Buehler leads Dodgers past Rockies
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the National League (NL) West champions after a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
Los Angeles took a two-run lead over the Rockies in the fourth inning and tallied two more one frame later. The Rockies rallied in the top of the ninth, but it was too little too late as the Dodgers held on in the NL West tiebreaker. They have now won the West in each of the last six seasons.
Colorado will travel to face the Chicago Cubs, who lost the NL Central tiebreaker to the Milwaukee Brewers, in the single-elimination National League wildcard game on Tuesday. Los Angeles are set to take on the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series (NLDS).
Walker Buehler delivers for the Dodgers
Walker Buehler came through for the Dodgers.
The 24-year-old right hander was brilliant for Los Angeles in game 163. He completely shut down the Rockies lineup, allowing just one hit in 6.2 scoreless innings. He threw 93 pitches while striking out three and walking three.
Buehler did not allow Colorado to record a hit until there was one out in the sixth. He finished the regular-season with an 8-5 record and a 2.62 ERA.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen surrendered home runs to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story in the ninth before he retired the next three hitters to secure the win.
Long balls make the difference for LA
Cody Bellinger was one-for-16 in his career against Rockies starter German Marquez entering his at-bat in the fourth inning. He improved to two-for-17.
Bellinger blasted a fastball from Marquez over the right-field fence to put the Dodgers ahead 2-0. They would not trail the rest of the game.
First baseman Max Muncy followed with another two-run homer off Marquez in the fifth to help the Dodgers put the game out of reach.
The Dodgers added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Buehler.
Rockies remain without a division crown
The Rockies have still yet to win a division title.
Colorado have made the playoffs four times since they entered MLB as an expansion team in 1993. All of those appearances, however, came as a wildcard as the franchise have never finished first in their division
The Rockies entered game 163 with a chance to change that, but they came up short. Colorado's bats never came alive against Buehler while Marquez allowed four runs (two earned) in 4.2 innings on the mound.
The Rockies have had playoff success despite never winning their division. They advanced to the World Series as the National League wildcard team in 2007.