Yankees 6, Dodgers 3: The home run ball and Aaron Judge derail Michael Grove’s groove

The Dodgers (35-24) went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the 6-3 loss to the Yankees (35-25) Saturday evening at Dodger Stadium. Meanwhile, the Yankees once again flexed their power with four home runs to tie up the series against the Dodgers.

Outside of the two bad pitches Grove cruised over the plate to Jake Bauers, his velocity was surprisingly way up in his return from the injured list. Although the Dodgers’ bullpen admirably kept the Dodgers’ in the game, the L.A. offense couldn’t put it together. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were neutralized and only collectively had one hit between them.


It was a lopsided starting pitching matchup on paper. Michael Grove made his return to the Dodgers after being out since late April with a groin injury. The Yankees countered with their ace Gerrit Cole, and the veteran right-hander got his day started on nine pitches for a 1-2-3 first inning at Dodger Stadium. Grove also impressed in the first inning and hit nearly 98-mph with his four-seam fastball.

But the Yankees cashed in two runs in the second inning against Grove. DJ LeMahieu tripled on a line drive to center field where Outman overran the ball, and unsung hero Jake Bauers clobbered a breaking ball that hung right over the plate on a silver platter for a two-run home run for a 2-0 game.

The Dodgers got one of those runs back the next frame thanks to Cole, who hit Jason Heyward with a pitch after he had two strikes on him, and then gave up a flare RBI double to left field by David Peralta. The ball fell perfectly inside a triangle of New York fielders.

But Bauers struck again with another two-run homer off Grove in the top of the fourth. This time Bauers launched Grove’s fastball to right center field to make it 4-1.

Still, Grove was really good outside of the two bad pitches for homers, as he notched career highs with seven strikeouts and 13 swinging strikes on 83 pitches (59 strikes) in five innings of work.

It was then pen time.

Speaking of launching a baseball, Aaron Judge said hello in the top of the sixth. The pinstriped slugger took advantage of left field at Dodger Stadium and L.A. reliever Shelby Miller when he crushed his 19th home run of the season to make it 5-1 Yankees.

Alex Vesia then pitched a clean seventh inning. In the greater scheme of things, this is a morsel of positivity. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Vesia pitch without getting into massive trouble this season.


The Dodgers mustered mostly soft bloopers, a majority of them to left field, against Cole through the first six innings, but he left the game with cramping after 80 pitches.

All the right-handed Dodgers’ bats immediately jumped on Wandy Peralta when Dave Roberts sent up all his righties off the bench. First, Chris Taylor started things off with a single. Then Miguel Vargas tripled, and the Dodgers scored for the first time since the second inning to make it 5-2.

The triple was aided by Oswaldo Cabrera, who swatted at the ball hit by Vargas for a while out in left field.

Trayce Thompson followed by drawing a walk, so all three pinch-hitters managed their way to get on base. Aaron Boone was forced to make another pitching change and went to Michael King, but Miguel Rojas singled to center field to close the gap by another run and make it 5-3. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman both lined out, and Will Smith was called out on strikes to end the threat.

Tayler Scott made his Dodgers debut out of the bullpen in the top of the eighth, and J.D. Martinez also made a debut of sorts. He started the eighth inning in left field, and the Dodgers gave up the DH spot for the remainder of the game. It was the first time Martinez played in the field since 2021 with the Red Sox.

Anyway, there was a holy crap moment in the home half of the eighth. Judge robbed Martinez of extra bases and the Dodgers of runs. The large man broke through the bullpen door in the process. That about killed the game for the offense.

Meanwhile, Scott continued in the 9th and got two more outs, but Yankees added insurance with an Oswaldo Cabrera solo homer off Victor Gonzalez for the 6-3 final.


The Dodgers fall to (35-24) overall and (20-9) at home. They’re now 1/2 game back of the D-backs, who play the Braves Saturday night in Arizona.

The rubber game of the series starts at 4:10 PM PST on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Bobby Miller (2-0, 1.64 ERA, 9 K in his first 11 IP) has been lights out so far for the Dodgers. Veteran right-hander Domingo German (3-3, 3.98 ERA, 3 BB/9) toes the rubber for the Yankees in the series finale.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.