LOS ANGELES—The Dodgers just can’t seem to stay above .500. On Tuesday, April 18 they fell one game under the mark after a late rally against the Colorado Rockies fell short. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who was playing in a homecoming game of sorts since he is from nearby Orange County, doomed his hometown team with two home runs. It seems a little extra work on his swing paid off.

“Honestly, I have to give credit to my dad and my high school coach,” Arenado said. “I went to hit with them yesterday back at my old field. I was working on some things, fixing some things. And today I was able to do it.”

Arenado wasting no time in making his hard work pay off, he put the Dodgers in a two run hole after his first at-bat resulted in a two run homer. He wasn’t done yet though. In the fifth inning, he hit a solo shot that put the Rockies up 4-1. He added a double to make his stat line quite impressive, 3-4 with two runs and three RBI. Arenado is second in the National League in home runs, having sent seven balls into the stands in this young season. His coach is very impressed with his play.

“He’s one of the best players in the game,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of Arenado. “There’s no doubt about it. I’ll go on record saying that. He’s arguably in the top five. He does it both at the plate and on the field. He makes all the plays. In the 15 games we’ve played, you could go back to probably each and every game and see where he’s contributed.”

On the Dodgers side manager Dave Roberts was proud with the way his team played despite the loss. Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal scored on RBI singles in the 9th to turn a 4-1 deficit into a close 4-3. They were able to get the tying and winning runs on base, but Adrian Gonzales wasn’t able to bring them home, once he grounded out to end the game.

“We were good in the ninth inning,” said Roberts. “Our guys aren’t going to lay down. They’re going to keep competing. It was good to see us stress them.”

The Dodgers have now lost their third straight with starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu losing his third straight start to open the season.  He made it to the 6th inning for the first time this year, but was pulled thereafter. He had an impressive seven strikeouts, but his four earned runs off seven hits ultimately was too much for his team to overcome. After being injured for the better part of the last two years Ryu is struggling. The 6 foot and 3 inch tall, 250 pound pitcher has given up 10 runs and 19 hits in 15 1/3 innings this year.  Roberts is remaining positive with him though.

“He’s still coming back. To expect him to be locked in right now might be a little unfair,” said Roberts.

The Dodgers will have to overcome their struggles against left handed pitchers if they want to get back to .500. Next they face the Rockies leftie Tyler Anderson (1-2, 8.59 ERA). Fortunately with ace Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.53) on the mound, they might not need to score too much.

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