DENVER - It was an afternoon in which almost nothing went right for the Colorado Rockies. They managed an inspiring late rally but it came up just short on a day in which their pitching just could not keep the Los Angeles Dodgers away from home plate, dropping the series finale 9-6.
It was a short and difficult day for Tyler Anderson in a stretch that has been defined by difficult days. He didn't have good command and he couldn't catch a break, limiting him to two-and-two-thirds innings in the game. He gave up four runs, three of them earned.
The Dodgers jumped all over Anderson early beginning with a line drive single to left for Justin Turner. He came all the way around to score when Manny Machado lined one into the left-center field gap for a double. David Freese followed that by shooting a single to right but Gerardo Parra came up with a perfect throw home, beating Machado to the plate. Catcher Chris Iannetta couldn't quite secure the ball before Machado ran through him rather than slide, knocking the baseball out of the glove and scoring the second run of the game.
The Rockies got one of those runs back on a home run for Charlie Blackmon in the bottom of the first. It was the 30th leadoff home run of his career.
But Los Angeles kept hitting Anderson hard, Enrique Hernandez greeting him with a no-doubt home run to left on the first pitch of the second inning. After a couple of hard-hit outs, Brian Dozier drew a walk and Turner ripped one to left but right at Matt Holliday. Unfortunately for the Rockies, Holliday whiffed on the baseball, allowing another run to score.
Anderson gave up a single and a walk in the third and with two outs and at 72 pitches, Bud Black decided that would be it. He went to Chad Bettis who gave up a hard grounder down the third base line but Nolan Arenado made a spectacular diving stop and throw to get the final out and strand a pair of runners.
Despite all the traffic and momentum for the Dodgers offense, it was still a three-run game and that was with two tough-luck runs.
Colorado finally got a huge break in the bottom of the fourth when Matt Kemp lost a flyball in right off the bat of DJ LeMahieu who ended up at third with a triple. Arenado's struggles at the plate continued when he struck out on a check-swing at a 3-2 pitch out of the zone, but Trevor Story got the job done with a ground ball to the left side, making it a 4-2 game.
Bettis was still out there in the fifth and gave up a leadoff bloop single to right for Kemp. Freese followed with a walk and Chris Taylor launched one over the head of Blackmon in center for a two-run double, putting the Dodgers ahead 6-2. Hernandez lofted another one that direction but Blackmon was able to track it down and haul it in with a leaping catch.
Taylor was able to tag up and advance to third. With that, Bud Black went back to his bullpen, calling on 29-year-old DJ Johnson to make his MLB debut. It couldn't have gone any better for him, getting back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runner at third.
Yency Almonte came on in the sixth and did not have his command either, walking Cody Bellinger on five pitches before surrendering a home run to deep center off the bat of Turner, putting the Dodgers way up at 8-2.
The Rockies climbed back into the game in the bottom of the sixth, though. Blackmon led things off with a double to right and came around to score when DJ LeMahieu scorched one into the gap for a double. That led to a huge potential moment moving forward when Arenado finally connected with a baseball, blasting it over the wall in left-center field for his 32nd home run of the season, pulling Colorado to within three at 8-5.
He was 0-for-15 before that.
Jake McGee worked around a misplay from Holliday in left that led to a triple, keeping the score where it was in the seventh with a big strikeout.
Suenghwan Oh came on for the eighth and surrendered a double to Turner, his fourth hit in the game, unleashed a wild pitch and walked a man after recording an out to put runners at the corners with one away. Black went to lefty Harrison Musgrave who got a lineout to second then threw a wild one himself but raced home and beat Turner to the plate, applying a great tag after a beautiful slide and throw from Iannetta.
Blackmon followed that moment up by scorching his second home run of the game in the bottom of the eighth, laying into a low fastball and depositing it into the Rockies bullpen to make it a two-run game.
The Dodgers picked up an insurance run in the ninth when Hernandez tripled into the pull gap and scored on a liner from Alex Verdugo that barely escaped a diving Ian Desmond at first.
Desi led off the ninth with a single and the Rockies got three straight line drives but they were all right at fielders, and the rally came up just short.
Colorado falls to 78-64 but remains in first place by a half-game in the NL West.