DENVER (AP) — The trivia question stumped Bud Black: Who was the opposing team’s center fielder when he got his first win as a major league manager all the way back in 2007?
Answer: None other than good friend and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“I did not know that,” Black said.
Understandable. That was lot of wins ago.
C.J. Cron drilled a two-run homer on an afternoon when the whipping wind made flyballs an adventure, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-4 on Sunday to give Black his 1,000th win as a bench boss.
Black became the 66th skipper to reach the milestone. He improved to 351-360 with Colorado after going 649-713 with San Diego from 2007-15.
His first managerial win was with the Padres on April 3, 2007, against the San Francisco Giants, who had Roberts in center.
“I like math,” Black said of his big moment. “It’s a round number.”
In typical Black fashion, though, he deflected the attention toward his team. He preferred to chat about Ty Blach and his four-inning save as the lefty made his first major league appearance since September 2019.
Or how the Rockies took two of three for their first home series win over the Dodgers since Aug. 9-12, 2018.
So his players did the speaking for him — after Black was doused in suds in celebration, of course.
“It’s special. It’s a lot of wins. You don’t just magically wake up one day with 1,000 wins,” Cron said. “It tells about all the hard work he’s put in. He’s a players’ manager. We all love playing for him.”
This win was far from a breeze. Wind gusts up to 40 mph at Coors Field sent napkins and hot-dog wrappers flying through the stands.
The Rockies led 6-0 after the third inning, but with the swirling conditions, no lead was safe. The Dodgers cut it to 6-4 after left fielder Kris Bryant dropped Freddie Freeman’s fly for a three-run error.
That wasn’t the only mishap in left, as Chris Taylor misplayed Ryan McMahon’s deep drive in the first, allowing two runs to score. Originally ruled a two-run double for McMahon, the official scorer changed it to an error.
“It was one of those balls I kind of expected to slice, and it didn’t really slice,” Taylor explained. “It kind of stayed at me the whole time and then it sort of hit a wall and I tried to put on the brakes and come in. But it just sort of died on me.”
Elias Díaz added some insurance in the seventh with a two-run homer to make it 9-4.
“It was tough for hitting because the wind was getting in your eyes and you started crying,” Díaz said.
Díaz and Cron found a way to go deep.
“Two lines drives. That’s why,” Díaz explained. “If you (hit it up in the air), no chance.”
Jhoulys Chacín earned the win by throwing 1 2/3 innings and striking out three. Blach took it home from there. A Denver native, Blach considered pitching for Colorado a “lifelong dream.”
“It’s one of the most wonderful things that’s ever happened to me,” said Blach, whose parents and other family members were in attendance. “The biggest thing was being able to enjoy the moment.”
Both starters had issues with the blustery conditions. Dodgers lefty Julio Urías (0-1) gave up six runs, three earned, over two innings. Rockies righty Antonio Senzatela allowed four runs, one earned, over 3 1/3 innings.
It wasn’t the beginning either was looking for — Urías was coming off a 20-win season, while Senzatela signed a five-year contract in October.
“Strange day from the start, with the wind, with everything that was going on,” Urías said through a translator. “Physically, I felt great, but it was a strange day.”
Rockies: 1B Connor Joe was hit on the right hand with a pitch from Mitch White in the fourth but stayed in the game. … Black couldn’t provide a timeline on a return for LHP Lucas Gilbreath and RHP Robert Stephenson, who are both on the COVID-19 injured list. “Anywhere from one to 365 days,” Black said. “I hope it’s quicker.”
Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner singled in the first and extended his hitting streak to 22 regular-season games dating to last year.
Black said there’s been a lot of baseball people who’ve had an impact on him and shaped his managerial style. He referenced managers such as Roger Craig, Mike Scioscia and Dusty Baker, along with front-office personnel like Al Rosen and John Hart.
Dodgers: Off on Monday before starting a two-game series in Minnesota. LHP Andrew Heaney is scheduled to pitch for Los Angeles.
Rockies: LHP Austin Gomber takes the mound when Colorado opens a two-game series in Texas on Monday.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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