DENVER — Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts had his speech all ready to go — the one he was prepared to deliver after being swept out of Coors Field.
Thanks to Andrew Toles, there was no need.
Toles hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning, helping Los Angeles overcome a late six-run deficit in a 10-8 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night for a doubleheader split.
Toles didn’t think it was going out, either.
“I was amazed. I still am,” Toles said. “All I want to do is contribute.”
Has he ever. In his last 10 games, Toles is hitting .579 with three homers.
None bigger than Wednesday, of course.
“He is so calm and cool,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t know how good some of these pitchers are. Or the ballpark.
“I was preparing my pep talk in the middle innings. To get them up after being swept.”
With good reason. It wasn’t looking promising. Then again, this is Coors Field, where anything can happen — and often does.
Trailing 8-2, the Dodgers scored three times in the eighth and added five more in the ninth. Toles capped the final inning with an opposite-field homer off closer Adam Ottavino (0-1) for his first career slam.
Ottavino tried to start the pitch inside, but it drifted into the middle of the plate.
“Everybody played good. I just let everybody down tonight,” Ottavino said. “Unacceptable performance.”
Luis Avilan (1-0) threw a scoreless eighth to earn the win. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 40th save, getting David Dahl on a called third strike to end it.
The Dodgers began their comeback in the eighth with an RBI double from Yasmani Grandal, an RBI single by Joc Pederson and a sacrifice fly by Howie Kendrick. Chase Utley nearly brought in more, sending a two-out grounder up the middle with two on, but DJ LeMahieu ranged to his right, snared the ball and threw Utley out by a step to end the threat.
Los Angeles scored once in the ninth on an RBI single from Josh Reddick and then loaded the bases with two outs, setting the stage for Toles.
Colorado took two of three in the series against the NL West-leading Dodgers, who maintain a 1 1/2-game lead over San Francisco. This marks the fifth series the Rockies have captured from a first-place team in August. They’re the only team in the majors with a positive run differential (plus-24) and a losing mark (64-69).
“We won the series — doesn’t feel like it,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Bottom line: We’re up six with six outs to go. We’ve got to win that game.”
Starter Jeff Hoffman allowed two runs and was in line for his first big league win before the bullpen had a meltdown.
Stephen Cardullo did most of the early damage — on his 29th birthday, no less — with a grand slam during a five-run first inning off Bud Norris, who got the last-minute start with Rich Hill bothered by a blister. Cardullo also hit his first big league homer as a pinch-hitter in Game 1.
In the opening game, left-hander Tyler Anderson (5-5) threw 6 1/3 stellar innings as the Rockies cruised to a 7-0 win for their first home shutout this season.
The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout Tuesday.
Utley led off the game with a homer for the Dodgers, the third time he’s done that this season.
Cristhian Adames turned in quite a doubleheader with six hits, including two triples. LeMahieu finished the day 3 for 8 to run his average to an NL-leading .345.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer and finished with 36 RBIs for the month. It’s the most by a Rockies player for August, passing the mark of 33 set by Andres Galarraga in 1996.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (mild disk irritation) had a successful outing in a simulated game Tuesday and now is in a momentary holding pattern. “We haven’t made the decision as far as what his next progression will be,” Roberts said. … LHP Scott Kazmir (neck stiffness) will be slotted into the rotation when he’s eligible to come off the DL on Sept. 7.
Rockies: 1B Mark Reynolds (broken bone in left hand) was activated off the 15-day disabled list and entered both games as a defensive replacement. To make room, INF Daniel Descalso was put on the paternity list.
Dodgers: After a day off, Los Angeles opens a three-game series at home against San Diego. Lefty Julio Urias (5-2) will start Friday.
Rockies: Following a rest day, Colorado faces Arizona for three games. Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (8-7) starts Friday.