June 23, 2019

Will Smith becomes third Dodgers rookie in three games to hit walkoff homer

By anaheimsigns

  • Chad Bettis

    Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, left, runs to first as he hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, watches during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Colorado Rockies

    A young fan is carted away after being hit with a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Daniel Murphy

    Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, left, talks with Cody Bellinger after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kenta Maeda

    Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, left, makes a catch on a ball hit by Colorado Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers as Rockies’ Ryan McMahon runs by during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Matt Beaty

    Colorado Rockies third baseman Pat Valaika cannot reach a foul ball that was hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Chad Bettis

    Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, right, is congratulated by Daniel Murphy after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Colorado Rockies

    Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl, left, hits a solo home run while Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes watches during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Daniel Murphy

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kenta Maeda

    Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Alex Verdugo cannot reach a ball hit for a solo home run by Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Matt Beaty

    Colorado Rockies’ David Dahl gestures after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Chad Bettis

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Colorado Rockies

    Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Daniel Murphy

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hits a foul ball that struck a fan in the stands during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Kenta Maeda

    Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, right, talks with Cody Bellinger after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Matt Beaty

    Los Angeles Dodgers Max Muncy, left, stand with Cody Bellinger, center, and manager Dave Roberts after Bellinger hit a fan with a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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LOS ANGELES — The first major league team to win consecutive games on walkoff home runs by rookies made it three in a row Sunday.

After walkoff home runs in the ninth inning on Friday (by Matt Beaty) and the 11th on Saturday (Alex Verdugo), Will Smith came off the bench to hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the Dodgers to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

All six Dodgers runs scored on pinch-hit home runs – Chris Taylor hit a pinch three-run homer in the seventh inning.

Sunday’s win was the Dodgers’ sixth in a row and completed a three-game sweep of the Rockies, the Dodgers’ closest pursuer in the National League West – a distant 13 games back with the season’s halfway mark not even reached yet. The Dodgers have now beaten the Rockies in each of their past 11 meetings dating to 2018.

Sunday’s game was halted briefly in the bottom of the first inning when Cody Bellinger hit a line drive foul into the seats down the first-base line, just past the visitors’ dugout. A young woman was struck by the ball. After several minutes during which she was treated by stadium medical personnel, she was carried out seated in a wheelchair, holding an ice pack to the side of her head, and was taken for further treatment.

Bellinger was visibly upset by the incident, putting his hands on his head and staring into the stands where the injured fan was. When play resumed, he flew out to end the inning then went over to the stands near the incident and spoke with security personnel.

It was the latest example of a fan being injured by a foul ball, leading to a growing call for extended netting down the foul lines. Before the 2018 season, the Dodgers extended the netting at Dodger Stadium and their spring training stadium in Arizona to the far ends of the dugouts.

The Dodgers managed just three hits through the first six innings of Rockies starter Antonio Senzatella, threatening to waste a solid start by their own right-hander, Kenta Maeda.

Maeda staggered through the first three innings, allowing six hits including a home run by David Dahl in the first and three singles to produce another run in the third. But he escaped a bases-loaded jam unharmed in the fifth and retired the final seven batters he faced in order, completing seven innings for the first time this season.

That still left the Dodgers trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh. But an infield single by Max Muncy and a double (his second of the game) by Kike’ Hernandez put the tying runs in scoring position and ended Senzatella’s day.

Rockies manager Bud Black pulled Senzatella and brought in Chad Bettis to face Chris Taylor, pinch-hitting for Austin Barnes. Taylor clubbed Bettis’ first pitch, a curveball down and in, into the left-field pavilion for a go-ahead, three-run homer.

In 11 games since Corey Seager went on the Injured List, Taylor (who has started nine of those at shortstop in Seager’s absence) is 13 for 34 (.382) with three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI.In the top of the eighth, though, Pedro Baez couldn’t protect the lead.

After a leadoff single by Daniel Murphy, Baez struck out Ryan McMahon and Nolan Arenado. But Tony Wolters doubled into the right field corner and Russell Martin didn’t handle a strong relay throw from Hernandez, allowing Murphy to score the game-tying run.

An infield single and an intentional walk put two runners on with two outs in the ninth inning. Just recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City Sunday, Smith arrived with six home runs in his last seven games at OKC. He sent the second pitch he saw from Rockies reliever Scott Oberg over the wall in right-center field.

It was Smith’s third major-league home run (in seven games), two of which have been walkoffs.

More to come on this story.

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