Rockies drop series finale against Dodgers after Austin Gomber lasts just three innings (2024)

The Rockies’ giant-killing days are done — for now.

With two chances to claim a rare series win over the NL West-leading Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, not to mention a third straight series victory over a division leader, the Rockies came up empty twice in 24 hours.

The second loss came Sunday afternoon, as Colorado’s lineup failed to deliver for the second game in a row and left-hander Austin Gomber was taken deep twice while lasting just three innings in a 4-0 defeat.

It marked the 12th time in 16 trips that the Rockies left Dodger Stadium with a series loss. They are 13-39 in Los Angeles over that span, and 1-8 in their last three visits.

“We just couldn’t muster anything against their pitching staff,” Rockies manager Bud Black told reporters after his team scored one run over the final two games. “… We scored five runs in three games (in L.A.). That’s not going to cut it.”

Still, the Rockies are 13-9 since May 9, a string of competitive play that’s offered hope after a franchise-worst 8-28 start to the season.

Following a series-opening win Friday night to move to 14-10 against opponents over .500, the Rockies were on the verge of taking down another division leader after winning 2 of 3 against Philadelphia (NL East) and Cleveland (AL Central) in back-to-back series at Coors Field.

With top two starters Cal Quantrill and Gomber taking the mound on successive days, the Rockies were in good position to keep that string going. Instead, both pitchers hit speed bumps in the Southland.

A day after Quantrill was unable to get out of the fifth inning in a 4-1 loss, Gomber’s outing was even shorter.

“His strength is being able to locate the ball,” Black said, “and today he was just off.”

Rockies drop series finale against Dodgers after Austin Gomber lasts just three innings (1)

Returning after his last start was scratched due to tightness around his left elbow, Gomber received a rude welcome from Mookie Betts, who golfed his third pitch of the game into the left-field stands.

The location of Gomber’s slider, low and inside, couldn’t have been much better. Still, Betts pulled it 354 feet down the third-base line for a lead-off homer. Two batters later, Freddie Freeman drove a 3-2 fastball on the 10th pitch of the at-bat to center field that Brenton Doyle was inches away from reeling in. Instead, another solo shot, and a 2-0 Dodgers lead.

Gomber pitched around trouble in the second inning only for the Dodgers to strike again in the third, as a pair of walks preceded Miguel Rojas’ RBI single to left for a 3-0 advantage.

Gomber avoided further damage after that, but he had already thrown 79 pitches after three innings and his day was over. His final line: five hits, three walks, three earned runs and two strikeouts in his shortest start of the season.

“I don’t base his outing on being pushed back five days, I don’t. And he’ll say the same thing,” Black said. “… His arm felt fine, his stuff was fine. It’s just he couldn’t command the ball. And, you know, to the Dodgers’ credit, a lot of foul balls. Took some borderline pitches, which they do.”

Rockies drop series finale against Dodgers after Austin Gomber lasts just three innings (2)

The three runs off Gomber was more than enough for L.A. starter Gavin Stone and the Dodgers bullpen, which pitched around trouble all day while holding the Rockies to just five hits and zero runs.

Colorado put the leadoff hitter on base in five of nine innings but failed to capitalize each time. The biggest threat came after Charlie Blackmon’s two-out double put runners on second and third in the fifth. Stone then got Ezequiel Tovar to line out to a perfectly placed Freeman well off the first base bag, and the Rockies didn’t reach second base the rest of the day.

That was Stone’s last pitch. The rookie right-hander finished with four hits, two walks and six strikeouts over five innings to earn the win. Relievers Michael Grove, Alex Vesia and Daniel Hudson combined for five strikeouts over the next four innings.

Colorado stranded five runners after leaving eight on base Saturday, and couldn’t take advantage of a solid bullpen effort from Peter Lambert and Anthony Molina, who combined to give up just one run over the final five innings.

Rockies drop series finale against Dodgers after Austin Gomber lasts just three innings (3)

Monday’s pitching matchup

Reds LHP Andrew Abbott (3-5, 3.29 ERA) at Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (1-4, 5.46)

6:40 p.m. Monday, Coors Field

TV: Rockies.TV (streaming); Comcast/Xfinity (channel 1262); DirecTV (683); Spectrum (130, 445, 305, 435 or 445, depending on region).

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Feltner is still searching for consistency, with the right-hander allowing five earned runs in three of his past five starts. That included a disastrous showing against the Guardians his last time out — one that saw him give up five earned runs, eight hits, two walks and two homers in 4 1/3 innings. In between those eyesores, he submitted arguably his best start of the season with six scoreless innings at Oakland. This will be his first appearance against the Reds in his career.

Abbott, a promising young lefty who was among the top rookie starters in MLB last summer, is coming off his worst start of the season: six runs allowed in six innings against the Cardinals. Before that, he had posted a 1.88 ERA over four starts with 16 strikeouts in 24 innings. All told, he’s issued just 17 walks in 11 starts, and his 3.66 ERA through his first 32 major league starts is the lowest by a Reds left-hander since Norm Charlton in the early 1990s.

Pitching probables

  • Tuesday: Reds RHP Frankie Montas (2-4, 4.60) at Rockies LHP Ty Blach (2-2, 4.15), 6:40 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft (4-3, 4.76) at Rockies RHP Dakota Hudson (2-7, 5.02), 1:10 p.m.

— Matt Schubert, The Denver Post

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Rockies drop series finale against Dodgers after Austin Gomber lasts just three innings (2024)
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