DENVER – The Los Angeles Dodgers had a lost weekend in Colorado.
When they arrived in Denver, their magic number to clinch the NL West was three and they were hoping to celebrate before flying to San Francisco. After losing 12-5 Sunday and getting swept out of Coors Field, it remains stuck on two, and they had to board a flight for a series that -- despite their best intentions -- will have meaning.
The Giants, who are 6-0 at home against the Dodgers this season, beat the Oakland A’s 5-4 on Sunday and can avoid elimination with a four-game sweep.
How it happened: The Dodgers’ pitchers will be glad to get back down to sea level. They'll also be glad to have Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the mound. It wasn’t a pretty weekend for the other Dodgers starting pitchers at mile-high altitude.
The Dodgers got out to a 4-1 lead after the first three batters got on base and scored on an infield single and two RBI groundouts in the third inning, but Colorado kept the heat on against Alex Wood. Nolan Arenado hit his 41st home run, a deep shot to left, in the fourth inning to make it 6-4. Arenado wouldn’t have hit in that inning if the Dodgers had been able to turn a fairly routine double-play chance. DJ LeMahieu hit a sharp grounder to Alex Guerrero, who threw to second rather than go home. Howie Kendrick, collecting an awkward feed from Guerrero, got the out at second but threw wildly to first base.
Wood (11-12) allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 5⅓ innings. All told, the three Dodgers pitchers in this series – Wood, Brett Anderson and Mike Bolsinger – combined for a 12.15 ERA and allowed 28 hits in 13⅓ innings.
What it means: The New York Mets have a chance to sail past the Dodgers in the pursuit of home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. New York, which holds the tiebreaker based on head-to-head record, took a 1½-game lead in that race.
Notable: Chris Heisey made two diving catches, one in right field and one in left field, or the Rockies would have scored even more runs. … Reliever J.P. Howell was called for a balk in the sixth inning after he appeared to pick LeMahieu off first base. That also led to a run, as Carlos Gonzalez singled to right to drive in LeMahieu. … Rockies shortstop Cristhian Adames had to leave the game after a collision with Joc Pederson at third base in the second inning. Adames had bruises to the head, neck and index finger, the Rockies announced.
Up next: The Dodgers travel to San Francisco for a four-game series. Greinke (18-3, 1.65 ERA) will be on the mound for what the Dodgers hope is the division-clincher Monday night. He will be opposed by Jake Peavy (7-6, 3.83 ERA) in a game that starts at 10:15 p.m. ET.