Los Angeles — Will Smith smashed the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Sunday.
LA Mookie Betts (hip) or Cody Bellinger (hamstring) were in the starting lineup. Shortstop Corey Seager (hand) has been out since May.
Chris Taylor blasted a pair of home runs and the short-handed Dodgers won consecutive games against the Rockies with just four total runs produced.
Colorado got the party started early against Josiah Gray with a leadoff walk from Raimel Tapia, who stole second base. Tapia scored on Trevor Story’s two-out single to center field. The Rockies did win the series opener Friday but have an MLB-low 10 road victories this season.
Taylor hit homers in the first and fifth innings to give him 16 on the season. Phil Bickford (1-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win, and Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save.
With trade deadline looming Friday, LA is looking to bolster their pitching staff. Clayton Kershaw and Corey Knebel are expected to return soon, but the Dodgers’ pitching staff needs a another bona-fide starter.
Smith broke a tie with the homer to left center with one out in the eighth against right-hander Carlos Estevez (2-2). It was his 14th home run of the season and his third in the seven-game homestand.
“He’s a 20-, 25-homer guy for me with a high on-base percentage and he’s doing exactly what we’re hoping for,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about Smith. “Honestly, we’ve plugged him in the middle of the order for the last year and a half and he’s only going to get better.”
Colorado right-hander Josiah Gray battled with LA rookie right-hander Josiah Gray, with neither involved in the decision.
“I think we’ve been in a lot of games with the Dodgers,” Rockies acting manager Mike Redmond said. “I mean, if you look at the overall scores, there’s a lot of games that are pretty close. Unfortunately, the big hits are coming from them, not from us.”
Taylor led off the game for the Dodgers with a home run, but the lineup was held in check from there. Gray gave up two runs on three hits over four innings in his first career start with four walks and six K’s.
Colorado took the lead in the second when Diaz hit his ninth homer of the season. It was his second home run of the series, with five of his nine homers coming in July. LAD tied it again in the fifth on Taylor’s home run.
“The first Taylor home run, I wouldn’t say it was a terrible pitch, it probably wasn’t the best location, but it was sharp enough,” Jon Gray said. “The second one really took me by surprise. I tried to sneak a curveball in there but he’s really seeing the ball well right now.”
The Dodgers scored all their runs on solo home runs: Chris Taylor hit one in the first inning and another in the fifth, and Will Smith hit the game-winner in the eighth. That was the difference in the game
“I’m not playing any different,” Taylor said when asked if he made an effort to lead the way amid of depleted lineup. “I think we have trust in all nine guys no matter who is in there. I’m always trying to play my best, it doesn’t matter what the lineup is. I’m just trying to get on base and it’s all extra when you’re able to drive a ball for slug.”
The Rockies will have right-hander German Marquez (8-7, 3.50 ERA) on the mound Monday against the Angels in the opener of a three-game road series. After an off day Monday, the Dodgers will send left-hander Julio Urias (12-3, 3.63) to the mound Tuesday at San Francisco to play a Giants team that won three of four at Dodger Stadium last week.