A evaders starting pitcher made a strong case for an All-Star berth for the fourth day in a row.
A journeyman outfielder best known for being a member of a decorated basketball family struck the key.
And an injury-ridden bullpen made its way through the ninth inning in a 5-3 win about the Colorado Rockies on Monday-evening, that marked the Dodgers’ 50th win, two games before the midseason, keeping them on pace for a season with 100 wins.
On our holiday that celebrates the land of the free, the Dodgers let Freeland rule until the fifth inning. Rockies lefthander Kyle Freeland retired the first 13 batters he faced before the Dodgers changed the course of the game.
Trayce Thompsonbrother of NBA star Klay Thompson and son of former Lakers forward Mychal Thompson, Justin Turner’s single and Chris Taylor’s walk followed with a three-run home run to left field to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Cody Bellinger promptly hit a ground-rule double and with two outs, Mookie Betts singled him out. The Dodgers added a fifth run in the seventh inning on Trea Turner’s RBI double.
Thompson played with the Dodgers in 2016 and 2017, and last hit a homerun at Dodger Stadium six years ago, almost to the day, July 3, 2016, against the Rockies. He blew a kiss to his mother in the stands after touching home plate on Monday.
“I’m blessed to be back here,” he said. “I don’t take it for granted.”
The rally in the fifth inning made it a winner against Julio Urías (7-6), who threw six innings for the 10th time this season. He has pitched five or six innings in 15 consecutive starts since he had only two innings in his first start on April 10.
The Rockies’ game plan appeared to be running deep into the counts to ramp up Urías’ pitches. Once lifted, they reasoned, batters could feast on the Dodgers’ exhausted bullpen. But Urías, who was 20-3 last season, didn’t hesitate, despite throwing 99 the highest pitch of the season, handing in only a solo homerun to José Iglesias while lowering his ERA to 2.57.
“I think Julio has done about the same as last season,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “The winning percentage isn’t that great, but that’s team-driven. The way he throws the baseball is worthy of an All-Star roster.”
Join the crowd. On Friday, Tony Gonsolin improved to 10-0 and lowered his industry-leading ERA to 1.54 by holding the Padres to one run over 7 2/3 innings. On Saturday, Tyler Anderson improved to 9-1 by holding the San Diego Padres to one run over six innings
And on Sunday, Clayton Kershaw reinforced his offer to make the All-Star start at Dodger Stadium on July 19 by holding the Padres scoreless for seven innings.
Roberts was a cheerleader for all four starters. Monday it was Urias’ turn.
“This guy has never been an All-Star, he’s one of the elite pitchers in the National League, so I think only [qualifies him]not to mention the opportunity to pitch for the home fans at Dodger Stadium,” he said.
Phil Bickford retired the side in the seventh and Brusdar Graterol did the same in the eighth, but Reyes Moronta was tagged with CJ Cron’s 20th homerun to lead in the ninth and was picked up with two outs and runners on first and second base.
Pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon poked an RBI single from the opposite field to Yency Almonte to narrow the Dodgers’ lead to 5-3, but Almonte—who pitched the last four seasons with the Rockies—punched out Connor Joe to first save of the season and second of his career.
Chris Taylor worsens foot injury
Taylor left the game in the sixth inning due to a swelling in his left ankle and foot. He will have a CT scan on Tuesday.
“It hurt every time I ran on it,” he said, adding that the injury has been nagging him for a while.
Taylor is so valued for his versatility that the Dodgers gave him a $53 million four-year contract last season. But he will only play in the outfield for the rest of the season. Taylor had surgery on his right elbow during the off-season and the Dodgers are still aware of his recovery.
“I just don’t feel like we can risk the flip side, the changing arm angles of throwing from the infield,” he said. “We’re in a good place with him.”
Craig Kimbrel’s back isn’t broken
One day later be drilled in the back due to a line drive, Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel was painful but relieved.
“Nothing is broken,” he said. “It could be worse.”
Roberts said that while he was encouraged that Kimbrel was not seriously injured, he would release the closer for at least two days before throwing again.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times†