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Jun 1, 2024 9:36 am

Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies aim to derail Dodgers again

Ezequiel Tovar

The Colorado Rockies have a full head of steam now, and they have two chances to claim their third consecutive series victory.

The Rockies will look to accomplish the feat on the road Saturday against the National League West-rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ezequiel Tovar had a home run among his three hits Friday as the Rockies earned a 4-1 victory over the Dodgers. It ended a seven-game losing streak at Los Angeles and came after the Rockies failed to win any of their six games at Dodger Stadium last year.

It was the first time in franchise history the Rockies did not win a game at Los Angeles in a single season.

Colorado has won 13 of its past 20 games, including series victories over the last week against the NL-best Philadelphia Phillies and the Cleveland Guardians.

Tovar, 22, is helping to lead the offensive charge. Friday was his sixth game of the season at least three hits, with his lone four-hit game coming last weekend against the Phillies.

“We saw his power,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Tovar’s home run off Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler. “That ball was hit pretty well. It was a breaking ball sort of down and he hit quite a ways to left-center in this ballpark. He has that in him. So for me, he’s a complete player on both sides and growing into a guy that other guys look to, even though he’s young.”

After Dakota Hudson pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season, the Rockies will close out the series with their two best pitchers. Right-hander Cal Quantrill will pitch Saturday, followed by left-hander Austin Gomber on Sunday.

Quantrill (4-3, 3.53 ERA) was 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in five May starts. Opponents hit .187 against him during the month.

But Quantrill’s four career appearances (three starts) against the Dodgers have not gone as well. He has a 1-3 record with a 7.79 career ERA versus Los Angeles.

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-2, 3.51), who will be on five days of rest for a second consecutive start. On Sunday at Cincinnati, he gave up four runs on six hits in five innings as the Reds finished off a three-game sweep.

Yamamoto will be making his first career start against the Rockies.

The Dodgers rebounded from their issues at Cincinnati by visiting New York for a three-game sweep of the Mets, but they were delayed at the airport for more than eight hours into Thursday morning when they tried to return. On Friday, they had just four hits through seven innings before falling to the Rockies.

Mookie Betts, Shohei Othani and Freddie Freeman were a combined 0-for-11 in the series opener. Betts slowed the momentum of an eighth-inning rally when he grounded into a double play against Colorado right-hander Victor Vodnik. Two batters later, Freeman struck out against lefty Jalen Beeks.

Rookie Andy Pages had two hits, but he also made an error in center field that allowed a Rockies run to score.

“I felt good coming into today,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I know we had some issues on that tarmac the other night so we got in late and it was sort of an abbreviated off day (Thursday). But it’s no excuse. I thought coming in today our guys were ready and you have to give (Hudson) credit.”

–Field Level Media

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