With the way Los Angeles’ bullpen has been pitching, one spectacular play was all the Dodgers needed.
Werth homered and made the key defensive play to get the game to baseball’s best bullpen, helping the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Thursday.
“Forget my home run, Jayson Werth saved the game,” said Dodgers catcher David Ross, who hit his third homer in the sixth inning.
“There’s a lot that can happen when these guys start hitting and you’ve got to give credit to Jayson for that catch. That was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen.”
Werth provided it in the sixth inning.
With the score tied at 2, Jeromy Burnitz hit what the crowd at first thought was his seventh homer in as many home games. But Werth, who hit his seventh homer in the first inning, never gave up on the ball.
He crashed into the wall just as he caught the ball in left-center, then rolled over and threw the ball in from his back. Shortstop Cesar Izturis relayed to second baseman Alex Cora, who tossed it to first to easily double up Preston Wilson at first.
“That’s the difference in the game,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “You know, we’ve made a lot of terrific defensive plays this year collectively, but that catch today ranks right up there as one of the better defensive plays we’ve made all year.”
And it set the stage for Los Angeles’ bullpen.
Colorado rallied for the go-ahead run against the Dodgers in the eighth inning of a 5-4 victory the day before, but the Rockies didn’t stand a chance this time.
Colorado didn’t get a hit after Alvarez left in the fifth inning, managing just one baserunner after Werth’s catch in the sixth. Duaner Sanchez, Darren Dreifort and Guillermo Mota followed Alvarez, and Eric Gagne got four outs to finish off the four-hitter and notch his 30th save in 31 chances.
The Dodgers have won 13 of their last 17, and 10 of 13 on the road.
“Once again, those guys have some great stuff,” Burnitz said of the Dodgers’ bullpen. “I saw it last year when I was over there. They shut guys down late in the game, pretty much automatic.”
The Dodgers got off to a good start against Wright, with Werth hitting a long solo homer in the first that hit the base of the concourse behind the foul pole in left.
But that was about it.
The Dodgers had a runner on third with one out in the third inning after Ross tripled. Wright followed by getting Alvarez on a comebacker and Izturis on a flyout to end the inning.
Alex Cora led off the fifth with a double, but was left there after Wright got a pair of popups and a groundout to finish the inning.
Wright was lifted after walking Juan Encarnacion with one out in the sixth, leaving after giving up two runs and seven hits.
“He pitched pretty well today,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “He gave us a good effort and a good outing.”
Alvarez (6-3) was just as good.
Aaron Miles led off the first inning with a double, but the Rockies didn’t get another hit off the left-hander until Todd Helton led off the fourth with his third homer in four games and 22nd overall.
The Dodgers took the lead back in the sixth, when Scott Dohmann (0-1) hung a 1-2 curveball that Ross hit over the wall in left for a two-run homer.
That gave Alvarez the lead, and he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom half after allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out six, walked two and hit a batter to win his third straight decision and match his win total from a year ago.
“He knows how to pitch and he knows how to get guys out,” Ross said. “He’s going to come right at you, there’s no tricking you and he’s going to make you beat him. He’s been pitching great for us.”
Colorado played with a short bench for the second straight game because C Todd Greene (hamstring) and INF Luis Gonzalez (knee) are still nursing injuries. … Los Angeles is 50-0 when leading after eight innings. … Colorado 3B Vinny Castilla was 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 11 games. … Dohmann had his scoreless streak of 15 1-3 innings end with Ross’ homer.