It took 12 innings to decide Saturday night’s battle between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. The second stolen base of the game for Scott Van Slyke paid huge dividends immediately as he came home with the winning run on a wild pitch giving the Dodgers a 6-5 win.
A one-out single for Van Slyke and free pass for Tim Federowicz by way of being hit by a pitch, setup first and second for the Dodgers. On the first pitch to Miguel Rojas, Van Slyke took third to put the winning run on third and only one out. It only took one more pitch to decide the game when Franklin Morales bounced a ball to the backstop allowing Van Slyke to score.
The Dodgers have not fared well in extra innings in 2014, with Saturday’s win only counting as their sixth win in 18 tries. The fourth win in a row for the club was also a rarity in that it secured only the third time all year that the team has won more than three consecutive games.
The game was coming to a close when Paco Rodriguez was called upon to face the Rockies in the ninth with a 5-4 lead instead of Kenley Jansen, the team’s closer who was unavailable. Rodriguez couldn’t protect the one-run lead, giving up a solo homer on the first pitch he threw when Ben Paulsen hit a towering fly ball that snuck inside the right field foul pole for a solo homer.
Carlos Frias made the walk off possible by tossing three shutout innings without allowing a hit to earn his first career victory. The 24-year-old struck out five and walked one to match zeroes until Van Slyke brought the run home in the 12th.
It was a back-and-forth affair starting when Adrian Gonzalez homered in the bottom of the first to give the Dodgers an early lead before the Rockies started building a picket fence on the scoreboard.
A pair of ground-rule doubles for Michael Cuddyer and rookie Kyle Parker in the fourth tied the game. The Rockies would take the lead in the fifth when former Dodger farmhand, Rafael Ynoa, drilled an RBI single into center.
Dan Haren pitched well in his final regular season start, giving up a pair of runs on six hits. The right-hander struck out four and walked none in five innings, though he left trailing 2-1.
Haren left a note for the media in the clubhouse that read: “I felt good, I’m ready for the playoffs.”
The Dodger offense came to life in the home half of the fifth with a four-run outburst that included five hits. After grounding into a force out, Yasiel Puig stole second base and took third on an errant throw. Two pitches later Puig came home on a Scott Van Slyke single to tie the game. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier each doubled home a run while A.J. Ellis singled in another.
The three-run lead wouldn’t last long as the Rockies climbed their way back into the game. A Charlie Culberson RBI single in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth inning for Michael McKenry brought the Rockies within striking distance that they would later take advantage of to force extra innings.
The Dodgers will close out the regular season with Zack Greinke on the mound for one last game with the Rockies.
WP: Carlos Frias (1-0, 6.12)
LP: Franklin Morales (6-9, 5.37)
-Dee Gordon left the game after the first inning with irritation in his right hip. It is the same injury that he missed two games for in June and it is not believed to be serious.
-Hanley Ramirez is fine according to Mattingly after the Dodger shortstop fouled a pitch off his left knee in the fourth.