Friday night, new Los Angeles Dodgers ace Trevor Bauer was humbling the Rockies, and taming the beast that is Coors Field.
Until, quite suddenly, he wasn’t.
In one of the crazier games in the ballpark’s crazy history, Bauer threw a no-hitter for six innings but the Dodgers had to hold on for an 11-6 victory.
That’s because the Coors Field pinball machine went tilt in the Rockies’ six-run seventh inning. And, oh yes, a would-be Rockies rally cat appeared on the field in the eighth inning, briefly disrupting the game.
In the zany seventh, the Rockies slugged four home runs, the second time in franchise history they accomplished that feat.
Bauer, who signed a three-year, $102 million contract to come to L.A., completely dominated the Rockies, striking out 10. But then shortstop Trevor Story led off the seventh with a solid single to right. Charlie Blackmon immediately followed with a two-run homer to right. A walk by C.J. Cron and a two-run homer by Ryan McMahon whittled the Dodgers’ lead to 10-4.
When Bauer departed the mound with one out in the seventh, he received a standing ovation by the exuberant Dodgers fans who made up a large chunk of the announced crowd of 20,363.
But the Rockies weren’t quite done. David Price relieved Bauer and promptly served up back-to-back solo homers to Dom Nunez and Sam Hilliard.
The only other time the Rockies swatted four dingers in the same inning was on June 6, 1999 when Neifi Perez, Dante Bichette, Angel Echevarria and Henry Blanco each homered in the seventh inning vs. the Milwaukee Brewers.
The only no-hitter in Coors Field history remains the one thrown by Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo on September 17, 1996, the second year of Coors Field. The Dodgers won 9-0 on a night when Nomo won his 16th game, struck out eight and walked four on a cold, rainy night.
The Dodgers pounded out 16 hits, including four doubles and two triples. Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela giving up nine hits early on.
Coming off his fine 2020 season that featured a 3-0 record and 2.10 ERA at Coors Field, the right-hander was ambushed by the Dodgers’ deep and talented lineup. Senzatela got the hook with one out in the fourth, having given up seven runs. Third baseman Justin Turner ripped him for two singles, a double and three RBIs.
Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.44 in 2020) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (2-4, 6.69)
6:10 p.m. Saturday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Gray will make his first start since going on the injured list Sept. 4, 2020, because of right shoulder inflammation. At that point, his fastball velocity had tailed off, dropping from 96.1 mph to 94.1. Also, the speed of his slider fell from 88.5 mph to 86.4 and his strikeouts per nine innings dropped from 9.0 to 5.08. That made Gray especially vulnerable at Coors Field, where he was 1-3 with a 8.39 ERA across five starts. For his career, he is 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA in nine starts vs. the Dodgers in Denver. Buehler has given the Rockies fits, going 5-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 16 career games (12 starts), but he hasn’t been great at Coors, going 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA in seven games (five starts). He only faced Colorado once last year, pitching six innings, allowing just one run on four hits and fanning 11.
Trending: The Rockies have not won a series against the Dodgers at Coors Field since Aug. 9-12, 2018, dropping five consecutive series since that time. Entering Friday’s game, they were 6-12 against the Dodgers at Coors over that span.
At issue: The Rockies aren’t likely to win very often if they repeat their pitching performance from Thursday’s opening day, 8-5 win over Los Angeles. Colorado pitchers allowed 15 hits, marking just the fourth time since 2018 that the Rockies won when allowing 15 or more hits.
Sunday: Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.27 in 2020) at Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (1-1, 1.87), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
Tuesday: Diamondbacks RHP Luke Weaver (1-9, 6.58) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (0-0, 2.25 in 2021), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
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