Rockies hope to get more hits from LeMahieu and win vs. Dodgers

DENVER — Second baseman DJ LeMahieu was reinstated from the disabled list Friday and gave the Colorado Rockies an immediate boost with a four-hit game.

It did not result in a win as the Rockies were handed an 11-8 loss in the opener of their three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Rockies hope to get a productive game from LeMahieu and a win over the Dodgers Saturday night.

After missing 15 games with a broken left thumb, LeMahieu led off for the Rockies and singled on each of his first four at-bats. He finished 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, raising his average to .299 and his OPS to .835.

The four hits tied LeMahieu’s career-high. It was 11th career four-hit games and second this year. He also had four hits at Washington on April 12

“In my opinion, he’s one of the better players in the National League,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of LeMahieu, a two-time All-Star, who has won two Gold Gloves and a batting title. “When you’re without him, it takes its toll. It’s great to have him back, because he’s such a steady, dependable player.

“Solid all the way around (on) defense, offense. In (the) game, on top of everything. Poised. I think he brings a confidence to the rest of the group, just an unflappable style of play that I think rubs off on guys.”

LeMahieu’s production was spoiled by Colorado allowing homers to Matt Kemp, Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig.

Those homers helped the Dodgers win for the 11th time in 15 games and Saturday’s matchup features two promising 23-year-old right-handers on the mound.

German Marquez will start for the Rockies while Walker Buehler gets the start for the Dodgers.

Marquez is 4-5 with a 4.21 ERA but is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last two starts. He pitched seven innings at Dodger Stadium on May 21 and did the same Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.

Marquez traces his recent success to a quicker tempo after being too deliberate on the mound and to having more of an attack mentality. He has allowed seven hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts in his past two wins.

Buehler is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA and like Marquez also owns a 1.29 ERA in his last two outings. Buehler opposed Marquez May 21 in Los Angeles and allowed a homer to Gerardo Parra among two hits in seven innings during a no-decision.

He followed up his start against Colorado by limiting the San Diego Padres to one run on four hits in seven innings in Sunday’s 6-1 win.

For the season, Buehler has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts and has nine walks, 48 strikeouts in 41 innings.

“With what we’ve been going through, Walker has been huge for our ballclub,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Eighty percent of the Dodgers’ regular starting rotation is on the disabled list.

After coming off the disabled list and pitching five innings Thursday, Clayton Kershaw went back on it for the second time this season Friday and Roberts said he will be out over a month with a lower back strain. Other starters on the disabled list include Rich Hill (finger blister), Kenta Maeda (strained right hip) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (pulled groin muscle).

Alex Wood is still on the active roster but has been dealing with hamstring cramps in recent starts. His scheduled outing Friday was pushed back to Sunday in the series finale with the Rockies, so Wood could have more rest before pitching at the high altitude.

“It absolutely won’t destroy us,” Wood said. “It’s not ideal. Missing 80 percent of your starting rotation, the shortstop (Corey Seager, sidelined for the season following Tommy John surgery), and it goes on and on. We have guys to plug in, and it gives guys runways.”