Valaika’s 2 Homers For Rockies Sinks Dodgers

DENVER (AP) — Pat Valaika homered twice and drove in four runs, Antonio Senzatela got the win in an emotional Mother’s Day start and the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 on Sunday.

Senzatela (6-1) was pitching on Mother’s Day for the first time since his mom died of breast cancer last July. Like many around the league, Senzatela used a pink bat to raise awareness about the disease.

The rookie right-hander is tied for the majors’ lead in wins. He allowed four runs in five innings, his shortest outing since his first career start at Milwaukee on April 6.

Nolan Arenado also went deep as the Rockies hit their first homers of the series to salvage a four-game split. Their lead in the NL West is back up to 1 1/2 games.

Los Angeles led 4-3 before Valaika hit a two-run homer in the fourth off starter Julio Urias (0-1). Arenado, who also had an RBI double, added to Colorado’s lead in the fifth with a two-run shot off veteran reliever Sergio Romo.

Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger each drove in a run in the eighth to cut the lead the 7-6 before Valaika hit another two-run blast.

Greg Holland struck out the side in the ninth for his majors’ best 16th save. Holland has converted his first 16 save opportunities for the Rockies, a franchise-best mark to start a season.

Senzatela dealt with traffic on base in every inning except the fourth, but got help from his defense to limit the damage. He gave up seven hits, three walks and two homers while striking out five.

The 22-year-old got out of the first with runners on the corners thanks to a fielder’s choice double play, and he was bailed out of the third by second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who laid out on a sharp grounder and threw out Chase Utley at first to save a run.

With two outs in the fifth, Senzatela was struck in the back of the leg by a liner from Yasmani Grandal. He stayed in the game and forced a flyout to end the inning.

Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig homered for the Dodgers, who couldn’t protect two early leads. Seager hit a two-run blast in the first and Puig hit a laser to left in the second.

LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon both finished with three hits for Colorado, which finished 6-4 on its longest homestand of the season. Now the Rockies will play 22 of their next 29 games on the road, where they’ve gone 11-5 this year.

ROUGH OUTING

Urias allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings for the Dodgers. The left-handed pitcher had allowed one hit in 6 1/3 innings in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

He had a 1.06 ERA in his first three starts of the year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: 2B Logan Forsythe, sidelined since April 19 with a fractured right toe, is expected to start in a rehabilitation game as a designated hitter on Tuesday. … LHP Rich Hill, who’s been limited to just eight innings this season because of blisters on his throwing hand, will start Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants.

Rockies: C Tony Wolters, who was put on the 7-day DL with a concussion on May 3, was behind the plate for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday. “I talked to (Isotopes manager) Glenallen Hill this morning about a number of things and he said Tony looked good the last couple days, both behind the plate and at the plate,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “So Tony’s in a good spot.”

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA) will make his first start since he was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to May 5, with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. San Francisco’s Matt Cain will oppose him as the Dodgers begin a three-game set at AT&T Park on Monday.

Rockies: Rookie LHP Kyle Freeland (3-2, 2.93) will pitch at an American League ballpark for the first time in his career as the Rockies open up a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. In his last start, the Denver native tossed six innings and gave up five runs — all in the second inning — in an 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

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