Bolsinger has trouble sustaining success late

Dodgers starter struggles again 3rd time through order

Bolsinger has trouble sustaining success late

LOS ANGELES -- The Atlanta Braves left town on Sunday and the Dodgers went back to struggling on Monday.

They got one hit, allowed two homers and their modest three-game win streak was stopped by the Rockies, 6-1. 

Starter Mike Bolsinger was able to keep them close until he was knocked around the third time through the opponent's batting order, which has become his trait.

"You know what? To say we're going to get one hit tonight, I wouldn't have believed it," manager Dave Roberts said, after Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood allowed only a second-inning single to Howie Kendrick in eight innings.

Roberts probably wouldn't believe that he'd be scrambling for starting pitchers before the All-Star break, but Bolsinger, who has one win this year, will be followed Tuesday night by Julio Urias, who has none.

Bolsinger had done his job through five innings, down, 2-1, when he had Charlie Blackmon at 0-2 leading off only to walk him on four consecutive balls, and the sixth inning was about to turn disastrous.

"You just can't do that," Bolsinger said.

Bolsinger on his loss to Rockies

After a sacrifice bunt by DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado singled home Blackmon, and when center fielder Trayce Thompson's throw missed the cutoff man, Arenado took second. Roberts then walked Carlos Gonzalez intentionally to have Bolsinger face rookie Trevor Story, who slugged his 16th homer on a hanging breaking ball.

"Mike's been around the league now and it's no secret how he attacks, how important it is to use his breaking ball," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "You saw in Chicago, they sat on breaking balls from time to time, tonight too. It's a matter of execution."

Thompson started in center field for Joc Pederson, who sat along with Chase Utley as Roberts went with a right-handed heavy lineup against Chatwood and his "reverse-splits," which show righties hit Chatwood better than lefties.

But the Dodgers barely hit him at all, while the Rockies took advantage of Bolsinger's inability to put hitters away.

"The game got out of whack quickly," said Roberts. "Going into the sixth inning, 67 pitches, one run, it all turned when he got Blackmon, 0-2, and ended up walking him. Look at Mike's start, he has chances to bury guys and to be a consistent Major League starter, you have to put guys away. The conviction you make has to be there, that's how you get from good to great, or serviceable to very good."

In the second inning, Bolsinger allowed Gerardo Parra to homer on a 1-2 pitch. In the fifth inning, Mark Reynolds doubled on a 1-2 pitch and Nick Hundley singled him home on an 0-2 pitch.

"I think last year I got labeled as a guy that goes one time through a lineup and got taken out early," Bolsinger said. "That stinks to have that put on me, it's not who I am. I can pitch 120 a game, I have a rubber arm. But last year they put a label on me. This year I've been trying to get back from [an oblique] injury. I feel like I lose focus and try to do too much later in the game rather than do what I do innings before."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.