Adrian Gonzalez

Yasiel Puig Returns To Lineup Leads Los Angeles to 6-3 Victory

Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup for Los Angeles on Saturday and propelled the Dodgers to a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup on Saturday and propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers into first place in the National League West with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Puig missed the last three games with a left hamstring injury. The Cuban slugger made his presence felt going 2 for 3 with an RBI double and a run scored.

“Stan [Kasten] came into the office early today and said that he [Yasiel Puig] was good to go,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. “After seeing him run yesterday, he looked pretty good. I’m glad he was out there tonight.”

Like the schoolyard bully who keeps taking your lunch money, Adrian Gonzalez continued to beat up on the opponents pitching. Gonzalez knocked in three runs and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Gonzalez’s 23 hits through the team’s first 11 games tie Eric Karros (1995) for the most in LA history.

“Six wins in a row is great,” said Gonzalez after the game. “Especially against a team who came in playing really good baseball. We were able to come out and beat them twice, and hopefully we can beat them again tomorrow.”

Zack Greinke was stellar once again for LA as the right-hander allowed just three runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings for his second win of the season.

Greinke (2-0) struggled to start the game giving up a leadoff double to Charlie Blackmon and an RBI single to Troy Tulowitzki before Nolan Arenado hit into an inning-ending double play to get Greinke out of the jam.

“That’s probably the toughest lineup in the National League,” said Grienke of the Rockies hitters. “I was looking at it today. Maybe our lineup is up with theirs, but they’re pretty good.”

Greinke found his groove pitching five scoreless innings before running into trouble in the top half of the 7th. With the score 4-1 in favor of LA, and Arenado on second with a leadoff double, Mattingly came out to the mound to talk to his starter.

Mattingly asked Greinke if he had enough left in the tank to stay in the game and the Florida native confidently nodded and asked to stay on the mound. After striking out Nick Hundley, Greinke just needed to get past DJ LeMahieu and he was out of the inning.

Turns out Mattingly might have left Greinke in a batter too long as LeMahieu blasted a fastball into the stands for his first homer of the season. It came on Greinke’s 103rd pitch of the game, which would also prove to be his last on the night.

“I think that may be his first home run on a fastball against a right-handed pitcher in his career,” added Grienke. “He’s hit some of them on off-speed pitches, so I was just trying to throw a fastball away and he hit it pretty well. I wasn’t really thinking home run at the time I threw it, but I had a decent lead and I just wanted to make him put the ball in play.”

LeMahieu is the hottest No. 8 hitter in the game right now as the Rockies second baseman is batting .463 with 18 hits and 6 RBIs through his first 11 games.

“I knew I was probably his last batter, so I didn’t want him leaving on a good note,” joked LeMahieu. “I’m just seeing the ball well. I had a good first series and I’ve just tried to carry it on.”

The Dodgers would add two important insurance runs after the stretch thanks to a trio of doubles by Jimmy Rollins, Puig and Howie Kendrick.

Jordan Lyles suffered the loss for Colorado surrendering four runs on five hits in six innings. Lyles (1-1) lost control in the fifth inning walking three of the first four batters he faced. He threw a chest-high fastball at Puig that just missed hitting the Dodgers star. Puig stared down Lyles for what seemed like an eternity before taking his base.

“It’s the walks that did me in,” said Lyles who had five total. “A lot of them scored. If they’re going to score, make them earn it. After I walked them, they earned it by getting them in. I’ve got to do a better job of attacking them early.”

Gonzalez followed with a two-run single to center. Gonzalez is batting .523 with 14 RBIs to start the season. His streak of reaching base at least two times a game was snapped at 10, and ties for the longest such streak to start a season since Jackie Robinson in 1952.

Joel Peralta worked a scoreless ninth and picked up his third save of the season.

Game Notes:
Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Dodgers won their sixth straight game while scoring at least five or more runs.

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