LOS ANGELES — Nolan Arenado went home to work on his swing, and it paid off in a big way.
Arenado homered twice, Trevor Story also connected and the Colorado Rockies held off the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Tuesday night.
“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 attended El Toro High in Orange County. He worked with his former coach, Mike Gonzales, and his father, Fernando.
“It’s April, I’m swinging the bat pretty good and today was a great day,” Arenado said, “but there’s five months left of baseball. I have a lot of work to do.”
Greg Holland gave up two runs in the ninth inning but earned his eighth save in as many chances. With runners at first and second, Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to end it.
Arenado hit a two-run homer into the left-field bleachers off Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-3) in the first. The slugger added his sixth of the season in the fifth, sending another pitch from Ryu into the stands between the left-field foul pole and the Dodgers bullpen.
The only National League player with more homers than Arenado is Milwaukee’s Eric Thames, who has seven.
“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.”
Arenado added a third-inning double for his second three-hit game in his last three starts. Colorado (10-5) won its third straight and improved to 7-2 on the road.
Story hit his second home run of the season deep into the left-field bleachers in the fourth, snapping slumps of 0 for 12 and 1 for 26.
Chris Rusin (2-0) tossed 1 1/3 hitless innings for the win. The first four Colorado relievers combined to hold the Dodgers scoreless on two hits over four innings.
Ryu gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings as he lost his third consecutive start. The left-hander made only one appearance over the past two years because of arm injuries.
“He’s still coming back. To expect him to be locked in right now might be a little unfair,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Ryu has allowed 10 runs and 19 hits over 15 1/3 innings this season.
“He had a good changeup, a decent slider, threw a couple curveballs, painted a couple of fastballs inside,” Black said. “Those mistakes out over the plate to Nolan and Trevor, we didn’t miss them. We didn’t hit them for singles, we didn’t hit them for doubles, we hit them for homers. And those are big home runs.”
Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland started for the Rockies, but came out after four-plus innings. He held Los Angeles to a run and four hits, but walked four to go with three strikeouts.
“It’s his third start. He’s learning,” Black said.
The Dodgers, who have lost three in a row, scored in the fourth when Joc Pederson’s infield single drove in Kike Hernandez from third base. Hernandez walked with one out and went to third on a single by Gonzalez.
The Rockies have taken three of four from the Dodgers this season.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (1-2, 8.59 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season. He faced the Dodgers at Coors Field on April 9 and took the loss after allowing five runs and five hits in five innings.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.53) comes off his best start of the season. He held the Diamondbacks to a run and four hits over 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight with only one walk.