Although Mookie Betts has already won a World Series ring and finished second in NL MVP voting while wearing Dodger Blue, he had never been serenaded with long, loud, loving chants of “Mooooookie!” echoing through Chavez Ravine.
Los Angeles' fans took care of that Tuesday night, and they also gave plenty of love to Trevor Bauer during his homecoming start in yet another dominant win for the major league-leading Dodgers.
Betts homered and Bauer pitched seven innings of one-hit ball in their first home game in front of their new fans, propelling Los Angeles to a 7-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
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Bauer (2-0) was outstanding in his first start at Dodger Stadium since signing with LA in February, issuing just two walks with nine strikeouts. Colorado’s only hit off him was an infield single by Garrett Hampson in the third, and Bauer just barely missed throwing out Hampson at first.
“It was fun,” said Bauer, who attended plenty of Dodgers games while growing up in the suburbs north of the park. “Walking out pregame, I was a little excited seeing the fans in the stadium. Happy to turn in a solid performance and get a win."
Corey Seager and Chris Taylor hit back-to-back homers in the first inning, while Max Muncy homered and drove in two runs for the defending champions. With their third shutout win in four games, the Dodgers (9-2) remained unbeaten in Chavez Ravine this season and put up another overwhelming performance in their ninth victory in 10 games overall.
“That’s really cool for them to be able to get out there and be in front of the fans for the first time and experience what it’s like to play in front of this crowd,” said Seager, who had two hits and scored three runs. “It’s a special thing, and I know they didn’t take it for granted.”
LA fans also relished their first chance to cheer Betts, who became a virtual fan favorite when he agreed to a 12-year contract with the Dodgers last year before he even played for the club. Betts went 1 for 5, but his teammates easily picked up the slack.
“The depth of the roster is ridiculous,” Bauer added. "It’s fun to play with guys that good all the way top to bottom.”
Antonio Senzatela (1-2) couldn't get out of the third inning for the Rockies, who have lost four straight while scoring four total runs. They’ve also lost four straight to the Dodgers by a combined 28-13 since beating LA at Coors Field on opening day.
Hampson had both hits for Colorado, which is scoreless in 22 consecutive innings after also getting shut out by San Francisco on Sunday.
“We’re battling every night,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We’re not looking in the past. Our team turns the page pretty quickly. We know the last couple of days we haven’t scored. In San Francisco, we were in hard-fought games. Tonight was really the only game ... that from start to finish, we probably weren't in."
Seager has a hit in 17 consecutive games against Colorado after homering in the first. Two pitches later, Taylor also connected off Senzatela, who didn't come close to replicating his eight scoreless innings against Arizona last week in Denver.
After Betts led off the third with his homer to left, Seager doubled and scored on Gavin Lux's two-out single. Senzatela was pulled after Trevor Story made a terrible throw on what should have been an inning-ending groundout by AJ Pollock, allowing Will Smith to stroll home for a 5-0 lead.
“If I make a mistake against this team, they’re for sure going to hit it,” said Senzatela, who has given up 24 runs and 10 homers in 26 2/3 innings in his six career starts at Dodger Stadium. “I think as a team, they hit it really good. Every time I’m here, they hit it out. I don’t know. It’s the Dodgers.”
Muncy added an RBI double in the fourth and a 419-foot solo shot in the sixth.
PRICE IS RIGHT
David Price, who opted out of last season after arriving in the trade for Betts, also made his first home appearance for the Dodgers. The 35-year-old left-hander is starting the season in the bullpen, and he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Rockies: Chris Owings won't be ready to return April 20 when he is eligible to come off the injured list with his sprained left thumb, manager Bud Black said. Owings' thumb has no major damage, however.
Dodgers: Betts returned from a four-game absence with back stiffness. He doesn't know why his back acted up, but said it only hurt while running. He will play again Wednesday before likely resting Thursday ahead of LA's big series at rival San Diego.
Dustin May (1-0, 0.00 ERA) keeps fighting for his spot in the Dodgers' crowded rotation in his second start of the year. He faces Colorado's Jon Gray (1-0, 1.54), who mostly shut down the Dodgers in his season debut and then took a no-hitter into the seventh inning last week.