Dodgers slip back against Rockies with another tame offensive performance

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DENVER – If this is the Dodgers’ playoff run, they are doing it with a noticeable limp.

They were held to only six hits by left-hander Kyle Freeland and three relievers Saturday night, the latest in a growing line of tame offensive performances, and lost 4-2 to the Colorado Rockies.

Freeland has a remarkable 2.21 ERA in 13 starts at pitchers’ nightmare Coors Field. Saturday’s performance kept his Rockies in first place in the National League West, 1 ½ games ahead of the Dodgers.

But the Dodgers did little to pressure Freeland.

Their only run came on a home run by Chris Taylor leading off the fifth inning and they got just one other baserunner past first base against him. Taylor followed Kike’ Hernandez’s two-out walk with a single in the second inning. Austin Barnes flied out to end the inning.

After Taylor’s homer in the fifth, the Dodgers didn’t get another hit until Cody Bellinger tripled with two outs in the ninth.

Over the past 10 games, the Dodgers have scored a total of 35 runs – 11 of them in one game (a win over the San Diego Padres) and more than three in a game just twice. Since the All-Star break, they are batting .234 with runners in scoring position, a serious drag on the offense — but one that barely came into play Saturday with the lack of baserunners.

The expanded rosters of September, acquisitions of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier in July and David Freese in August have given Dodgers manager Dave Roberts a deep roster of options to search for advantageous matchups.

He started all right-handed batters against Freeland Saturday then rolled out five consecutive left-handed pinch-hitters when the Rockies went to right-handed relievers. It didn’t matter. None of the buttons he pushed sparked any offense.

Finally in the ninth, Bellinger tripled off Rockies closer Wade Davis and scored on a double by Max Muncy. .

Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Walker Buehler couldn’t match Freeland. He gave up a solo home run to Chris Iannetta in the third inning, another run in the fourth and a two-run home run to Charlie Blackmon in the fifth.

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