Los Angeles

Chris Taylor Hit a Go-Ahead Homer and Dennis Santana Earned His First MLB Win as Dodgers Survive Slugfest With Rockies

Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead three run home run in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were the last team standing after a slugfest with the division rival Colorado Rockies, 11-8, on Friday night in Denver.

Coors Field is fun.

Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead three run home run in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were the last team standing after a slugfest with the division rival Colorado Rockies, 11-8, on Friday night in Denver.

"It's survival of the fittest," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the game at Coors Field. "You can never script a game out here in this ballpark." 

Indeed there were multiple rewrites throughout the night as the Dodgers and Rockies took turns trading knockout blows with four different lead changes in the contest. 

"At the end of nine innings, you're exhausted and worn out," Taylor said after the game. "It's a good feeling to know you got the win and put it all out there and came out on top."

Scott Alexander made his first career Major League start, and became the 500th starting pitcher in Dodgers franchise history.

After recording the first four outs of the game, Alexander passed the baton to 22-year-old rookie Dennis Santana who earned his first career MLB win in his Major League debut.

"It was beautiful to come and run out of the bullpen in front of my family and to face players I've only ever seen on television," said Santana through a translator of the moment he made his debut. "It was a great experience and I thank my team for helping me, and also getting my first career win."

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to the hottest hitter in the National League.

Matt Kemp crushed a 1-1 cutter from Tyler Anderson deep into the seats in left field for his eighth home run of the season.

The Rockies took the lead in the bottom of the second after Santana hit opposing pitcher, Tyler Anderson, with two outs, extending the inning for D.J. LeMahieu who hit an RBI single and Charlie Blackmon who hit a two-run RBI triple that gave Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Santana got off to a shaky start, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 and 2/3 innings, but he helped his own cause with a two-run bases loaded double in the top of the fourth.

"He made some good pitches, but that's a good lineup over there," said Roberts of Santana's start. "Hopefully he learned something from it and will be ready to go his next turn." 

Santana became the first Dodgers pitcher with an RBI extra-base hit in his first MLB plate appearance since Doug Rau on Sept. 2, 1972, with his game-tying two run double in the first big league pitch he ever saw.

"I just went up there with a positive mindset to swing at anything that was there and that's what happened," Santana said of his two-run double.

One batter later, Taylor knocked in his first of four runs in the game with a sacrifice fly that put the Boys in Blue back on top, 5-4.

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The lead would be shortlived as LeMahieu tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning and then the Rockies recaptured the lead on an RBI single by Gerardo Parra in the bottom of the fifth inning.

LeMahieu, who was activated off the disabled list before the game, tied a career-high with four hits and drove in two runs.

Brooks Pounders entered the game for the Rockies in the top of the sixth to try and hold he lead, but the Dodgers pounded on the right-hander when Taylor sent a fastball over the fence in right-center for a three-run home run, and an 8-6 L.A. lead.

"He has a little life to his fastball and I was just trying to stay above it," said Taylor of the go-ahead homer. "I was able to foul off a few pitches and finally got the bat head to it and hit the other way. It was a 'Colorado homer,' which is nice."

Taylor finished the game, 2-for-4 with a triple, a sac fly, four RBI, and two runs scored.

Nolan Arenado tried to get Colorado back in the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh off Yimi Garcia.

But Yasiel Puig extended the Los Angeles lead with his fourth hit of the evening, a two-run home run to straightaway center off Chris Rusin.

Kenley Jansen recorded his 13th save of the season by recording the final four outs, despite surrendering an RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the ninth.

The Dodgers moved within three games of the NL West-leading Rockies with the win.

Up Next:

Game two of the three-game series with the Rockies features rookie RHP Walker Buehler for the Dodgers against RHP German Marquez for Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15PM PST.  

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