Cardullo hits slam, but Rox denied DH sweep

Cardullo hits slam, but Rox denied DH sweep

DENVER -- With a furious late rally, the Dodgers stormed to a remarkable 10-8 Coors Field win over the Rockies on Wednesday night on Andrew Toles' grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning of the nightcap, avoiding sweeps of the doubleheader and the three-game series.

After falling behind, 8-2, the Dodgers scored three runs in the eighth and five more in the ninth off Adam Ottavino. Toles' slam was his third homer of the season and the win left the Dodgers with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Giants in the National League West. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 40th save.

Toles, out of baseball a year ago, opened this season at Class A.

Jansen shuts the door

"When the situation gets hot, players get out of the strike zone, but Tolesey stays calm," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Even our veteran guys can learn from Andrew's at-bats. To say when Spring Training started if I had ever heard the name Andrew Toles, I'd be lying. To come from out of baseball to help our team win baseball games, it's remarkable and there's no reason why this ride can't continue."

The Dodgers overcame a three-inning start by Bud Norris, a late sub because of Rich Hill's persistent blister. Norris allowed five runs in the first inning, including Stephen Cardullo's grand slam, and walked three.

Cardullo's birthday grand slam

"When you walk guys here and give free bases, it's a recipe for a tough outing," Roberts said of Norris, who has a 6.10 ERA since being acquired from Atlanta at the end of June. "That's what happened with Bud. He never got into a groove."

The Dodgers, who had scored only 10 runs in the previous seven games, got a home run leading off the game from Chase Utley. Nolan Arenado slugged his 36th home run for the Rockies, a two-run shot in the seventh.

Arenado's two-run tater

"This one hurts," Arenado said. "It kind of puts a little damper on the series win. I think we're all happy because we won the series, but we're in a position where we can't give up games. When you have a chance to sweep, you've got to be able to sweep. It's frustrating, but you've got to keep playing good ball. We're playing good baseball. Our starting pitching is doing a great job, we just need our bullpen to come together a little more."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cardullo's party continues: Mere hours after hitting his first career home run in the first game of the doubleheader on his 29th birthday, Cardullo kept the power surge rolling with a grand slam in the first inning of the second game. Cardullo became just the second player in baseball history -- after Angel Pagan with the Cubs in 2006 -- to hit his first two home runs on his birthday.

"Coming up with the bases loaded, I was just trying to get a sac fly," Cardullo said. "I got a good pitch to hit, and I was lucky enough to get some good barrel on it. It was a good way to jump-start the offense. Unfortunately we lost tonight, but it happens." More >

Beating themselves: It's something the Dodgers haven't done much this year, but the defensive did Norris no favors in the third when fielding errors by right fielder Josh Reddick and shortstop Corey Seager resulted in an unearned run.

Rockies can't finish: Since taking over as closer on Aug. 9, Ottavino is 2-for-4 in save opportunities, the worst of which came Wednesday when he allowed five runs to balloon his ERA from 0.48 to 2.75. He hasn't been much different than the rest of the late-inning Rockies relievers, as the team has lost six games when leading after eight innings -- which only the Mariners (seven) have topped. Now all Ottavino can do is move forward.

"You're going to blow games," Ottavino said. "You're going to lose games. You're going to pitch bad from time to time. I should never give up five runs in an inning. I should never walk two guys in an inning." More >

Oh, what a relief: In his 25th game and 87th at-bat, Reddick got his first RBI as a Dodger, preceding Toles' slam with an RBI single in the five-run rally.

Reddick's first RBI as a Dodger

"To get the first one out of the way, even with so long a stretch, it does feel good to get it out of the way and especially in that situation," said Reddick. "To keep the inning going and help this team win, and that's something I haven't really done, and that's what they got me for, and I know it's been as frustrating for me as it is for everybody else. I'm trying to grind through it, but I'm tired of waiting. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come."

QUOTABLE
"It's different in the second end of a doubleheader. We used our backend guys in the first game, so we were trying to stay off certain guys. It puts you in a precarious situation there. Bottom line is, we're up six with six outs to go, and we've got to win that game." -- Weiss

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Utley's home run, 433 feet according to Statcast™, was his longest homer in the Statcast™ era (2015-present).

Utley breaks the ice

MR. AUGUST
Arenado finished up his best month of the season -- and likely his career -- with a team-record 36 RBIs in August thanks to his two-run homer in the seventh. The Rockies record for RBIs in any month is 40, by Troy Tulowitzki in September 2010. In total, Arenado slashed .357/.433/.702 with 10 home runs.

"I've been working on my swing and sticking to my approach," he said. "I feel like about a month ago, I was kind of changing things and not thinking different pitches, but now I'm thinking middle and staying positive and trusting myself. Good things are happening."

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: The 20-year-old Julio Urias, closing in on an unspecified innings limit this year with a career-high 108, continues to hold down a starting slot until one of the four starters on the disabled list returns. Urias, who allowed the Cubs one run in six innings with eight strikeouts in his last start, will face the Padres in the opener of a three-game set Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium.

Rockies: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 5.09 ERA) will face off against his former team as the Rockies host the D-backs in the first game of a three-game set Friday at 6:40 p.m. MT. He has been hit around for five homers in his past four starts, but maintained a respectable 4.50 ERA.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.