Dodgers 4, Athletics 2: Bullpen’s 3.2 scoreless innings make early lead hold up for Rich Hill

After managing to save themselves from total embarrassment to close the Astros series, the Dodgers got an off day after 17 straight games and then had to play winners of six straight games in the Athletics in a two-game set. In an atmosphere at the Oakland Coliseum that most reminded me of a soccer fixture, the Dodgers managed to jump out early and then hold on for dear life in a 4-2 victory.

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Unlike their struggle against the Astros, the offense was able to be effective early tonight against Athletics starter Sean Manaea, who has been lights out all year except for a rough May. Things started in the 1st, as Brian Dozier reached on a single, and Justin Turner smacked a one-out double to make it a threat. Enrique Hernandez didn’t do damage, per se, but he did ground out to third and that was enough to get a run home.

Chris Taylor walked to start the 2nd, and Yasiel Puig singled with one out to put runners at the corners. Dave Roberts then went to the safety squeeze with Austin Barnes and it worked, plating another run.

In the 3rd, for the third consecutive inning, the Dodgers put up a run. JT started the rally this time with a single and Matt Kemp drew a one-out walk to put a runner into scoring position. With two outs, Cody Bellinger came through for the Dodgers, singling on a liner to center to plate a run.

That was it for Manaea with two down in the 3rd after just 77 pitches, and probably just as well since it didn’t look like he had his command today.

Speaking of not having his best location, Rich Hill took the mound for the Dodgers and was actually scoreless through five innings, but didn’t make it much further. A double to start and then a missile to center from Khris Davis with one out ended his night in the 6th still ahead 3-2. But he was generally effective throughout in his 98 pitches, and struck out five, also surrendering four walks in addition to three hits.

Dylan Floro took over, and eventually won an eight-pitch battle with a strikeout, and surprisingly that was it for him. Scott Alexander entered to face a lefty and did his job, notching a strikeout to escape further trouble in the 6th. He also got the 7th, starting with trouble thanks to allowing a double, but then went strikeout, ground out, and fly out to escape that frame as well.

Meanwhile, the bats managed some insurance thanks to Joc Pederson lining a double off the wall in center (missing a dong by feet) and Kemp blooping a single over first to make it 4-2.

Think the scuffling Mattycakes was happy about that? Oh yeah.

JT Chargois then entered for the Dodgers in the 8th, which was a rather odd decision for me since while he’s a ROOGY, he has also gone through stretches where he’s looked like a replacement level reliever. Silly me, as he carved through the heart of the A’s order with a strikeout and two ground outs, making it look easier than any other Dodgers pitcher on the night.

Weirdly though, despite scoring enough runs for a lead, it definitely felt frustrating that the game wasn’t out of hand already. They left runners in scoring position in six of the nine innings, going 2-for-12 total in those situations, including not scoring in the 5th when they had both runners at first and third with nobody out and the bases loaded with one out.

Anyway, that’s why Kenley Jansen had only a two-run cushion to work with in the 9th. Thankfully it didn’t matter much, as he notched two strikeouts and then a ground out for the save.

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Our own Daniel Brim got a shout from Joe Davis on the SNLA broadcast.

Cody Bellinger as Willie Mays Hayes at the beginning of ‘Major League’.

Folks.

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The Dodgers are now 63-51 on the season, and have regained the lead in the NL West by a half game over the Diamondbacks after they lost earlier tonight.

Newly acquired Mike Fiers will go for the Athletics tomorrow at 4:05 PM HST/7:05 PM PST/10:05 PM EST, and he’ll face off against Clayton Kershaw going for the mini-sweep.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times