"It's three games," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "And our bullpen has faltered in three games."
Although the pitching -- posting a 10.33 ERA this series -- bears much of the blame in the Rockies' rut, the offense hasn't been much help in late innings, either, even if it has been hot in the first half of the game.
Colorado's offense jumped in the first inning when Ian Desmond rocked his 10th homer of the season, a two-run, 459-foot shot to dead center. It extended the Rockies' lead to 4-0 after Nolan Arenado brought in DJ LeMahieu on an RBI single and Trevor Story scored Charlie Blackmon on a sacrifice fly.
That would be the end of Wood's day, after only two innings pitched. The Dodgers' relievers would carry the torch the rest of the game.
Six different Dodger pitchers ultimately shut down the Rockies' bats. In the seventh inning, Arenado -- after striking out in his last two at-bats -- lined a single to right field and only scored and tied the game because of an infield error, when Dodgers' second baseman Logan Forsythe dropped Desmond's popup. That's all that would happen for the Rockies' offense, once again failing to help out a struggling bullpen, which gave up four runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief work.
Black replaced Bettis after 89 pitches in 5 2/3 innings when Yasiel Puig doubled. Even though Black had stretched Saturday's pitcher German Marquez through the sixth inning to avoid turning to the bullpen, he said that at that point, he thought that Bettis had pitched enough after giving up five runs on seven hits, striking out six.
"I liked the matchup, but at the same time we had some guys down there that were fresh, so they were ready to come in," Black said.
Chris Rusin walked the only batter he faced before Black turned to Scott Oberg. Forsythe notched an RBI single off of Oberg, cutting the deficit to one. Then Story overthrew first base on a routine play and two more scored, giving the Dodgers the lead.
With the game tied 7-7 in the top of the ninth inning, Rockies closer Wade Davis struggled with location and gave up three runs. Justin Turner grounded to Davis, and instead of throwing it home, Davis opted to tag Turner out. Then, Yasmani Grandal crushed a two-run shot to seal the deal.
"When you make mistakes like that, sometimes they're hit hard and hit for extra base hits," Black said. "[Davis], like he does, competed hard. The Dodgers got him today."
The Rockies, facing Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, failed to make anything happen in the bottom of the ninth and lost their fourth straight game.
The late-inning pitching breakdown that hurt the Rockies didn't happen as early as in the past two games -- on Friday, it was in the sixth inning and Saturday, the seventh -- but once it did happen, it was over for the Rockies. Davis (0-1) threw 38 pitches in one inning and gave up three runs off of three hits.
With the loss, the Rockies drop to 1 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading Diamondbacks, and the Dodgers are now only a game behind the Rockies. Black and his players are confident that they'll be fine.
"I'm not worried about us bouncing back," LeMahieu said. "I think we do a really good job of that. We didn't play great this series. We didn't have any luck, either. All the bounces went their way."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Ahead 6-1 in the top of the third, Bettis had done a decent job at shutting down the Dodgers until Max Muncy stepped to the plate. Muncy had hit a solo home run that put the Dodgers on the board in the second, so Bettis was careful with what he threw at him.
Muncy, however, grinded through 11 pitches and crushed a three-run home run that put the Dodgers within two and set them up well for their three-run sixth inning to take the lead.
"I felt like I threw the whole kitchen sink at [Muncy]," Bettis said. "The one cutter that I decided to throw just didn't end up where I wanted it to be."
SOUND SMART Batting .282 in this homestand, Story has been solid at the plate, but even more solid at getting on base. Since May 22, Story has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games.
IANNETTA RATTLED BUT NOT DOWN Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta was taken out of the game in the top of the ninth inning when the ball bounced up and hit him in the quad. Even though the area around the hit went numb, he said it's just going to be sore and he would be able to play Monday if he had to.
"I didn't want to lose the game because I couldn't move," he said. "I needed to come out and get [Tony Wolters] back there so we didn't lose the game on a wild pitch."
HE SAID IT "You're going to go through stretches like this. It sucks. No one thinks about it like we do. It's not good, it's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world. I think over the course of the season, that stuff happens multiple times for every team. You play too many games for it not to happen. We have to stay focus on what we can control." -- Iannetta, on the team's four-game losing streak and the Dodgers' sweep
UP NEXT The Rockies will travel to Cincinnati for three games after taking two of three against the Reds at Coors Field on May 25-27. In the opener, left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland (5-5, 3.43 ERA) will face Reds' right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, who is making his first start of the regular season after being sidelined with a left oblique strain suffered before Opening Day. First pitch is set for 5:10 p.m. MT.