LOS ANGELES (The Sports Xchange) – The Colorado Rockies hit three home runs Tuesday night, two by Nolan Arenado, and got another big lift — and a mild scare — from their stellar bullpen to beat the Dodgers 4-3 in Los Angeles.
The surging Rockies had lost seven straight games at Dodger Stadium since they last won there last season on June 8. The victory was the Rockies’ fourth in five games on a road trip that began in San Francisco and ends Wednesday.
Colorado (10-5) improved to 7-2 on the road.
In their previous 24 seasons, the Rockies had a better record after 15 games just three times — 12-3 in 2011 and 11-4 in both 1995 and 2013. The Rockies also started 10-5 in 1997.
The Dodgers (7-8) lost a season-high third straight games, and they have scored only six runs in those defeats. They are 2-6 in games started by left-handers, continuing a trend that haunted them last year.
Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first inning and gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead with a solo shot with two outs in the fifth off Hyun-Jun Ryu.
Trevor Story, mired in a deep slump, homered off Ryu in the fourth. He entered the game 5-for-44 (.114) and broke an 0-for-12 string with his second homer of the season.
Arenado’s first multi-homer game of the season gave him six homers for the year and 11 RBIs, including six in the past three games. He is from the Los Angeles area, and he went home Monday when the Rockies were off and worked on his swing.
“I hit them pretty good,” Areanado told the Denver Post. “I have to give credit to my dad and my high school coach. I went to hit with them (Monday) at my old school. I wanted to get in there and work on some things. I wanted to stay behind the baseball, and I was able to do that (Tuesday).”
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland wasn’t hit hard but had trouble throwing strikes. He gave up one run on four hits and four walks in four-plus innings.
Freeland allowed 10 baserunners, including the first two batters he faced in the fifth. Scott Oberg and Chris Rusin (2-0) snuffed out a Dodgers rally that inning, and Adam Ottavino and Mike Dunn each pitched a scoreless inning.
In the ninth, Colorado closer Greg Holland gave up three hits and his first two runs of the season. With runners on first and second, Holland got Adrian Gonzalez to hit into a game-ending force play to nail down his major-league-leading eighth save.
After working 4 2/3 innings in each of his first two starts, Ryu (0-3) pitched six innings Tuesday, allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Ryu, who had shoulder surgery in May 2015 and missed the second half of last season with elbow tendinitis, barely touches 90 mph with his fastball these days, reducing his margin for error. In 15 1/3 innings this season, he has allowed six home runs, including the decisive three he yielded to the Rockies.
“If you look at the three starts, he’s made some mistakes out over (the plate) with the fastball, and they’ve been hit out of the ballpark,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the Orange County Register. “If he can minimize the damage, he’ll be fine.”
The Dodgers pulled within 3-1 in the fourth but missed a chance to do more damage. A walk and a single that bounced over first baseman Mark Reynolds put men on the corners with one out. With two outs, Joc Pederson brought in a run with an infield single, beating third baseman Arenado’s throw.
Ryu’s single loaded the bases, but Freeland got Scott Van Slyke to ground into a force play.
Freeland, a rookie making his third career start and second against the Dodgers, was very erratic and couldn’t last the five innings necessary to qualify for the victory. He hit two batters and threw 45 of 87 pitches for strikes.
Dodgers second baseman Logan Forsythe was hit in the foot with a pitch in the first inning and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the third with a right big toe contusion. An X-ray was inconclusive, and he will undergo an MRI exam Wednesday.
“It just hurts,” Forsythe said. “I hope it’s not (broken), but I guess we’ll get that news (Wednesday).”
NOTES: Rockies INF Pat Valaika was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he hit .267 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 11 games. … Rockies OF Gerardo Parra was reinstated from the paternity list. He struck out pinch-hitting in the ninth and stayed in the game in left field. … Rockies OF Raimel Tapia and RHP Shane Carle were optioned to Albuquerque after being recalled from the Triple-A club Friday. … RHP Josh Fields was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and began his second stint with the Dodgers this season by retiring the side in order in the ninth. … Los Angeles LHP Grant Dayton (left intercostal strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list.