The Dodgers are fresh off their sweep of the Pirates and continued their stretch of very winnable games with a series against the Rangers at home. They took advantage of the struggling opponent, getting out to an early lead and never looking back in a decisive 12-1 victory to make it four games in a row.
Mike Foltynewicz has found Dodger Stadium to be a place of nightmares in his career and that continued tonight. After Mookie Betts started the game by reaching on an error, Max Muncy stepped up and crushed his 14th homer to right for an early lead. Justin Turner then followed with his 12th dong to make it back-to-back jacks and 3-0.
Cody Bellinger then walked, Will Smith lined out on a ball that had a .780 xBA, Chris Taylor singled, and Gavin Lux demolished a hanging breaking ball for a three-run shot to make it 6-0. After an AJ Pollock single and a Clayton Kershaw sac bunt, Folty got out of it by retiring Mookie.
After a 1-2-3 frame in the 2nd, Folty got into the shit again. Smith doubled and with one down Lux did the same to plate a run, and then with two down Kershaw himself singled in a run to make it 8-0. That was the end of Folty’s night, with Hyeon-jong Yang relieving him and ending the 3rd.
In the 4th, Albert Pujols (who entered the game after Muncy exited with an injury), continued to be the best lefty hitter for the Dodgers by smashing his 10th homer off Yang. With two down, Smith joined in on the dong fun, smashing his 6th on the year to make it 10-0. The Dodgers actually then loaded the bases against Yang but didn’t get anything else.
Brett de Geus took over in the 6th, hitting Mookie to start, giving up a single to Albert, and then throwing a wild pitch with one out. Cody Bellinger followed by reaching out and dumping a single into center for a run to make it 11-0. He also ended up exiting for what he described as a cramp.
After Smith got hit by a pitch to load the bases, CT3 flew out to deep center for a sac fly and the 12th Dodger run of the game before the inning ended.
De Geus also got the 7th before giving way to Spencer Patton, who got a perfect 8th.
Well … that was a lot to digest and it was easy to forget that Kershaw was looking to bounce back from a rocky month or so of late. He certainly got off to a great start, retiring the first six batters he faced. Kershaw gave up a double to start the 3rd, but then struck out the side, then in the 4th he struck out four batters after a batter reached thanks to a wild pitch.
After an uneventful 5th, the 6th certainly brought some excitement at least. After a double to start, Lux overthrew Pujols with one out to put runners at the corners. Another grounder led to an out but they couldn’t get a double play so a run scored to cut the lead to 12-1. Oh no! After hitting a batter, Kershaw then retired the last man he faced for the game and ended the frame.
Kershaw did what he was supposed to do and reversed the trend: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 9 K, 92 Pitches.
Old friend Charlie Culberson took the mound for the Rangers in the 9th, retiring the Dodgers on just eight pitches, surrendering only an infield single that could’ve got him out of the frame in five pitches. Hilariously, he was perhaps the most effective Rangers pitcher tonight.
Jimmy Nelson got the 7th, issuing a walk but striking out two in a scoreless outing. Mitch White had a struggle in the 8th, walking two and giving up a single to load the bases, eventually getting out of it on a routine grounder to Zach McKinstry on a play that had to be reviewed cause he took it too casually. He continued in the 9th despite the 30-pitch inning, just to save the pen, and he rebounded nicely with a 1-2-3 inning to close it.
Literally not healthy here.
The victory makes the Dodgers 38-25 on the season. The Giants won, so they remain 1.5 games back in the NL West.