Justin Turner and Max Muncy each hit a three-run homer, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Thursday night as David Price earned his first regular-season save.
Muncy’s two-out drive in the seventh inning off reliever Yency Almonte (0-1) gave the defending World Series champions a 6-5 lead on the way to their sixth straight victory.
Price pitched out of trouble in the ninth, striking out two, as the Dodgers gave regular closer Kenley Jansen a breather. Primarily a starter throughout his 13-year career, the left-hander has moved into a relief role this season because of Los Angeles’ stacked and star-studded rotation. His only other save came as a rookie with Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the 2008 AL Championship Series against Boston.
“That was huge for myself, my confidence, my coaches’ confidence in me,” Price said. “I felt every time I went out there my stuff has gotten better. Tonight was the best I’ve commanded the baseball until this point in four appearances. My arm felt great. ... I commanded the baseball the way I’m used to doing it and got good results.”
Jimmy Nelson (1-1) worked a hitless inning in relief of starter Julio Urías and the Dodgers (11-2), with the most wins in the majors, won at home on Jackie Robinson Day.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts told Price before the game that he would get the ball in the ninth if the Dodgers had the lead. Price said he couldn’t say exactly what his reaction was, but he was excited.
“That was the first time I’ve been able to pitch on this day,” Price said of Jackie Robinson Day. “It’s extremely special to me, especially wearing Dodgers blue. I wanted to finish the game and get that save. The first two hitters I didn’t end up the way I wanted to, but I continued to make pitches and things ended up the way I wanted to.”
He had the ball authenticated and will give it to his parents to put on their mantel.
“On so many levels it was positive,” Roberts said. “There’s not a guy in the clubhouse that doesn’t respect David and pulling for him. It was a special day for him. You don’t script many things in baseball, but you couldn’t have scripted that better for him. ... It was a nice feather in his cap.”
Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson homered for struggling Colorado (3-10), which completed an 0-6 road trip.
Nursing a one-run lead, the Dodgers made two errors in the sixth and the Rockies scored three times to take the lead. Zach McKinstry bobbled a ball in right field, allowing one run to score, and shortstop Chris Taylor’s throwing error gave Colorado another.
McMahon hit a first-pitch homer off Urías in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. It was McMahon’s sixth home run of the season. Hampson hit a solo shot in the third to make it 2-0.
Urías allowed five runs, four earned, and seven hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Turner connected in the bottom of the third to put Los Angeles ahead. A notoriously slow starter, the third baseman has four home runs already. He homered for the second time in two days, with his drive a day earlier landing in a fan’s plate of nachos.
Rockies starter Austin Gomber pitched six innings and gave up three runs. He struck out seven and walked two.
Dodgers: INF Gavin Lux was scratched from the lineup with right wrist soreness. ... RHP Brusdar Graterol will be joining the team Friday in San Diego as part of the taxi squad ... OF A.J. Pollock exited with left groin tightness and is day to day.
Rockies: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start of the season Friday night at Coors Field against the New York Mets, weather permitting. In his last start, he allowed one run over five innings against San Francisco.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.50) gets the start at San Diego in the first of 19 highly anticipated games between the NL West rivals this season. His last start against the Padres was in Game 1 of the 2020 NLDS, when he allowed one run and two hits over four innings. He struck out eight and walked four.