It didn’t work out as the Dodgers struggled with RISP against the Athletics in a 4-3 defeat.
Jesus Luzardo and his electric stuff started rough against the Dodgers, issuing back-to-back walks to Chris Taylor and Corey Seager to start the game. He rebounded with consecutive strikeouts to put him on the verge of escape, but AJ Pollock drilled a ball back up the box for a single to plate CT3 and make it 1-0 early.
Trevor Bauer wasn’t sharp early like he was in his Dodger debut, giving up a bunch of hard contact. However, despite having to wiggle out of trouble in the 2nd, he got through undamaged. The 4th was a different problem, as he hit Ramon Laureano with a pitch to start, and he then stole both second and third in the inning, eventually scoring on a two-out wild pitch to tie the game 1-1.
Meanwhile, the Dodger bats made Luzardo work hard for his outs, but they also didn’t capitalize on chances in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th against him. He also started the 6th, getting an out but then walking Max Muncy and giving up a single to Barnes to end his outing, giving way to old friend Adam Kolarek.
After a ground out advanced both runners, Zach McKinstry stepped up and laid down a perfect two-out bunt against the shift to score Muncy before Barnes was tagged out at third to make it 2-1. Not sure how that is being ruled a fielder’s choice instead of a hit, but okay.
Old “friend” Sergio Romo then got the 7th, and he helped the bats come alive. Taylor got hit by a pitch to start, Seager followed with a clean single to center, and then Justin Turner doubled down the line in right to score CT3 and make it 3-1. Still, they struggled to capitalize further than that yet again.
Bauer continued to keep the A’s lineup down, and he was allowed to continue in the 7th. That decision looked dubious as he immediately surrendered a homer to Matt Chapman to cut the lead to 3-2. He also gave up a single in the frame but got two outs before leaving. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 K, 100 Pitches.
Bauer gave way to Corey Knebel, who immediately issued a walk to put the tying run into scoring position, but he rebounded by completing an eight-pitch battle with a strikeout to escape trouble and maintain the advantage. Knebel continued in the 8th and got the first two batters of the inning before being relieved. Victor Gonzalez entered to complete the 8th, and did so by getting a ground out.
Kenley Jansen got the ninth inning — a somewhat questionable decision after 18 pitches last night — and it was a bit of an adventure. He allowed a single to Chapman and walked Seth Brown, which was followed by Tony Kemp executing a successful sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third with one out. Elvis Andrus then hit a fly ball to center which Taylor caught, and he made a strong throw to the plate but Will Smith couldn’t hold onto the ball while tagging Chapman, which invoked memories of Game 4 of the 2020 World Series. Jansen followed that up with a walk to Sean Murphy before a ground out from Mark Canha forced extra innings.
Not great, Bob.
The dumb extra inning rule is still in effect for the 2021 season, so Edwin Rios began the top of the 10th at second base with Gavin Lux at the plate. Yusmeiro Petit got Lux to fly out to center field, McKinstry to fly out to left, and struck Taylor out.
Jimmy Nelson took over for Jansen in the bottom of the 10th and walked Jed Lowrie. That brought up Laureano, whose long fly ball allowed Canha to move to third base with one out. Mitch Moreland then singled to center field to secure the Oakland victory.
When you go 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position and leave the bases loaded three times, you probably aren’t going to win.
The Dodgers are now 5-2 after the loss, which snaps their five-game win streak.