game. That’s good news for the Rockies because now they won’t have to face Cy Young Award candidate Tony Gonsolin, who’s 10-0 with a 1.54 ERA. White was recalled from Triple-A last Saturday and this season has made two starts in place of the injured Andrew Heaney. White pitched 4 2/3 innings against San Diego on Thursday, allowing one run on six hits and one walk while striking out three. He did not factor in the decision. He is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA and eight strikeouts in three games against the Rockies.
Trending: C.J. Cron entered Tuesday night’s game having reached base in 16 consecutive games since June 17, the longest active streak in the majors. During his hot streak, he slashed .344/.400/.673 with six home runs, three doubles and 21 RBIs.
At issue: Outfielder Randal Grichuk was hitting .063 (2-for-32) through his last 11 road games, including an 0-for-12 drought through his last four.
- Thursday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (6-7, 6.53) at Diamondbacks LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-6, 8.27), 7:40 p.m., ATTRM
- Friday: Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (5-5, 3.83) at Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.40), 7:40 p.m., ATTRM
- Saturday: Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.43) at Diamondbacks LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-8, 3.74), 2:10 p.m., ATTRM