Rockies lose to Dodgers, blow chance for rare series sweep
It had been 1,753 days since the Rockies last swept a series from the Dodgers.
But after winning the first two games at Coors Field, and with a resurgent German Marquez taking the mound Wednesday night, the Rockies seemed poised to end the drought.
Nope. Make it 1,754 days. And counting.
The Dodgers hammered Marquez, who left the game with a cut on his right thumb that interfered with his ability to throw his fastball, and coasted to an 8-4 victory.
“It was bleeding and it was difficult because … I couldn’t control my fastball,” Marquez said, adding that the cut on his thumb first flared up three days ago when he was pitching a bullpen session.
“There was some underlying effect to that, for sure,” manager Bud Black said. “Where he places his thumb on the fastball, it impacted his ability to throw the fastball because of the pain. Sort of a stinging pain.”
Both Marquez and Black said that Marquez should be able to make his next start.
Marquez gave up five runs on five hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season.
The last time Colorado swept a series from Big Blue was Sept. 7-10, 2017, when it won four games at Dodger Stadium.
Marquez was frustrated by the injury.
“I wanted this game and I wanted the sweep,” he said.
Marquez entered the game with a 2.89 ERA in 12 career starts against Los Angeles, the third-lowest ERA among all active pitchers with at least 12 starts against the Dodgers, trailing only icons Max Scherzer (2.59) and Adam Wainwright (2.66).
Plus, Marquez entered the gave riding a streak of four solid starts in which he had posted a 3.16 ERA.
But Marquez was treated rudely by first baseman Freddie Freeman, who hit a 446-foot homer to dead center with one out in the first inning. He hit a fastball that Marquez left up and over the plate.
Two Marquez walks, a sacrifice fly by Eddy Alvarez, and a two-run double by Trea Turner boosted the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0 in the second.
In the fourth, Marquez was visited by a trainer on the mound and was removed from the game. Moments later, he could be seen flexing his right hand while sitting in the dugout.
Despite some late noise, the Rockies were never in the game. Will Smith’s two-run homer off Jhoulys Chacin made it 7-1 in the fifth.
L.A. lefty Julio Urias, who’s had his issues pitching at Coors Field — 2-2 with a 5.91 ERA coming into the game — kept the Rockies in check for five innings, giving up one run in the fourth on Brendan Rodgers’ RBI double. The Rockies chased him in the sixth with two runs, the big hit an RBI single by C.J. Cron.
Colorado was on the cusp of a big inning when Randal Grichuk singled to load the bases against reliever Brusdar Graterol, but struggling third baseman Ryan McMahon grounded into a forceout to end the mini-rally.
Lightning, wind and a thundershower broke out in the eighth inning, but that didn’t stop Cody Bellinger from hitting a screaming leadoff homer off Jake Bird. The Dodgers, who had three homers in their loss to Colorado on Tuesday, hit three home runs in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Rodgers had a good night, finishing a triple short of the cycle. He launched a two-out solo homer in the eighth off Reyes Moronta. It was Rodgers’ seventh homer of the season.
Rodgers entered the game with 15 extra-base hits in June, tied for the third-most in the National League. Through his last 10 games, he is hitting 16-for-42 (.381) with six doubles, two triples, one home run, and nine RBIs.
The Rockies have an off day on Thursday before beginning a three-game series against Arizona on Friday night at Coors. Then the Rockies travel to Los Angeles to start another series against the Dodgers on Monday.
The Rockies are off on Thursday
Trending: Over their last 21 games (entering Wednesday), the Rockies had posted a team ERA of 3.70. The starting rotation had a 4.19 ERA, while relievers had a combined 2.73 ERA.
At issue: Left fielder Kris Bryan, who returned to the lineup Monday after a long stint on the injured list, has still not made a significant impact. He was 0-for-8 in the first two games of the Dodgers series and hit just .254 with no home runs and four RBIs in 19 games this season.
Friday: Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (6-5, 3.64 ERA) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-4, 4.66), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Diamondbacks RHP Zach Davies (2-4, 3.94) at Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (3-7, 6.55), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Sunday: Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.32) at Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl, 1:10 p.m., ATTRM