A well-pitched, crisp game by the starters suddenly turned into a late-inning slugfest.
It became a race to see which bullpen would hold a lead first. Los Angeles prevailed on a night when its best reliever was not at the park.
Chris Taylor and Brian Dozier homered off closer Wade Davis in the ninth inning and the Dodgers exploited Colorado’s shaky bullpen to beat the Rockies 8-5 on Thursday night.
“It changed pretty quick,” said Dodgers infielder Manny Machado, who was making his first foray into Coors Field.
Earlier in the day at the team hotel, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen experienced an irregular heartbeat and was sent to the doctor to be checked out. He will head back to Los Angeles for more tests.
“We’re holding out hope it’s not too serious,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Starters Tyler Anderson and Ross Stripling did their part as they turned in similar lines: Six innings pitched, four hits, one run.
Then, it got crazy as Coors Field lived up to its reputation.
“Finally playing here, you can see why the games go like that,” said Machado, who recorded his 1,000th career hit with a single in the sixth.
Taylor lined the first pitch he saw from Davis (1-6) — a knuckle-curve — into the left-center bleachers to make it 6-5. Two batters later, Dozier followed with a two-run shot to cap off another late-inning, flip-flopping game at Coors Field.
Caleb Ferguson (3-1) threw 1 2/3 innings to earn the win. Scott Alexander pitched the ninth for his second save.
The Rockies bullpen surrendered five homers and seven runs as the Dodgers pulled into a first-place tie with idle Arizona in the NL West. It was Los Angeles’ sixth straight win at Coors Field.
A struggling Davis was brought into the game in the eighth to quiet a rally, which he did, but allowed three runs in the ninth. He was booed as he walked off the mound.
Chris Iannetta gave the Rockies a 5-3 lead with a three-run homer in the seventh. It didn’t last, as Cody Bellinger connected on a two-run shot off reliever Seunghwan Oh to tie it with two outs in the eighth.
Anderson pitched six strong innings before turning it over to reliever Scott Oberg, who allowed solo homers to pinch-hitters Joc Pederson and Max Muncy in the seventh to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
“We even said it this morning, try to get to the bullpen as quick as possible,” Machado said.
Nolan Arenado had three hits, including an RBI double. The Rockies have dropped three straight at home.
“All these guys have been through tough losses before,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “This group has great resolve.”
Both teams stressed the importance of this four-game series even though it’s only August.
It was a tough-luck no-decision for both starters. Stripling was strong all night in his return from the 10-day disabled list. The All-Star righty has been sidelined since July 30 while recovering from inflammation in his right toe.
“When you think about our bullpen and their bullpen, both have really good names,” Stripling said. “Guys you expect to go out and keep it a low-scoring game. That’s what this park does. If you make a mistake, guys can make you pay for it.”
Anderson lowered his career ERA at Coors Field to 3.39, which is the second-lowest all-time mark among Rockies pitchers with at least 25 starts. He trails teammate Kyle Freeland, who has a 3.23 ERA at home.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (7-7, 3.73 ERA) takes the mound Friday against Colorado. He’s held the Rockies to a .149 average in two previous starts this season.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray is 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA in four quality starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he straightened out his mechanics.
AROUND THE MAJORS
The Milwaukee Brewers wasted a great opportunity to inch closer to first place in the NL Central. The Brewers led 4-2 yesterday until Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria and Jacob Barnes combined to allow six runs in the ninth inning of an 8-4 loss to the Padres. Hunter Renfroe delivered a go-ahead grand slam off Soria, one batter before Franmil Reyes went deep against Barnes.
Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run double and came around to score on Lorenzo Cain’s single later in the fourth inning, putting the Brew Crew ahead, 4-1. The outcome drops the Brewers two games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs.
— The Phillies’ lead in the NL East is one game over Atlanta following the Braves’ 6-3 loss at Washington. Gio Gonzalez allowed one run and six hits over seven innings for his first win since May 28, helping the Nats pull within 5 ½ games of the NL East lead. Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy each had two hits and an RBI as the Nationals gained a split of the four-game series.
— Mitch Haniger, Denard Span and Jean Segura homered off Justin Verlander while the Mariners built a 6-0 lead over the first two innings of an 8-6 victory at Houston. James Paxton pitched into the sixth inning and helped Seattle get within 2 ½ games of Oakland for the second AL wild-card berth. Marwin Gonzalez and Tyler White drove in two runs apiece for the Astros, whose lead in the AL West is 4 ½ games over Oakland.
— Randal Grichuk slammed a two-run homer and had three RBIs as the Blue Jays ended the Red Sox’s six-game winning streak, 8-5. Teoscar Hernandez also homered and Justin Smoak was 3-for-4 with two RBIs to help Toronto stop a three-game skid. J.D. Martinez belted his major league-leading 35th home run and Mookie Betts hit for the cycle, but Boston’s lead in the AL East dropped to eight games over the Yankees.
— Neil Walker hit two of the Yankees’ five home runs in their fourth consecutive win, 7-3 against the Rangers. Giancarlo Stanton slammed his 28th home run, Aaron Hicks hit his 20th and Miguel Andujar added his 16th. J.A. Happ came off the disabled list and allowed three runs and four hits while striking out nine over six innings to improve to 12-6.
— Michael Brantley’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave the Indians a 5-4 victory over Minnesota and an 11-game lead over the Twins in the AL Central. Francisco Lindor had three RBIs for Cleveland, one night after his three-run, walk-off homer completed a 5-2 win against the Twins. Jorge Polanco tied the game with a three-run blast in the sixth inning of his first game since completing an 80-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug program.
— David Freese crushed a three-run homer and Ivan Nova allowed two runs over six innings of the Pirates’ 10-5 drubbing of San Francisco. Pittsburgh also received second-inning homers by Elias Diaz and Josh Bell in earning its third straight win and moving four games behind Atlanta for the second NL wild-card berth. Joe Panik and Steven Duggar drove in two runs apiece for the Giants, who have dropped three straight and 13 of 20 since getting within three games of the NL West lead.
— Jake Bauers provided a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh to lift the Rays over the Orioles, 5-4. Bauers had three RBIs and Ji-Man Choi homered after Baltimore grabbed a 3-0 lead.