Big Blue gets closer


Slowly, the Dodgers have inched their way near the top of the National League West after dividing four games with first-place Colorado (24-15) at Coors Field.

Last Sunday, the Boys in Blue (22-16), a game and a half behind, fell 9-6 as Pat Valaika, a one-time Hart High (Santa Clarita) and UCLA standout, walloped a pair of two-run homers while Nolan Arenado (two hits) drove in three and scored twice.

Corey Seager crushed a two-run homer, Yasmani Grandal (three hits) tossed in a run batted in and Yasiel Puig contributed two runs with two hits including a solo blast.

Alex Wood (4-0) took no prisoners during Saturday’s 4-0 blanking of Colorado, striking out 10 and walking one with five hits across six innings.

Justin Turner (two hits) added an RBI and Brett Eibner clubbed a solo homer.

Despite the 6-2 victory on Friday, Clayton Kershaw (6-2) wasn’t happy with his outing after allowing seven hits, two runs with four strikeouts and one walk in seven frames.

Seager (two hits) had two RBIs, while rookie sensation Cody Bellinger homered (team-best seventh) and Chase Utley drove in two with a triple.

Colorado was outhit 14-12, but still prevailed 10-7 on Thursday behind Carlos Gonzalez (two hits including a double), who knocked in three runs and scored a run.

Kenta Maeda (3-2) was within two outs of a complete game during Wednesday’s 5-2 triumph over visiting Pittsburgh.

Maeda surrendered five hits with five strikeouts and two runs while Bellinger rifled a two-run cannon shot in the first inning.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers needed 10 innings in order to prevail 4-3 on a game-winning double from pinch hitter Austin Barnes.

Chris Taylor smashed a grand slam during a six-run first inning, Joc Pederson had three hits, scored and chimed in with two RBIs and Grandal added two hits with a run and two RBIs in a 12-1 rout of the Pirates on Monday.

Wood was dominant, touring five shutout innings, striking out 11 and walking one with two hits.

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