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Dodgers face Rockies in finale, eye more success from Gavin Stone

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a deep rotation, one reason why they can thrive despite losing Clayton Kershaw and more recently Walker Buehler to the injured list.

Gavin Stone is an example of that depth. The young right-hander, who has been a stable arm for the staff, faces the Colorado Rockies in the last of a four-game series in Denver on Thursday.

Stone (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will be opposed by Colorado lefty Ty Blach (3-4, 4.65), who will try to give the Rockies a split of the series.

Colorado dropped the first two games but rebounded to win 7-6 on Wednesday night on Brenton Doyle’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Stone, 25, made his major league debut last year and moved into the rotation this season. He failed to get out of the fourth inning twice in his first four starts, has pitched at least six innings in seven of his last nine.

His workload has helped prevent the Los Angeles bullpen from being overworked.

“He’s been consistent,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think with Gavin, I’ve got all the trust in the world in him that he can make a pitch when he needs to, get back after a tough inning and keep us in the ballgame, save the bullpen, which it seems he does every time he takes the baseball.”

Stone did that in his last start Friday night, going seven innings and keeping the Dodgers in the game until they could rally to defeat the visiting Kansas City Royals. He got a no-decision in victory, snapping a streak of three straight wins.

One of those victories was against the Rockies on June 2 when he tossed five shutout innings. It is his only career appearance against Colorado.

Blach has not matched Stone’s success this year, but he has proven valuable to the Rockies since joining the rotation on May 12. That has especially been true at Coors Field, where he is 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA in eight appearances, including six starts.

He has faced Los Angeles 20 times in his career — including nine starts — and is 4-3 with one save and a 3.13 ERA.

Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon will likely be out of the lineup for the second straight game after sustaining a right hamstring injury on Tuesday night.

The Rockies have not had trouble scoring runs in this series, but they have struggled to keep Los Angeles from putting up big numbers. The Dodgers have scored 26 runs in the first three games, seven of which came in the ninth inning on Tuesday. Teoscar Hernandez’s three-run blast capped that frame after a questionable check-swing call.

Jake Cave became a fan favorite for his visceral reaction to the home run, yelling at first base umpire Lance Barksdale from right field. He then scored the winning run on Wednesday night.

“If the fans love that, then I love it,” Cave said after Wednesday’s win. “I don’t think too many Dodgers fans like me, but Colorado fans do, so I’m happy about that.”

–Field Level Media

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