Antonio Senzatela’s losing record and his lack of run support on the road didn’t suggest the pitcher would have much success at Dodger Stadium.
His performance on Sunday proved otherwise.
Senzatela pitched seven sparkling innings, C.J. Cron slugged a three-run homer and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 to take two of three from the defending World Series champions.
Senzatela (3-9) cooled off the Dodgers, winners of 17 of 20, by allowing two hits in his first win since June 2. Tyler Kinley worked the eighth, and Carlos Estévez finished the three-hitter.
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It was the Dodgers’ fourth shutout loss of the season. They missed an opportunity to gain ground on NL West-leading San Francisco, which lost 9-0 to the East-leading Atlanta Braves, who come to Los Angeles on Monday. The Giants lead the Dodgers by 2½ games.
“He kept us at bay,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We couldn’t get anything together. We got outpitched and outplayed in this series.”
Senzatela struck out five and walked one on 90 pitches in his first career win at Dodger Stadium, where he had been 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA. He earned his first road victory since Aug. 7, 2020, at Seattle after being 0-6 away from home this season.
“One of the best games of my life,” he said. “I feel like I’m having a good season. Just need to keep fighting through and help the team to win again.”
Senzatela had a perfect game through four innings. Corey Seager finally broke through with a leadoff single in the fifth. He moved to third on a single by Cody Bellinger, putting runners at the corners, but Austin Barnes grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Senzatela walked Seager leading off the seventh and hit Chris Taylor, but the right-hander retired the next three batters.
The Rockies nearly gave the game back in the eighth. Kinley got two quick outs, but Trevor Story lost Trea Turner’s high popup to left-center in the sun and Kinley walked Max Muncy. Kinley’s second wild pitch of the inning moved the runners up before he got AJ Pollock on a swinging strike.
The Rockies had runners on base in every inning except the fifth and eighth after managing just three hits in a 5-2 loss on Saturday. They won the opener 4-2.
Colorado improved to 16-49 on the road.
“I’m just glad we got this series,” Cron said. “We’ve been battling so hard on the road. It just seems like this whole season we haven’t been able to get that big hit for one reason or another.”
Cron leads the majors with 33 RBIs in August. Brendan Rodgers singled and Charlie Blackmon doubled to set up Cron, who blasted his 24th homer of the season and 10th this month for a 3-0 lead against Mitch White (1-2) in the first.
Colorado extended its lead to 5-0 in the seventh. Rio Ruiz hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Joe Kelly. Shane Greene came in and his wild pitch got by Austin Barnes and rolled to the backstop, allowing Story to score.
Facing an overworked bullpen, the Dodgers sent All-Star third baseman Justin Turner to the mound in the ninth, the first time he’s pitched in his career. He gave up back-to-back singles to Story and Cron before retiring the next three batters and walking off to cheers.
Roberts said using Turner was part of the fallout from the team’s 16-inning game in San Diego four days ago.
“It saved a leveraged arm and I would do it again given the same situation,” Roberts said. “He’s a strike thrower. He put the ball in play, worked quick and picked us up.”
Bellinger is scuffling with a .169 average, but he’s still spectacular on defense. He backtracked to make a twisting, leaping catch of Connor Joe’s liner to deep right-center that ended the sixth. Bellinger’s hat flew off and he crashed into the wall, resting against it and flipping the ball from his glove to his left hand as the crowd roared.
Joe, hitless in five at-bats, made a nifty catch of his own in the seventh, earning a tip of the cap from Senzatela. He leaned over the lower wall in left-field foul territory to retire Taylor in front of a young fan who pounded his own glove on top of the wall in frustration.
“That was the best moment of the game,” Senzatela said. “It gave me confidence to get out of jams. Overall, we played really good defense.”
White was called up earlier Sunday for his seventh stint with the Dodgers this season. He gave up three runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray, who left Saturday’s start with forearm tightness, will play catch on Monday. He’s questionable for his next start.
Dodgers: OF Mookie Betts, who is working his way back from time off with a hip injury, will be on a schedule of three days on and a day off going forward. “There’s going to be a point where we’re just going to run him out there every day because he’s the best option,” Roberts said.
Rockies: RHP Germán Márquez (11-9, 4.02 ERA) starts Monday at Texas. He’s 3-7 with a 5.31 ERA on the road this season and has yet to beat the Rangers in three career starts.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias (14-3, 3.17) starts Monday in the opener of a big series against NL East-leading Atlanta. It’s a rematch of last year’s NL Championship Series, which the Dodgers won in seven games on their way to winning the World Series.