Arenado's 5 RBIs lead Rox to sweep of LA
DENVER -- The Rockies overcame a three-run deficit on Sunday, with Nolan Arenado's three-run homer and career-high five RBIs keying a 12-5 victory and three-game series sweep over the Dodgers, whose magic number for a third consecutive division title remained stuck on 2 as the Giants beat the A's.
Arenado homered in back-to-back games and has 41 home runs on the season to tie Washington's Bryce Harper for the National League lead. He leads the Majors with 126 RBIs.
Chris Rusin (6-9) went 5 1/3 innings and was credited with the victory, despite allowing four runs over the first three innings. Alex Wood (11-12) took the loss, charged with eight runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"The only pitch I'd probably want back is the 3-2 fastball to Arenado," Wood said. "This is the only place where you can give up six or eight and feel you didn't throw that bad. They can get on you real quick."
The Dodgers have lost seven of their last nine games and move on to a four-game series in San Francisco, where one win will put them in the postseason against the Mets, who have a 1 1/2-game lead over Los Angeles for home-field advantage and own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
"The best thing about where we're at is we don't have to look or think about the scoreboard," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We can't be in a much better situation than we're in right now. A lot of teams would trade spots with us. I don't like the fact we lost three straight, but we can't do anything about that." More >
The Rockies earned their first sweep of the Dodgers since Sept. 25-27, 2007, and their first home sweep of the Dodgers since Sept. 18-20, 2007. Both series occurred during the early days of the dramatic run that ended with Colorado's trip to the World Series. The Rockies also finished 36-45 at home and avoided matching the worst home performance in team history (35-46 in 2012).
"It means a lot," Arenado said. "We didn't quit. We never have. I know the fans come out every day and we haven't really played very well at home, and this season hasn't gone our way at all."
Rusin gave up three runs after the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but never gave up a game-breaking hit.
"I felt good all game and was hitting my spots," Rusin said. "I was able to hit my spots and get weak contact, but I prevented the big inning, which is what you have to do in this ballpark."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Strange play got stranger: With two on and two out in the second, Wood hit a weak bouncer to Arenado and jogged to what should have been a certain out. But Arenado airmailed the throw and a run scored. The trail runner, Joc Pederson, who began the play at first base, rounded third hard. Alertly, first baseman Wilin Rosario threw to third, where shortstop Cristhian Adames was covering. The out was easy, except for Adames having to leave the game with a neck injury and right index finger bruise after a collision. Pederson stepped on Adames' finger, but Adames avoided a laceration.
"Remember me": Twice this month, after his 16th-inning, game-winning homer on Sept. 15 and after his grand slam helped lead to a victory Saturday night, Arenado mentioned that beating the Dodgers should be a priority for the Rockies as they establish pride. Arenado added to what he hopes will be a rivalry -- it can't be one until the Rockies climb in the standings -- by launching his three-run shot for a 6-4 lead in the fourth.
Small ball: The first four Dodgers runs scored on batted balls that did not leave the infield: the Arenado throwing error on Wood's grounder, a fielder's-choice tapper to Rusin by Scott Van Slyke and run-scoring groundouts by A.J. Ellis and Alex Guerrero.
Missed double-play: Mattingly found no fault in third baseman Guerrero's decision to try for an inning-ending double-play on DJ LeMahieu's sharp bouncer with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth. Guerrero's throw to second base was a little low and Howie Kendrick's throw to first a little high so LeMahieu was safe, and Arenado followed with the three-run blast.
"I think it was the right play," Mattingly said. "We didn't convert."
"I thought it was over a long time ago, right?" -- Mattingly, zinging reporters who keep asking questions about the postseason
"It's been the best worst year of my life. I have those really, really bad games and some really, really good games. I've just got to work on keeping consistent, not being a roller coaster." -- Rusin, who's had a chance to make his mark in the Majors after five seasons in the Cubs' organization
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Before Corey Dickerson's double with two outs in the second inning, Wood had retired 24 straight Rockies. Wood had held the Rockies scoreless on one hit in eight innings the last time the teams met.
LeMahieu had three hits and two RBIs, one on a self-ordered safety-squeeze bunt against reliever Pedro Baez with Tom Murphy at third in the sixth. LeMahieu alerted third-base coach Stu Cole and Murphy that a bunt was a possibility. In LeMahieu's mind, it was a necessity.
"That guy has dominated me all year, so I just felt that was the easiest way to get the run home," said LeMahieu, who had been 0-for-3 with a strikeout this season against Baez.
Dodgers: Although Zack Greinke missed his last start with a sore calf, he is expected to make this one Monday night at 7:15 p.m. PT. He's won his last five starts with a 1.53 ERA, is 13-1 in his last 15 starts and is flawless against the Giants, 7-0 lifetime with a 2.15 ERA.
Rockies: Right-hander Christian Bergman (3-1, 4.62 ERA) will be making just his third start of the season, after getting solid results as a reliever, at Arizona on Tuesday at 7:40 p.m. MT.
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