Dodgers’ Alex Wood holds off Rockies 6-1

on Jun24

The tomato can that was the New York Mets vacated Dodger Stadium on Thursday after being pummeled in a four-game sweep in which the Dodgers slugged 15 homers, a franchise record for a series.

Into the ring Friday night stepped the Colorado Rockies, an upstart with the third-best record in baseball and their sights set on dethroning the four-time defending National League West champions.

It wasn’t much of a fight. The Dodgers swatted away the Rockies as if they were a fly on their shoulder, bunching five runs and 10 hits in the first four innings of a 6-1 victory in which left-hander Alex Wood continued his mound mastery.

Wood gave up one run and three hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two, to improve to 8-0 with a 1.86 ERA and help the scorching-hot Dodgers extend their win streak to eight. The Dodgers have won 14 of 15 games, outscoring the Nationals, Reds, Indians and Mets 104-57 in that span.

Justin Turner had two singles, a double and an RBI to bump his average to .392; Cody Bellinger hit a sacrifice fly and an RBI double, giving him 51 RBIs in 55 games; and Austin Barnes tripled and scored in the eighth.

Yasiel Puig, who drew the ire of the Mets on Wednesday for taking 32 seconds to round the bases on a three-run homer, ran so hard out of the box on his fourth-inning solo shot to center — his 14th homer of the season — that he reached first base before the ball left the park.

The only snag for the Dodgers was a right-hamstring cramp that knocked shortstop Corey Seager out of the game after two innings, an injury that does not appear to be serious but is cause for some concern.

Seager, who hit three homers Tuesday, smoked line drives to right field in his first two at-bats, hitting a single and scoring on Bellinger’s sacrifice fly in the first and hitting a two-out RBI single in a three-run second to help fuel a three-run rally.

Barnes, who had led off with a walk, was waved home from second on Seager’s hit, an aggressive send by third-base coach Chris Woodward that paid off when right fielder Raimel Tapia’s one-hop throw skipped past catcher Tom Murphy, allowing Barnes to score for a 2-1 lead.

Seager took second on the throw but clutched his hamstring as he reached the bag.

He remained in the game and scored without incident on Turner’s single to right, but Seager headed for the clubhouse and did not take the field in the third.

The Dodgers are now 49-26 and have a 21/2-game lead over Colorado (47-29) and Arizona (46-28). Friday marked the first time since divisional play began in 1969 that three teams in the same division had a .615 winning percentage through games of June 22.

The Dodgers, on a 105-win pace, were expected to be here; the Rockies, on a 100-win pace, were not. They’ve made the playoffs three times in 24 years and haven’t had a winning season since 2010. But Colorado has emerged as a contender under first-year manager Bud Black.

“It’s different, it’s fun, it’s cool,” said Arenado, the former El Toro High School standout who entered Friday with a major league-leading 46 extra-base hits and ranked third with 59 RBIs. “It’s probably cool for the Dodgers, too, because it’s different.

“It’s usually the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West. Now, it’s the Rockies and Diamondbacks. It’s a different vibe. For us, we love it. We’re the team that nobody thought would be in this position, but we are now. Hopefully we can ride this out.”

Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna

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