The Dodgers made franchise history in the first inning Thursday night.
They did little else of note after that.
In a 14-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, the only silver lining was a first-inning home run from J.D. Martinez. The two-run blast not only opened the scoring, but it gave Martinez 100 RBIs on the season.
The early lead didn’t last. After a week of strong pitching during the first three games of the series, the Dodgers finally succumbed to Coors Field’s hitter-friendly reputation. Starter Ryan Yarbrough gave up one run in the bottom of the first, two more in the second — tying the score at 3-3 after a Kiké Hernández solo blast in the top half — then four in a third-inning rally that included a pair of home runs.
Another left-hander, Caleb Ferguson, wasn’t much better, giving up four runs of his own in the bottom of the seventh.
The team’s top bullpen lefty for much of the year, Ferguson has now given up eight runs in his last 4 2/3 innings.
With the loss, the Dodgers (who are 98-61 and already locked in as the No. 2 seed in the National League for the postseason) will need to win at least two of their final three games against the San Francisco Giants this weekend to reach 100 wins.
For Thursday, their 100-RBI history would have to do.
While Martinez had four 100-RBI seasons before in his career, none were as unlikely as this year’s. Last offseason, the 36-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers, hoping to rebuild his stock after a poor finish to 2022. While he has authored a resurgent season in L.A., launching 32 home runs (his most since 2019) and batting .274, Thursday was only his 110th game of the season after two stints on the injured list cost him more than a month combined.
Getting to the century mark required standout situational production from the six-time All-Star.
Thursday’s blast was Martinez’s 15th home run and 53rd RBI with two outs this season. He leads the majors in two-out RBIs and trails only Matt Olson in two-out homers.
Martinez is also batting .325 with runners in scoring position this year, the third-best mark on the team behind Freeman and Betts.
It makes Martinez, who is set to be the club’s everyday designated hitter in the playoffs, a key factor in the Dodgers’ October fate. His 100th RBI was not enough to lift the team to a win Thursday. But his run-production could be crucial in making a deep postseason run.
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