Turner's 4 hits help Dodgers trim West deficit
L.A. takes 2 of 3 in Colorado, moves within half-game of division lead
DENVER -- The Dodgers survived a series at Coors Field despite not having closer Kenley Jansen in it.
Justin Turner went 4-for-5 with a homer and a pair of doubles as the Dodgers held on Sunday for a 9-6 win over the Rockies in the rubber game of their showdown series.
That trimmed the deficit to a half-game of the first-place Rockies with another three-game set between the clubs in Los Angeles on the final homestand.
"J.T. led the charge, he's such a pro," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "[His value] is hard to quantify. When you're watching how he's grinding at-bats, that's contagious. He's been fantastic."
Turner had three of the Dodgers' eight extra-base hits, which included a home run from Enrique Hernandez, but of critical importance was a bullpen that protected both save opportunities without its All-Star closer. Jansen was not permitted to travel to the Mile High City on doctor's orders because of the potential effect thin air has on his heart condition. He will rejoin the club on Monday in Cincinnati.
In his place, Scott Alexander got the save, inheriting a runner on first with no outs in the bottom of the ninth from Kenta Maeda and retiring the final three batters.
"Obviously with Kenley not here, playing the Rockies, every win is big," Alexander said. "We were able to get out of here with the win. Everybody in the bullpen was ready to go, we were all focused and prepared."
Dodgers starter Rich Hill (8-5) went five-plus innings to outlast Rockies starter Tyler Anderson (6-8), who didn't get out of the third inning.
"This very much had a playoff feel," Hill said. "Very intense series and we went out and played like there was no tomorrow."
This was Hill's first career win over Colorado in seven career starts. He's 6-1 in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
"We're trying to chase those guys down," Turner said. "The bullpen answered the bell, we won the two games we had a lead. We scored runs, got into the other team's bullpen in the third inning. When you do that, you're facing their seventh-, eighth-, ninth-best pitchers in the game, and that's what we try to do."
Turner powered the offense. He missed the first six weeks with a broken hand that bothered him until the All-Star break. Then came a groin strain, but since returning from that he's hitting .386 with eight home runs.
"I feel healthy, that's the most obvious answer," Turner said. "Flip-flopping with Manny (Machado) in the lineup, things have gone really well when that happened. It's nice to be behind a guy with 35 homers and a professional hitter like him."
It's also nice to be Roberts when he looked at his phone and saw a message.
"Kenley texted me and he's already en route [to Cincinnati, for Monday's series opener]," Roberts said. "He's our most rested guy, so he better be ready to go."
The Dodgers have homered in 17 straight games (25 HR) dating back to the start of play on Aug. 21. In the expansion era (since the start of 1961), that ties the franchise mark, set in June of last season.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Chris Taylor came up big on both sides, slugging a two-run double in the fifth inning and gunning down Gerardo Parra at second base to end the seventh inning when he tried to tag up from first base on a fly out to left field down by three runs.
HE SAID IT
"I look at it as a challenge. I love it. I'd take the ball every time here." -- Hill, on pitching in Coors Field
Alex Wood (8-6, 3.37 ERA) starts against Cody Reed (0-2, 4.81) and the Reds in Monday's 3:40 p.m. PT series opener. Wood was pushed back for this, as manager Dave Roberts said he was a better fit for Great America Ball Park. In his last 13 starts since June 16, Wood is 7-1 with a 2.39 ERA.