The Los Angeles Dodgers were shutout for just the third time all season, unable to take advantage of a golden opportunity chasing the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.
First baseman C.J. Cron crushed a three-run homer in the first inning and the Colorado Rockies never looked back, beating the Dodgers 5-0 to take two of three games in the weekend series on Sunday afternoon at Dodgers Stadium.
Los Angeles was held to only three hits on the day, unable to get much momentum going against Colorado with right-hand pitcher Antonio Senzatela (3-9, 4.18 ERA) pitching seven stellar innings.
“He kept us at bay,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Senzatela’s performance. “We couldn’t get anything together. We got outpitched and outplayed in this series.”
The first-place Giants lost 9-0 to the East-leading Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers now trail by 2 ½ games with 31 contests remaining and could have inched closer with a win.
“This series offensively was pretty frustrating, and the byproduct is we didn’t gain a couple of games when we had opportunities,” Roberts said. “Regardless of how [the Giants] play, if we’re not putting good at-bats together, building innings and finishing those innings, then it’s all moot.”
Dodgers RHP Mitch White (1-2, 3.49) pitched 3 1/3-innings in the loss before turning the mound over to six other pitchers with third baseman Justin Turner being the shock of the game.
Turner was called upon in the ninth and threw 10 pitches for nine strikes, allowing two singles in a scoreless inning and received an ovation as he neared the dugout.
“Down 5-0, with three hits through eight innings, the chances of coming back to win [are slim], so to use a leverage guy in the ninth, I didn’t feel good about that,” Roberts said, turning to his power hitter to pitch. “I talked to Justin, and he was on board with saving the pen. That speaks to him being a leader, taking it for the team, to save a leverage guy.”
Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (14-3, 3.17) starts Monday in the opener of what should be a pivotal series against the NL East leading Braves.
“We’re facing the Braves who are very talented, playing for the division,” Roberts said.
“It’s gonna be some intensity, we know those guys very well… But we gotta play good baseball.”
First pitch of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:10 at Dodgers Stadium.