Baseball / MLB

Rockies rough up Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda

AP, Reuters

Jon Gray escaped an early jam and went on to pitch a gem — just what Colorado needed to snap a long string of subpar play.

Gray allowed three hits over eight innings to win for the first time in a month, and the Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-1 Monday for just their third win in 11 games this season against the NL champions. It was Colorado’s sixth win in 24 games overall.

The right-hander issued successive walks to start the second before quashing the threat by striking out A.J. Pollock, Alex Verdugo and Will Smith.

“There’s been times in the past where that inning has gotten away from him, but he came back and struck out the side,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “From there, he reeled it in and pitched really well. Those three strikeouts were huge for Jon, gave him some confidence and momentum.”

Gray said the walks were a wakeup call.

“I just realized I wasn’t challenging people like I wanted to,” he said. “I needed to make them earn everything they get and if they’re going to get on base, it’s because they’re going to get a hit in the zone. So, I was like, ‘OK we’ve got to get back at it and challenge them.’ “

Kenta Maeda (7-8) allowed six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings for the Dodgers, who lead the NL West by 14 games over second-place San Francisco. He had been 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 previous games at Coors Field, including seven starts.

Raimel Tapia hit a go-ahead single in the second, and Colorado sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth. The first seven reached against Maeda, including Gray, who drew a walk.

“He was trying to bunt and give himself up,” Maeda, speaking through an interpreter, said of Gray. “After the walk, I gave up some solid hits. And the error hurt. I didn’t pitch well through trouble.”

Nolan Arenado had a two-run single during a five-run fifth inning, David Dahl hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Ian Desmond finished a home run short of the cycle for the Rockies. Colorado was 44-39 heading into the final day of June before going on an extended slide.

“This was a big win and all the credit goes to Jon, shutting down a lineup like that,” Dahl said, adding that the Rockies pitching and offense finally seemed to be in sync.

“It hasn’t clicked on all cylinders,” Dahl said. “When hitting would do well, the pitching would struggle. When pitching would do well, hitters would struggle. Tonight we kind of put it all together and it was a great game.”

Gray (10-7) allowed one run, struck out six and walked three, joining Jorge De La Rosa as the only pitchers in team history with at least 10 wins in four seasons. Gray has done it four years in a row. He had been 0-2 in four starts since beating Los Angeles at home June 29.

He didn’t allow a run until the eighth, when Smith doubled and scored on Joc Pederson’s infield groundout. Pederson was pulled from the game by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts for not hustling on the play.

Tigers 7, Angels 2

In Anaheim, Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann got his first win in 18 starts dating to last season, ending a skid of 10 consecutive losing decisions to lead the Tigers past the Angels.

It was his first victory since Sept. 5, 2018.

“I was happy to get out there and keep the game close, you know, and give these guys a chance to win,” said Zimmermann (1-8), who allowed two runs in 5⅓ innings.

“We scored a bunch of runs, and all that matters is we got the win.”

Los Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Padres 8, Orioles 1

In San Diego, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Franmil Reyes bashed back-to-back home runs on the first two pitches of the game and Eric Hosmer later drove in five runs with two homers as the hosts pounded Baltimore.

Nationals 6, Braves 3

In Washington, Anthony Rendon hit a grand slam to break a sixth-inning tie, while Patrick Corbin allowed two runs in six innings as the Nationals topped Atlanta.

Marlins 11, Diamondbacks 6

In Miami, Miguel Rojas homered for the third straight game, leading the Marlins over Arizona.

Reds 11, Pirates 6

In Cincinnati, Jose Iglesias slugged a grand slam in a 10-run second inning as the Reds went on to beat Pittsburgh.

Blue Jays 7, Royals 3

In Kansas City, Cavan Biggio smacked a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning and added an RBI single in a three-run ninth as Toronto defeated the hosts.