The Dodgers won their 86th game of the season by out-slugging the powerful Tigers 8-5 in Detroit on Friday night.
The Dodgers got into an early 2-0 hole after Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the first inning. The Dodgers countered, as they usually do, with four runs in the top of the second inning. Things got started with a Yasmani Grandal walk. After a Yasiel Puig fly out, Adrian Gonzalez — in his first game off the disabled list — hit an double to put runners at second and third. Logan Forsythe followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1. After a Joc Pederson pop out (more on him later), future NL MVP Chris Taylor tied up the game with, you guessed it, a double. Corey Seager followed with a 2-run single to cap the scoring in the second.
The Dodgers tacked on two more in the fourth inning. A Forsythe walk was followed by back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Pederson and Taylor. Taylor finished the night 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Forsythe was the only other Dodger with multiple hits. Cody Bellinger went hitless, but he did draw two walks.
Rich Hill wasn’t particularly sharp on the night. He lasted just five innings an allowed six hits, three runs — all earned — allowed one home run, issued three walks and struck out five Tiger hitters. He got himself out of a jam in the fifth inning when he struck out Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos on sidearm curveballs. It wasn’t his best outing, but it was good enough.
After Hill exited, Josh Fields allowed a home run, as he is oft wont to do. Dave Roberts, somehow, got two scoreless innings out of Pedro Baez, but it wasn’t without incident. He allowed three hits and the tying run came to the plate in the seventh inning in the form of Ian Kinsler. He lined out to Gonzalez to end the threat. Always an adventure, Petey!
The Dodgers tacked on a run in the eighth inning, which made a shaky ninth inning a little more bearable. Kenley Jansen wasn’t his sharpest, as with one out, he allowed a home run to Upton (his second of the game). After Cabrera and Castellanos singles, Victor Martinez (who homered off Fields) came to the plate representing the tying run. Jansen struck out Martinez and struck out James McCann to end the game.
In Cody Bellinger's 100th career game, the Dodgers improve their record to 77-23 since his callup.
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) August 19, 2017
Is that good? That seems good.
As for Pederson, well, I regret to inform you he’s at it again.
Joc Pederson has changed his swing. Looks like Corey Seager or Chase Utley may have given him a few pointers pic.twitter.com/WzJ7zSG6bH
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) August 19, 2017
Here's Corey Seager's stance and load next to Joc's new ones. Joc looks like he's trying to do a more hunched-over version of Seager pic.twitter.com/dDv7d4AGF8
— David Adler (@_dadler) August 19, 2017
Pederson is tinkering again. This time, he’s trying to become the love child of Seager and Chase Utley. Not a bad combo to emulate. He was 1-for-34 coming into tonight’s game, and if small sample sizes are indications of, he’s going to hit .333 for the rest of the season and all his hits will be doubles.
The Dodgers improve to 86-34 on the season. That’s a 116-win pace. Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.63 ERA, 4.34 FIP) gets the call tomorrow afternoon. He’ll take on Michael Fulmer (3.78 ERA, 3.55 FIP). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Pacific time.