DENVER — When Corey Seager began grasping his hand in excruciating pain, the Los Angeles Dodgers held their breath.
A collective sigh of relief, though, as X-rays were negative after the All-Star rookie shortstop was hit by a pitch near his left wrist. The team can shake off an 8-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night a lot easier now.
After all, Seager’s had a big hand in the success of the NL West-leading Dodgers this season. He won’t play Tuesday, but that was planned anyway.
“Anything around the hand is pretty scary, but fortunately he’s young, resilient,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Seager stepped toward a pitch from Chris Rusin in the seventh only for it to hit him as he tried to lean away. He was in quite a bit of pain as he made his way to first base, but remained in the game. Seager was hit in the fifth inning, too.
He quickly shook it off.
“It always hurts when you get hit. You don’t ever really know how bad your hurt until a couple minutes later,” said Seager, whose team was held to five hits. “You’re glad it’s not broken and you move on.”
Kenta Maeda (13-8) was electric once again at Coors Field — except for a hanging slider that Nick Hundley hit for a two-run homer in the fourth. The right-hander with the quirky delivery allowed four hits over five innings. Maeda has a 2.12 ERA in three starts at the hitter friendly park.
“Overall, I thought I pitched pretty well,” Maeda said through a translator. “It was that one pitch which was a slider inside that was definitely a mistake pitch.”
Jon Gray (9-6) surrendered four hits and struck out eight over a crisp six innings for his first win since Aug. 2.
“I feel like sometimes you can out-aggressive people. I like to do that,” Gray said. “Bring a little intensity and cruise from there.”
Gray started strong, which hasn’t always been the case this season. Of the 72 runs he has allowed, 34 have been scored in the opening two innings.
In this game, not even a third-inning downpour could interrupt his concentration.
Gray ran into trouble in the fifth with two on and one out. Adrian Gonzalez sent a sinking liner to center that Charlie Blackmon hauled in as he slid on the slick grass. Gray pointed his glove toward the outfielder in appreciation.
“That was awesome,” Gray said. “That really helped me out a lot.”
DJ LeMahieu had a two-run double in a five-run seventh that turned a pitching duel into a rout.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (mild disk irritation) will face hitters in a simulated game on Tuesday in Los Angeles. A minor-league start may be the next step in his rehabilitation. “We have a couple different scenarios. So, depending on how he comes out of it, we’ll make a decision,” Roberts explained.
Roberts has a new player on his team — Julio Jones, the game-changing receiver of the Atlanta Falcons. Jones may not help the Dodgers win the NL West, but could lift Roberts and his team to a fantasy football title.
The Dodgers held their league draft in Denver on Sunday. Roberts is the silent partner on a squad co-owned by Justin Turner and Brandon McCarthy. They took Jones with the No. 2 overall pick.
THIS & THAT
Last week, Maeda was optioned to the Arizona League Dodgers to free up roster space. He was recalled Monday and the team optioned right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart to Double-A Tulsa. … Pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson broke up the shutout in the ninth with an RBI groundout that brought in Andrew Toles, who tripled.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (10-3) makes his first start at Coors Field since April 23, 2008, while with the Chicago Cubs.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (4-5) is 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA at Coors Field this season.