Freeland lifts Rockies over Dodgers in battle for 1st place
DENVER — Kyle Freeland pitched six strong innings, Wade Davis worked out of a ninth-inning jam and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Saturday night to remain atop the NL West.
Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon homered for Colorado, and Davis allowed a run before striking out Yasmani Grandal with a man aboard to finish his 39th save.
Colorado moved 1 1/2 games ahead the second-place Dodgers. The Rockies are alone in first place after August for the first time since 1995 and have never won a division title.
Chris Taylor homered for Los Angeles, which made it interesting in the ninth. Max Muncy hit an RBI double with two outs before Davis struck out Grandal looking.
Freeland (14-7) lowered his ERA to 2.91 with another strong outing against a lineup of all right-handed hitters. He allowed one run and four hits and struck out eight for his seventh consecutive quality start and 20th of the season.
With three weeks left in the season, he has a chance to record the best ERA ever by a Rockies starter. Ubaldo Jimenez’s 2.88 ERA in 2010 is the lowest in franchise history.
Iannetta gave Colorado a 1-0 lead with his 10th homer leading off the second against Walker Buehler (6-5). Ian Desmond drove in David Dahl with a single in the third and Blackmon hit a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 4-1.
Taylor homered in the top of the fifth for Los Angeles’ first run.
RESTLESS NIGHT OFF
Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado understood why he wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he wasn’t happy with sitting. The All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner is 5 of 39 at the plate in his last 10 games, which has dropped his average below .300. He hasn’t hit a home run since Aug. 24 and has gone deep only three times since the end of July.
Despite the prolonged power outage, he wanted to play.
“I don’t make those calls,” he said. “I don’t want it, but there’s no beating around it, I’m not play well. That’s why I’m not playing today.”
Arenado has been battling a sore right shoulder that bothers him when he throws but not his swing. Manager Bud Black said a night off might help.
“Offensively, it just doesn’t feel right,” he said. “His timing’s off, there’s some other things going on.”
It will be a battle of lefties in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday. The Dodgers will send Rich Hill (7-5, 3.73) to the mound and the Rockies will counter with Tyler Anderson (6-7, 4.80).