Things got so out of hand for the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night that they resorted to using backup catcher Brian Serven on the mound for the ninth inning.
Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles Dodgers countered with infielder Hanser Alberto in the bottom of the inning.
Los Angeles used Alberto as a luxury in its 13-0 win, but the Rockies pitched out of a need to save the bullpen.
On Friday night, Colorado can spare its bullpen with a good outing from starter Chad Kuhl in the second game of the four-game series in Denver.
Kuhl (6-5, 4.48 ERA), a right-hander, will match up against Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias (9-6, 2.72) in what the Rockies hope will be a bounce-back game.
Kuhl is looking for a bit of a bounce-back performance of his own Friday night, and if he can duplicate his last outing against the Dodgers, he will succeed.
In that June 27 start at home, Kuhl recorded the first complete game of his career, a 4-0 shutout in which he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out five. He is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in five career starts against Los Angeles.
Since that June 27 outing, Kuhl has struggled, allowing 17 runs in 17 innings in four starts. He did win his only decision in those outings, July 8 against Arizona, but his most recent outing, Sunday at Milwaukee, was forgettable. He allowed five runs in just 2 1/3 innings.
The Rockies managed seven hits against the Dodgers on Thursday night, one from Kris Bryant. Bryant revealed Tuesday night he is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot but is playing through it. He was in left field on Thursday.
“This is something that he has to manage, along with the coaches and me and the training staff,” Rockies manager Bud Black said before Thursday’s game. “He feels very capable of playing defense.”
The Dodgers have won two straight after nearly getting swept at home by Washington earlier this week. During that two-game streak, the Dodgers have 20 runs and 25 hits.
Despite their brief skid, the Dodgers have been one of the hotter teams in baseball. They have won 17 of their past 20 games and have a 12-game lead in the National League West.
“Our pitching has been amazing all season, and we’ve just been hitting a lot better as of late, scoring a lot of runs, letting them settle in and get deeper into ballgames,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said recently. “It’s just kind of been clicking on all cylinders for about four or five weeks now.”
The Dodgers would like to keep it going behind Urias, who will make his fourth start of the season against Colorado. He is 2-1 with a 4.73 ERA in three starts against the Rockies this season and 4-2 lifetime with a 5.23 ERA in 17 games (14 starts).
Urias is 6-0 over his past seven starts and hasn’t lost since June 12 at San Francisco.
–Field Level Media