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Rockies go for sweep of Dodgers

Sportsnaut
Jun 26, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) celebrates his solo home run against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies are having little trouble beating the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers so far this season.

Colorado looks to complete a three-game sweep as well as defeat the Dodgers for the fifth time in six meetings when the teams conclude their series on Wednesday night in Denver.

The Rockies outscored Los Angeles 11-4 while winning the first two games of the series.

Veteran outfielder Charlie Blackmon led the assault in Tuesday’s 7-4 victory by going 4-for-5 with two runs and one RBI.

He faced just five pitches in the at-bats in which he got the four hits.

“Sometimes I like to be unpredictable but I kind of became predictable by the end of the game,” Blackmon said afterward. “I swung a lot early.”

Blackmon had three first-pitch singles off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw — who gave up a season-worst six runs in just four innings — and a second-pitch double off reliever Yency Almonte.

The four-hit outing was third of the season and 26th of Blackmon’s career.

Colorado won the opener 4-0 on Monday when the Dodgers had just three hits.

Three of Los Angeles’ four runs in the series have come on solo homers from Hanser Alberto, Max Muncy and Trea Turner.

The sudden lack of offense at hitter-friendly Coors Field is mind-boggling to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“(Monday) night was pretty forgettable,” Roberts told reporters afterward. “(Tuesday night), we just couldn’t really tack on and get back into the game. … We couldn’t string many hits together.”

All five meetings between the teams this season have been played in Denver. The Rockies have won the past four by a 23-10 margin.

Roberts also is surprised by his squad’s inferior play in Colorado.

“Before this year, we played really well here,” Roberts said. “But this year, it just seems like for some reason we can’t win games here. Obviously, we will try to salvage the series tomorrow.”

Blackmon added: “The Rockies are more comfortable playing at home. I think that’s probably part of it.”

Colorado received homers from Randal Grichuk and Elias Diaz in Tuesday’s win.

Right-hander German Marquez (4-5, 5.58 ERA) will try to pitch the Rockies to the sweep.

Marquez is 3-0 over his last four starts after getting off to a shaky start. He beat the Minnesota Twins in his last outing on Friday when he gave up three hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

The 27-year-old Marquez fared well against the Dodgers on April 9 when he gave up one run and three hits over seven innings in a no-decision. He is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 career starts against Los Angeles.

Muncy is just 3-for-22 against Marquez but two of the hits are homers. Cody Bellinger (4-for-27) also has two blasts against Marquez.

Left-hander Julio Urias (5-6, 2.48) will be on the mound for the Dodgers.

Urias has won his past two decisions, allowing just two runs (one earned) and five hits over 12 innings while beating the Cleveland Guardians and Atlanta Braves. He struck out 15 and walked four during the span.

The 25-year-old Urias lost at Coors Field on April 10 in his first outing of the season. He was roughed up for six runs (three earned) and six hits in two-plus innings and served up a homer to C.J. Cron.

Urias is 2-2 with a 5.61 ERA in 15 appearances (12 starts) against the Rockies. Cron is 6-for-14 with two homers, two doubles and nine RBIs against Urias while Blackmon is 7-for-20.

–Field Level Media