The Colorado Rockies are starting to find out that the Los Angeles Dodgers aren't as intimidating as they once seemed.
The Rockies will be riding high into Saturday's game at Los Angeles after rallying from a two-run deficit to take a 9-6 victory in 10 innings Friday in the series opener. Colorado scored six runs in its final three innings.
Friday's outburst against three Dodgers relievers came after the Rockies rallied versus Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen on Sunday at home, again winning in 10 innings. The six late runs Friday came against Dodgers relievers Brusdar Graterol, Darien Nunez and Jimmie Sherfy.
Before Friday's game, the Dodgers had won eight of their past nine against the Rockies and 15 of their past 20. It hardly feels like a lopsided disadvantage now.
"There were lots of opportunities for us to shut it down, you know, not fight like we did, lots of times where statistically it didn't look good for us, but we battled back and earned a win," said Charlie Blackmon, who had a two-run homer in the 10th inning to highlight his three-hit performance.
Still one of the worst road teams in baseball at 10-34, Colorado actually has won three consecutive away from home going back to its series at San Diego before the All-Star break.
The Dodgers have lost five of their last six games, with four of those defeats coming when they were tied or had the lead in the ninth inning.
"I think offensively, we need to find a way to do a better job of extending leads throughout the game," said Justin Turner, who hit a home run Friday and had two RBIs.
"Even this last month or so, we have been reliant on big crooked numbers and not able to find ways to scratch off some ones or twos in there. We need to keep adding on."
A pair of pitchers with early season shoulder injuries will meet Saturday as Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-4, 5.36 ERA) faces Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 2.83).
Gonsolin will be making his ninth appearance and eighth start after missing the opening two months of the season with shoulder inflammation.
Gonsolin has thrown as many as 83 pitches in a start this season, but he has gone past four innings just once. In three career appearances against the Rockies (two starts), he is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA.
Out with a shoulder strain, Freeland made his season debut May 25 and reached a season-high 98 pitches over six scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 3. He has since given up three runs in consecutive starts, including last Saturday at home against the Dodgers.
In that outing, Freeland matched a season high with six innings and did not walk a batter for the first time this year. He threw an efficient 76 pitches.
Over his most recent five starts, Freeland has a 2.25 ERA in 28 innings while opponents had a .279 on-base percentage. Over his first five starts, he had a 9.58 ERA over 20 2/3 innings while opponents had a .471 OBP.
In 13 career starts against the Dodgers, Freeland is 2-6 with a 4.43 ERA.
--Field Level Media