DENVER -- Brandon Barnes' two-run triple off Chris Hatcher with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Rockies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers Friday night at Coors Field.
The Dodgers wasted first-inning home runs from Adrian Gonzalez (three RBIs) and Corey Seager (two RBIs) off Jon Gray, and an astounding assist throw to third base in the fifth inning from right fielder Yasiel Puig, letting leads of 3-0 and 5-4 get away.
"We had the kid on the ropes early," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Gray, who struck out 10 in his first start of the year after returning from a strained abdominal muscle. "You score three runs in the first, you hope for more than five."
Nolan Arenado and Ryan Raburn homered off Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir in the fourth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit, but the Dodgers regained the lead on Gonzalez's two-out, two-run bases-loaded single of Gray in the fifth inning.
"His slider was filthy," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Gray. "He ended up going to his slider, and that's where a lot of his punchouts came, with the slider. I thought he did a great job. He could've went the other way after that first inning, but he stayed the course, hung in there, didn't get flustered whatsoever, and threw the ball really well after that. I was really proud of him -- first time out there this year, I thought he did an outstanding job."
Puig helped preserve the lead in the bottom of the fifth by throwing out Trevor Story trying to stretch a double into a triple on his long fly off the newly heightened bullpen fence.
"Kaz did his job, kept us in the game," said Roberts. "He had something with his thumb and after five innings it was good to go to the 'pen."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Woody's stop sign: With two outs in the top of the fifth and runners on first and second, Justin Turner singled up the middle, but third-base coach Chris Woodward stopped Joc Pederson as center fielder Gerardo Parra fired toward the plate. Gonzalez followed with a two-run single.
Fenced in: Nobody's been hurt more by the newly elevated fence in right field than Rockies rookie Story. The fence robbed him for the third time this season in the fifth inning with one out and the Rockies trailing by one. Story is so accustomed to having homers turned into triples, that he ran for third again, and only a perfect throw from Puig at the 375-foot mark at the right field fence kept Story from adding another triple to his tally. Story was out at third for the second out of the inning, squashing the Rockies rally and chance to tie the game in the frame.
Dash for the dish: The Rockies challenged Puig's arm at least twice more -- once when Barnes legged out a triple on another ball off the fence in the bottom of the eighth after plating the go-ahead runs, but more important, in the seventh when Barnes entered as a pinch-runner after a leadoff single, advanced to second on a walk, went to third on a sacrifice, and then sprinted for home on a shallow sacrifice fly to Puig.
"If I stop, I might not come up in the eighth," Barnes said of his race against Puig's throw. "I might not score that run to tie the game. You've got to test guys. Everybody's human. He's not going to make a perfect throw every time. That was the hardest 90 [feet] I felt like I'd ever run in my life. I like to test guys. The pressure's on him. I know my speed, and I know he's got to make a perfect throw to get me."
Puig's throw was not perfect, and Barnes scored standing up to tie the game.
Not a complete loss: The Dodgers' bullpen picked up a blown save and a loss, but left-handed relievers Adam Liberatore and Luis Avilan got their men. Liberatore took over for an injured Yimi Garcia with a runner on third base and struck out Story to end the seventh inning. Avilan relieved Hatcher with a runner on third base and struck out Tony Wolters. More >
"I think that was my best throw. I don't know if it's the best play. That's up to you guys." -- Puig, on where his throw ranks all-time.More >
"The Dodgers have a good team over there. Good pitching, good hitting, good defense, so you got to do everything you can to get a win against these guys. Last year's over. We're looking to get a win today. Then go for tomorrow." -- Gray, on the Rockies' ability to battle back and win a close game. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gray set a career high with 10 strikeouts. He is the sixth Rockies rookie to notch 10 strikeouts or more in a game. Gray joins Shawn Chacon (13, June 7, 2001, against Houston), Jhoulys Chacin (12, June 27, 2010, against the Angels), Christian Friedrich (10, May 14, 2012, against San Francisco), Ubaldo Jimenez (10, Sept. 30, 2007, against Arizona), and Juan Nicasio (10, July 31, 2011, against San Diego).
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Kenta Maeda gets his first taste of pitching a Mile High when he starts Saturday in a 5:10 p.m. PT game against the Rockies. Maeda is the first Dodgers pitcher ever to post an ERA below 1.00 over his first three MLB games, all of which were starts.
Rockies:Tyler Chatwood pitched seven shutout innings for his second win of the season in Chicago Sunday. He is 10-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 23 appearances (19 starts) at Coors Field. He faces the Dodgers for the first time this season at 6:10 p.m. MT Saturday.