Orioles 6, Dodgers 4: A whole lot of whiffs

Today’s starting pitchers Bud Norris and Kevin Gausman just about matched each other. Both allowed four runs in five innings. Each pitcher gave up a solo home run — Norris to Mark Trumbo, and Gausman to Justin Turner. Norris allowed eight baserunners on six hits and two walks, while Gausman allowed nine on eight hits and one walk. Norris struck out five; Gausman struck out six.

A key moment in the game for Norris came in the fourth inning with Gausman at the plate. Coming into today’s game, Gausman had all of four career major league plate appearances, three of which had resulted in strikeouts (and he struck out in his first at bat against Norris). However, the second time around, Gausman really battled with Norris, ultimately working an 11-pitch walk. It was the first time he’d reached base as a major leaguer.

The Orioles and Dodger bullpens were both excellent for the remainder of the nine innings. Dylan Bundy struck out seven batters in two and one-third innings pitched, and Brad Brach added three strikeouts in his one and two-thirds innings pitched. The Dodgers did load the bases in both the seventh and eighth innings, but both rallies proved fruitless (although the second one did feature a Kenta Maeda pinch running appearance).

Casey Fien allowed to Mark Trumbo (Trumbo’s 26th of the season, giving him sole possession of the major league lead), which was the one real blemish on an otherwise excellent performance by the Dodgers’ relievers. Fien, Adam Liberatore, Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen combined for eight strikeouts in four innings.

A couple of notes about a couple of those guys:

Luis Avilan was the first to get the ball for the Dodgers in extra innings. It was his sixth appearance of the season for Los Angeles, and his second since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless frame, striking out two.

When J.P. Howell struck out Nolan Reimold in the top of the 11th, it set a record:

(The final count was 36 combined strikeouts.)

Howell wound up going one and two-thirds innings, walking three batters in addition to those two strikeouts. The Orioles nearly scored off of Louis Coleman in the top of the 13th, but a great relay from Yasiel Puig to Chase Utley to Yasmani Grandal got Joey Rickard at the plate.

Chris Hatcher pitched the 14th inning, and he couldn’t hold the Orioles. A pair of singles and a two-RBI double off the bat of Jonathan Schoop gave Baltimore a two-run lead.

The Dodgers got a rally going in the bottom of the 14th. With one out, Adrian Gonzalez singled off of Zach Britton, and Trayce Thompson walked. With two outs and Grandal at the plate, the Buck Showalter decided he’d rather Britton face Hatcher. Hatcher grounded out, and that was that. The Dodgers lost, 6-4, thus dropping the series.

Chase Utley had a career day at the plate, going 6-for-7 with two doubles. It’s a career high for him, and at the tender age of 37. He scored two runs, but was stranded the other four times he reached base.

Corey Seager extended his hitting streak to 19 games, the second-longest such streak for a Dodger rookie — he’s one shy of Tommy Davis‘s record of 20.

Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his long-awaited return tomorrow. It’s hard to see him putting in too long an outing in his first game back, and after how much work the bullpen put in today…well…I don’t know. It’s not great, though.

Ryu will face the Padres, who send Drew Pomeranz to the mound. First pitch is 7:10 PM.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.