LOS ANGELES -- As with many one-run games, the hero of the night was the starting pitcher. Chris Rusin attacked the zone and forced weak contact as he led the Rockies to a 1-0 win over the Dodgers Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.Rusin threw six scoreless innings and came away with
LOS ANGELES -- As with many one-run games, the hero of the night was the starting pitcher. Chris Rusin attacked the zone and forced weak contact as he led the Rockies to a 1-0 win over the Dodgers Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Rusin threw six scoreless innings and came away with season lows in both hits and walks, while forcing 11 groundouts, consistently keeping the ball in the infield and always inside the park.
"When I'm falling behind hitters, I'm not the best," Rusin said. "So it's important for me to attack the zone and get strike one. That's when I can nibble a little bit and get them to swing at pitches they don't want to swing at."
The biggest trouble Rusin ran into came in the fifth inning when a comical error on what should have been a sacrifice bunt from Kenta Maeda loaded the bases with one out and the top of the Dodgers' order due up.
Rusin escaped by striking out Kiké Hernandez and forcing another groundout from Justin Turner.
"Fifth inning, to get out of that jam, it was a little bit of Houdini there," manager Walt Weiss said. "I don't know how he did it. We messed up the bunt coverage and that inning could have went south in a hurry, but Rusin really picked us up there. Big time performance by him tonight."
The Dodgers didn't get more than one baserunner in any other inning Rusin pitched. It's a strong start for a player that had seen weak results so far in 2016, while moving between the rotation and bullpen.
"It wasn't me being comfortable in the rotation or the bullpen or whatever, just me trying to find my arm slot and rhythm, my timing," Rusin said. "I've been working hard at it and it payed off tonight. I was a little shaky last start, but hopefully I can continue to keep the rhythm."
With Tyler Chatwood's eight-inning, one-hit effort Monday and Eddie Butler's six innings and three runs Tuesday, all three Rockies starters came away with quality starts this week, helping the team win its first series at Dodger Stadium since April 2014.
In fact, combined with the bullpen, the Rockies' pitching staff held the Dodgers to just 10 hits in the series, the second-lowest three-game series total in Rockies history.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Rockies on Wednesday.