Betts and Freeman homer in the 1st to back another solid outing from Stone as Dodgers blank Rockies


LOS ANGELES — Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman homered in the first inning, Gavin Stone had another strong outing and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 4-0 on Sunday.

Though much of the focus is on Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s rookie season and Clayton Kershaw’s comeback, Stone is putting together a solid season for the Dodgers’ staff.

The rookie right-hander tossed five innings Sunday and won for the fifth time in his last seven starts.

“Usual command of the fastball. I leaned heavily on the slider today. It felt good out of my hand. I felt like they were a fastball-hitting team, so it felt good,” said Stone, who struck out six while giving up only four hits and two walks.

Stone (6-2) has allowed one run or fewer in six of his seven starts since April 26. During that span, he is 5-1 and has a 1.64 ERA.

“It’s been under the radar, but not lost on us his value,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Consistency and certainty is what you are getting from him now. To his credit, he is watching what his teammates are doing and then applying things fit for his arsenal.”

Michael Grove, Alex Vesia and Daniel Hudson came out of the bullpen to combine for the Dodgers’ sixth shutout this season and second in five games.

Betts got things started with his fourth leadoff homer this season. Two batters later, Freeman went deep off Colorado’s Austin Gomber, the eighth time the Dodgers have homered at least twice in an inning.

Freeman also scored twice and drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who have won five of six.

“I was good. We needed it,” Roberts said of the early homers. “Mookie was relieved to hit it out of the ball park. Freddie has been in it for a while and for him to go deep was good for him, too.”

Gomber (1-3) came into the game sixth in the NL with a 2.76 ERA and allowed only two earned runs in four May starts. But the left-hander went a season-low three innings, and was at 75 pitches when his day ended.

Gomber allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

“Today was a day he was not locked in on his command,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Betts connected on a slider from Gomber and put it four rows deep into the stands in the left-field corner. It was also Betts’ 52nd career leadoff homer, which is one away from tying Craig Biggio for fourth all-time.

Betts has nine homers this season, but it was his first since May 17.

After Shohei Ohtani’s pop out, Freeman drove a full-count fastball over the wall in center and just past the outstretched glove of leaping Colorado outfielder Brenton Doyle.

Miguel Rojas extended Los Angeles’ lead to 3-0 in the third when his base hit drove in Freeman.

Freeman then gave the Dodgers more breathing room in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring home Jason Heyward.

Colorado was shut out for the seventh time. Its lone threat came in the fifth inning when it had runners on second and third with two outs, but Ezequiel Tover lined out to Freeman at first base to end the inning.

“Stone had a tight, little slider. We just couldn’t muster anything against their pitching staff. Five runs in three games aren’t going to cut it,” Black said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: 3B Max Muncy (right oblique strain) doesn’t have a timetable to resume baseball activities after he felt discomfort in his rib cage while swinging the bat last week.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Return home for a three-game set against Cincinnati. RHP Ryan Feltner (1-4, 5.46 ERA) gets the call in Monday’s series opener.

Dodgers: Head back east for six games, beginning with three in Pittsburgh. RHP Tyler Glasnow (6-3, 3.04 ERA) takes the mound on Tuesday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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