Rockies beat Dodgers, 8-1
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers insist they’re in this season for the long haul, unwilling to change what got them to 92 victories.
At the same time, manager Dave Roberts is searching for something, anything, to get his team out of its funk.
“I’m open for suggestions,” he said after the NL West leaders lost their 10th straight game for their worst skid in 25 years, routed by Mark Reynolds and the Colorado Rockies 8-1 Sunday.
“We have a very frustrated and upset clubhouse,” Roberts said.
Reynolds hit a grand slam, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story also homered, and Tyler Chatwood pitched five scoreless innings. The Rockies remained three games ahead of St. Louis and Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card spot.
Los Angeles still owns the best record in the majors at 92-51, but even that’s becoming tenuous. Washington beat the Phillies on Sunday to cut LA’s lead to four games.
“We just got to keep grinding,” said center fielder Chris Taylor, who went 0 for 5. “The depth is still there, it just seems a lot of guys have slumped at the same time.”
Corey Seager and Justin Turner — two of the team’s best hitters — combined for two hits and three strikeouts in eight at-bats. NL Rookie of the Year candidate Cody Bellinger went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS
The Dodgers have dropped nine in a row at Chavez Ravine for the first time in 30 years. Overall, Los Angeles has lost 15 of 16, including its longest drought since losing 10 straight in 1992.
“The Dodgers have too much talent not to come of it and they will,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “They play hard and they’ll get their consistency back.”
Rich Hill (9-8) gave up two runs and four hits in five innings. Chatwood (7-12) allowed five hits and struck out five.
The Rockies won their sixth straight on the road for the first time since April 2015. They earned their first four-game sweep of the Dodgers since 2010, and the first in LA since 2007.
“It was a huge series for us,” Reynolds said. “This is a great atmosphere to play in and it’s even better to silence the crowd. It seemed like the Dodgers couldn’t lose and now they can’t win, but that’s what this game does to you, it’s hard.”
The Dodgers are just the fourth team in major league history to win 14 of 15 games and lose 14 of 15 in the same season, joining the 1914 Pirates, 1955 Phillies and 1959 Kansas City Athletics, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Los Angeles has 15 losses in the last 17 days. Before this drop-off, its previous 14 losses came over a span of 85 days, in which the team went 58-14 in that stretch.
“As they say, success isn’t in a straight line, right?” Hill said. “It’s an extremely difficult time right now.”
The Dodgers last won on Sept. 1 when ace Clayton Kershaw pitched them to a 1-0 victory at San Diego.
They’ll try to shake their stunning malaise when they hit the road Monday for a 10-game trip to San Francisco, first-place Washington and Philadelphia.
“It’s past the point of anger and frustration now,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “We have to go out and play better.”
The Rockies took a 2-0 lead into the eighth and then broke it open with five runs. Reynolds hit his fifth career grand slam over the left-field wall off Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ prized prospect making his second appearance in the big leagues.
Buehler came on in the eighth and promptly gave up a single to DJ LeMahieu and walked Arenado. He struck out Story before walking Carlos Gonzalez to load the bases. Reynolds connected on a 3-2 pitch, sending many in the announced crowd of 50,161 heading to the exits.
Arenado homered leading off the third and Story hit a two-out, solo shot in the ninth.
Alex Verdugo hit his first major league homer leading off the bottom of the ninth to prevent the Dodgers from getting shut out.
Hill was in trouble immediately, giving up two walks and two hits to his first four batters, including a RBI single by Arenado. Hill escaped the bases-loaded jam by retiring the next three batters, striking out two.
Hall of Famer Tom Lasorda, who managed the Dodgers to their last World Series championship in 1988, visited with Roberts and talked to the team before the game. “He just wanted to put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I’ve been there. It’s going to be OK,’” Roberts said before the game. “We’re getting to some uncharted territory.”
Veteran Andre Ethier is 4 for 8 with a home run and an RBI in his last five games since being reinstated from the DL on Sept. 1. He went 2 for 2 Sunday for his first multi-hit game since Sept. 25, 2015, at San Francisco. Ethier has spent the majority of the season sidelined by a bad back.
Next up for the Rockies, Kyle Freeland (11-10, 3.99 ERA) starts Monday at Arizona in the opener of a four-game series. His victories and ERA lead major league rookies. However, he’s 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in six starts since Aug. 4. He hasn’t won since July 30 at Washington.