Dodgers, Rockies look to ignite offenses in series opener

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and visiting Colorado Rockies are fighting for a rebound Monday after each split their respective four-game series to open the season.

The Dodgers fell to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Sunday, while the Rockies lost to the host San Diego Padres 3-1 in their series finale.

Los Angeles outscored the Diamondbacks 20-7 collectively over the four games, but its offense was held to just four hits, including two by Freddie Freeman, on Sunday. The Diamondbacks scored the decisive run on Jake McCarthy’s bunt single with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.

“I think we hit a lot of hard balls,” said Dodgers catcher Will Smith, who tagged a solo homer on Sunday. “They caught a bunch of breaks where we could put three runs up, four runs up. … That’s baseball. You’ve got to hit it where they’re not. Sometimes it doesn’t always happen.”

Smith had five hits and five RBIs in 11 at-bats and two walks and two runs in the series, in which he played just three games. Trayce Thompson hit three home runs and drove in eight runs in the 10-1 win on Saturday.

The Rockies won their first two games against the Padres before falling 8-4 on Saturday. Colorado mustered just four hits and struck out 10 times in the series finale on Sunday.

Left-hander Austin Gomber allowed a two-run shot to Xander Bogaerts and a solo home run to Trent Grisham during the Padres’ three-run third inning. But that’s all the runs he allowed over six innings, during which he had four strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

“It was a well-pitched game, we just got out-pitched,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The hanging changeup to Bogaerts was the back-breaker. But I’m very proud of ‘Gomby.’ He threw the ball really well. He used all of his pitches, changed speeds and did what we think he can do, which is a good sign.”

C.J. Cron enters the series tied for eighth in Major League Baseball in batting (.467). He went 7-for-15 with three home runs and seven RBIs in four games against the Padres, while Charlie Blackmon went 7-for-16 with three RBIs and four runs during the series.

The Dodgers will turn to right-hander Michael Grove, who will make his first start of the season against the Rockies. He posted a 1-0 record with a 4.60 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks spanning 29 1/3 innings over seven appearances, including six starts last season.

Grove defeated the Rockies in his lone start against them last October. He allowed four runs on six hits — including two home runs — to go along with three strikeouts and two walks in a 6-4 win.

He’ll be opposed by right-hander Ryan Feltner, who will also be making his first start of the season. Feltner went 4-9 with a 5.83 ERA last season with 84 strikeouts and 35 walks spanning 97 1/3 innings over 20 appearances (19 starts).

Feltner is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA with six strikeouts and four walks in 9 1/3 innings over two career appearances (one start) versus the Dodgers.

–Field Level Media

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