Dodgers 5, Rangers 3: Buehler’s 6 shutout backed by Betts & McKinstry, Kenley bails out Bickford late

After the Rangers pulled an UNO reverse card on the Dodgers last night to end their winning streak, the Dodgers came right back behind Walker Buehler, and they never trailed in a 5-3 victory to get back on track in a game that became more dramatic than it should have late.

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Dane Dunning has pitched better than his ERA would indicate this year, though that didn’t help him much to start against the Dodgers. He issued a lead-off walk to Mookie Betts, who then scored when Gavin Lux followed with a oppo double to make it 1-0. But after a hit-by-pitch, the Dodgers couldn’t get any more due to a double play and a strikeout.

A threat in the 2nd created by a single and a walk was erased partially thanks to Zach McKinstry getting picked off second. Dunning got no such help in the 3rd when Mookie led the inning off by slicing a homer down into the corner in right for a 2-0 lead.

After back-to-back singles from Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor, two ground balls led to two outs, including Lux at home, but McKinstry redeemed himself from his earlier mistake with a double to left to plate two more runs and double the lead to 4-0.

John King relieved Dunning and got scoreless frames in the 5th and 6th. The 7th proved a bit more problematic, as he gave up a single to Mookie and a grounder that advanced him to second before being relieved. Spencer Patton entered, and after getting a line out that advanced Betts to third, gave up a single to Matt Beaty to make it 5-0.

Brett Martin closed the book on the Dodgers in the 8th, giving up two singles and having an error go against him, but not making the deficit worse.

Meanwhile, Walker Buehler had a rough start to the game, walking two batters and then giving up a double steal, then issuing another walk to load the bases before finally getting out of it after 33 pitches. Things were much easier for him from there, however, as he settled in nicely. In the 3rd he gave up back-to-back two-out singles, and faced a minor threat in the 4th after a sacrifice bunt, but neither proved to be much danger to him.

In the end, it was basically just the rough 1st inning that messed up his line and his pitch count: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 96 Pitches.

Blake Treinen relieved him in the 7th, striking out a batter in his perfect frame. Victor Gonzalez then entered and overcame Joe West calls to get a 1-2-3 frame of his own.

Phil Bickford then looked to close the game out and his surprisingly successful run came to a terrible end. A double, walk, single, and single led to two runs scoring and the lead cut to 5-2.

That led to Kenley Jansen entering, and he immediately gave up a single of his own to make the deficit two runs. Another single led to the bases loaded and the tying run at second, but mercifully he then rebounded with a foul pop, an infield pop, and then — after a dramatic battle — got a grounder to finally end it.

Good god.

The Dodgers improve to 39-26 with the victory and also trim a game off the Giants lead in the NL West, which is now down to 1 game.

Chavez Ravine will welcome the Phillies for a three-game series next, starting at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Tony Gonsolin will take the mound again looking for a better start against Spencer Howard.

About Chad Moriyama

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