Taylor, Puig homers lift Dodgers over Rockies 5-3
LOS ANGELES (AP) Getting dropped lower in the batting order seems to be helping Chris Taylor, and in turn, benefiting the Dodgers.
”The last couple games I’ve not been performing the way I want,” said Taylor, who has relinquished his leadoff spot to Max Muncy. ”It felt good to contribute and help the team win a game.”
The victory snapped the Dodgers’ five-game skid against Colorado at home, where they are just 9-14 overall.
”We know we’re a good team,” Taylor said. ”We’re going to turn things around eventually.”
Matt Kemp continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. His RBI single with two outs in the first provided the Dodgers’ first run. He fouled a pitch off his left knee in the eighth before striking out for the second time.
At 33, Kemp is in his second stint with the Dodgers and his .331 batting average leads the offense-starved defending NL champions.
”I feel really good right now,” Kemp said. ”It’s going to click for all of us and we’re going to get this thing rolling. As bad as we’ve been playing, we’re right there in the mix.”
Colorado had the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth against closer Kenley Jansen.
After retiring Ian Desmond, Jansen gave up a ground-rule double to Chris Iannetta, who went to third on pinch-hitter David Dahl’s groundout to second. Jansen then struck out pinch-hitter Pat Valaika for his ninth save.
Desmond went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The Dodgers led 2-0 in the first before Colorado scored in the second and third to tie it 2-all. Desmond homered with two outs in the second and Nolan Arenado had an RBI single with two outs in the third.
J.T. Chargois (2-1) got the win in relief, allowing one hit and one run in one inning while striking out three.
Bryan Shaw (1-3) took the loss, giving up three hits and three runs, including both Dodgers homers, in one inning of relief.
”The first one was just very, very bad. That’s the pitch that you throw that in your head you’re like, `Please just don’t hit it out of the park,”’ Shaw said. ”The second was good, it was just a little more middle and that’s right where his spot is.”
Dodgers starter Brock Stewart permitted two runs and five hits in four innings after being called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The right-hander was making his first start of the season for the Dodgers after three relief outings. Stewart struck out one and walked one while throwing 63 pitches, just under the limit imposed by manager Dave Roberts.
”Very meh outing, stuff-wise. I thought I battled enough to keep the team around,” said Stewart, who doesn’t know where he will pitch next. ”Every outing in the big leagues for me until I’m a mainstay is an audition.”
Rockies starter Chad Bettis allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked three, including Puig with the bases loaded in the first to force in the Dodgers’ second run. The right-hander’s four wins this season have all come on the road.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) threw a 30-pitch bullpen and will continue to do so to keep his arm in shape. When he’s not throwing, Hill’s finger is left uncovered for the blister to heal. … Clayton Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) will throw a bullpen Wednesday and a simulated game on Saturday with some of his teammates facing him.
Kemp has been patrolling right and left field this season. He made a sparkling play on Story in the second, chasing down a fly ball and snagging it before falling in full stretch. ”My mom was giving me a hard time. She said when I was younger I would glide. Now I just stick,” Kemp said. ”I looked at the Jumbotron to make sure I was gliding.”
LHP Kyle Freeland (4-4, 3.17 ERA) starts for the Rockies in the series finale. He is 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 20 road games, including 18 starts, since debuting last season. RHP Kenta Maeda (3-3, 3.89) goes for the Dodgers. He has struck out 36 batters and walked five while limiting hitters to a .200 average in seven career games against Colorado.
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