After an off day, the Dodgers returned home and looked to use this short series as a springboard to get back on track. Things looked dire early, and even late, as the recap I had written shows.
But one big moment from Gavin Lux, arguably the first they’ve had in like a month, led to a 6-4 comeback win over the Mariners.
Walker Buehler is the guy who the Dodgers usually want on the mound if they need to get back on track, though he wasn’t at his best today. In the 1st, Mitch Haniger created a deficit early with a homer on a 0-2 fastball to make it 1-0.
Opposing Buehler was a Yusei Kikuchi, who seems to be figuring things out in the MLB. After he carved the lineup in the 1st, he got into trouble in the 2nd with a single and a walk to start, but then retired the next three to sum up the offensive struggles. After a quiet 3rd, Max Muncy stepped up in the 4th and cranked a two-out solo dong to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Meanwhile, Buehler had seemed to resume cruising, retiring five in a row before facing Haniger again in the 6th. That changed things thanks to another solo shot against Buehler to make it 4-1 and caused me to write the recap early.
With the pen depth concerns persisting, Buehler at least got deep into the game: 7 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 91 Pitches.
After a clean 6th, Kikuchi continued into the 7th, but he exited for Anthony Misiewicz after two singles while only getting one out. AJ Pollock then pinch hit and drew a walk to load the bases, and after Mookie got screwed out of a bases loaded walk, Corey Seager stepped up and singled to right to make it 4-3 before Rafael Montero entered and ended the threat.
While the game seemed destined for another one-run loss after two quick outs in the 8th, Taylor singled and stole second, Matt Beaty got hit on an 0-2 pitch, and they set the stage for a struggling Lux. Well, Gavin looked to turn both his own fortunes and that of the Dodgers around, providing the first electric moment for the team in nearly three weeks by smoking his first homer of the year to right, a three-run shot to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead.
After Garrett Cleavinger provided what turned out to be an important 1-2-3 frame in the 8th with two strikeouts, that left things up to Kenley Jansen to close. Despite getting squeezed a bit, he went 1-2-3 in the 9th with two strikeouts to secure the victory.
The Dodgers are now 19-17, avoiding .500, hopefully forever.