After a day off, the Dodgers welcomed the Angels to Dodger Stadium for an abbreviated two-game Freeway Series. After primarily being notable for the game’s length rather than drama, things ratcheted up in the 9th when the Dodgers lost to the Angels 5-4 on a play at the plate.
It was the Angels that got out to the early lead against Kenta Maeda. After getting two outs to start the 2nd, Maeda issued a walk, hit a batter, and then gave up a single to pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani to make it 1-0.
The Dodgers tried to immediately fight back in their half of the 2nd. Max Muncy reached on an error and got to second on a ground out. Corey Seager appeared to tie the game with a single into center, but Mike Trout did Mike Trout things and threw out Mad Max at the plate.
The Dodgers did eventually tie the game in the 4th. After Cody Bellinger singled and Muncy walked, a ground out put runners on the corners with one out. Seager took advantage of the scoring chance with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game at 1-1.
Unfortunately that didn’t last long. In the 5th, Trout hit a monster one-out ding dong to left to regain the lead.
Good lord what a blast.
A double followed and that was the end of the night for Kenta, who never looked like he had his command tonight. He went 4.1 innings and struck out seven, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks.
Julio Urias entered in relief and immediately surrendered a double for another run that closed the book on Kenta’s start. He then gave up a single to put runners on the corners, and a ground out plated another to make it a three-run inning and a 4-1 lead. After a scoreless inning in the 6th, Urias concluded one of his rather off nights, surrendering a run on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings.
The Dodgers made it a game again in the bottom half of the 6th. Muncy walked to start and a one-out Seager single put runners on the corners. A Russell Martin sharply hit grounder was gloved at third, but Muncy beat the throw home for a run.
Matt Beaty pinch-hit and walked to load the bases, and Joc Pederson hit a hard grounder to second that was only able to be knocked down for an infield single and another run to make it 4-3. However, the Dodgers could not add more to that and it would cost them.
Yimi Garcia relieved Julio and immediately gave up a no-doubt dong to Kole Calhoun to increase the lead back to 5-3. JT Chargois followed in the 8th, allowing the single but facing the minimum in the frame thanks to a double play. He continued in the 9th, allowing a double but striking out two to keep the lead at two.
After two quiet offensive frames, the Boys In Blue threatened magic in the 9th. With one out, Justin Turner drew a one-out walk and then Cody Bellinger followed by ripping a double down the line in right to put the tying run to the plate. Muncy ended up hitting a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-4, but he just missed ending it.
That set things up for the suddenly red-hot Enrique Hernandez, who came up with two outs and a runner on second and drilled single to right, but Kole Calhoun‘s laser throw cut down Bellinger at the plate to end the game.
The loss drops the Dodgers to 67-36, and they now lead the NL West by 14.5 games over … the Giants? Yes, the Giants. They also lead the NL by 6.5 games over the Braves and the MLB by 0.5 games over the Yankees.
The short series will end tomorrow with the Dodgers looking for a split at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Ross Stripling (RHP/3.64 ERA/3.85 FIP/3.52 DRA) will face Jaime Barria (RHP/7.36 ERA/4.59 FIP/7.34 DRA) of the Angels.