Michael Toglia delivered in the clutch and Jose Urena delivered six strong innings in the Rockies’ 2-1 victory over the Dodgers on Monday night in Los Angeles.
Toglia, the rookie first baseman, came to the plate in the ninth inning with two outs and Sean Bouchard standing on second.
Up to that point, the Rockies were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and Toglia had struck out in his first three at-bats. His strikeout rate in his inaugural season is 34.8%.
But Toglia came through with an RBI single off Brusdar Graterol to score Bouchard, his former UCLA teammate, to provide the go-ahead run.
“That was a good one, in all facets,” Bouchard told AT&T SportsNet after he went 3-for-4 with two doubles. “Jose went out there and threw a great game. … It’s exciting to have all of the boys pull through, and Mike with the big hit there at the end.”
With closer Daniel Bard unavailable, right-hander Justin Lawrence pitched the ninth and he came through, notching his first career save.
“It’s a very good lineup, one of the best in baseball, so to get that (save) here is exciting,” Lawrence told reporters in Los Angeles. “It’s something I’ll remember forever.”
Urena, a pending free agent, made a major statement in his final start of 2022. And gave the Rockies’ front office plenty to chew on in the offseason.
Urena pitched six crisp innings against the most dangerous team in the majors. The only run he allowed was a one-out homer to Trayce Thompson in the third. He gave up five total hits, didn’t walk any, and struck out four.
“He was on point, and good for him, that was a great finish,” manager Bud Black told reporters.
Through his last five starts, he’s 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA, allowing no more than two earned runs in each start while pitching at least five innings in each game.
Prior to Monday’s game, Black talked about Urena’s recent performance and the Rockies’ interest in re-signing him.
“He’s shown the durability to make his starts and make every side session,” Black told MLB.com. “And within that, he’s held his stuff. I think every start, stuff-wise, has been as consistent as a starting pitcher can be. By that I mean, the velocity range of the fastball, the movement to his fastball, and the velocities to his secondary pitches.
“Overall, the quality of his work has been good and he’s left a favorable impression on the coaches and I. And his teammates.”
As for the potential of Urena being back in Colorado next season, Black said: “I think the way he’s thrown, we’re going to have a look at it when he goes into free agency. And honestly, from what I’ve heard, he’s going to do the same thing as it relates to us.”
The Rockies scored the game’s first run in the second inning, combining a leadoff single by Elias Diaz, a double by Bouchard, and an RBI single by Alan Trejo.
“If you perform, you play, and he’s performed,” Black said of Bouchard.
Blackmon injury update. Veteran right fielder/designated Charlie Blackmon had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair his meniscus. According to manager Bud Black, the surgery went well and Blackmon should have no issues being ready for the 2023 season.
“He had it this afternoon,” Black told MLB.com. “The doctors reported (to head athletic trainer Keith Dugger) that it was as expected. What they did was pretty straightforward. The imaging that they got was spot-on. So going in they knew what they had to do and there wasn’t anything different from what they planned to do.”
Blackmon, 36, has said he will pick up his player option for the 2023 season, in which he will make $15 million. Blackmon slashed .264/.314/.419 with 16 home runs and 78 RBIs in 135 games.
Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (3-9, 6.01 ERA) at Dodgers LHP Julio Urías (17-7, 2.12)
8:10 p.m. Tuesday, Dodger Stadium
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 630AM/94.1 FM
Feltner makes his final start of the season (20th appearance). The Giants roughed him up last Thursday at Oracle Park, scoring five runs off the right-hander in six innings. He’s faced the Dodgers once in relief but has never started against them. In that one appearance out of the bullpen on July 29 at Coors Field, he pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the Rockies’ 5-4 loss. Feltner is 1-5 with a 6.06 ERA in 10 road starts in 2022.
Urias, a National League Cy Young Award candidate, has 162 strikeouts in his 30 starts. He’s 3-1 against the Rockies this season with a 3.98 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks in four starts. He’s pretty much a lock for the lowest ERA among starters in the NL this season. Urias hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last 13 starts. The last Dodgers pitcher to lead the NL in ERA was Hyun-jin Ryu (2.32) in 2019. Dating back to 2022, no pitcher has a lower ERA over 50 or more starts than Urías’ 2.58 mark. He’s also posted a major league-best 37 wins over that span.
Trending: Third baseman Ryan McMahon heated up as the season wound down. Of the 20 home runs he’d hit entering Monday night’s game, 12 of them had come since Aug. 1, a span of 53 games. He’d hit seven since Sept. 1 (26 games).
At issue: Randal Grichuk’s home run on Saturday was just the Rockies’ seventh home run with runners in scoring position on the road this season and their first since Aug. 4 at San Diego.
Wednesday: Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (6-11, 5.72) at LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-3, 2.30), 2:20 p.m., ATTRM
End of the regular season