Dodgers 6, Orioles 4: Chris Taylor saves the day with a grand slam

The battle between the nearly identically aged Emmet Sheehan, 23 years old and born on Nov. 15, 1999, and Grayson Rodriguez, 23 years old and born on Nov. 16, 1999, tilted in the Orioles favor early on before the two starters finished up with very similar lines.

While Sheehan allowed four runs on five hits and three walks in his 5 innings, Rodriguez allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks in his 5 innings. And yet the Dodgers led 6-4 shortly after Rodriguez departed, thanks to an excellent at-bat by Jason Heyward and a clutch grand slam by Chris Taylor.

Now 54-39, the Dodgers are back up 2 games in the National League West though the now second-place San Francisco Giants are currently in a rain delay with the Cincinnati Reds. The now third-place Arizona Diamondbacks were off today before heading to Atlanta for three against the Braves.


A walk and single for the Orioles in the 1st inning led to a RBI double by Ryan Mountcastle, putting Baltimore up almost immediately. Another walk by Sheehan to open the 2nd inning put him in more trouble, as a double moved two runners into scoring position before Adam Frazier made it 2-0 with a ground out. Gunnar Henderson needed just two pitches in his second at-bat of the game to push the lead to 3-0 as he tripled to right.

Thankfully Sheehan avoided the 2nd inning getting any worse, as a 3-0 fastball got Adley Rutschman to foul out with Henderson standing at third and a first-pitch change to Anthony Santander ended the inning with a grounder to short.

After the Dodgers managed just an infield single by Will Smith in the first three innings, Freddie Freeman singled to open the 4th and advanced to second on a wild pitch, which also helped Smith eventually reach first via a walk. A line out by Max Muncy moved Freeman to third for J.D. Martinez to put the Dodgers on the board against Rodriguez and make it 3-1.

A solo homer for Rutschman erased that run in the 5th to push things up to 4-1 for the Orioles, but the Dodgers offense exploded for five runs in the 6th that became the difference in the game.

A triple by Freeman, one that both just missed being a homer and also just missed being caught by Aaron Hicks in center, opened the inning, with Smith quickly singling him home to cut the lead to 4-2. A walk for Muncy, a pair of fly outs, and an 0-2 count to Heyward put the inning in danger of ending right there. But a pair of borderline fastballs brought the count even against Bryan Baker, who then missed low with a change and a slider to load the bases.

Taylor also fell behind 0-2 with a pair of foul balls, and then fouled off two fastballs, seemingly sitting on exactly that pitch. Baker elected to go back to almost the exact same spot on his fifth pitch of the at-bat and Taylor made it 6-4.

With Sheehan out of the game after 5 innings, Yency Almonte entered in the 6th and allowed a single, recorded a double play and struck out Ramon Urias on three consecutive sweepers to retire the side on 10 pitches. Alex Vesia continued his sudden return to form, with two strikeouts and a ground out on 15 pitches for a 1-2-3 7th inning. That’s now 5 1/3 scoreless innings with 1 hit, no walks and 8 strikeouts for Vesia since July 6 when he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Caleb Ferguson made it another scoreless inning for the bullpen with just an infield single allowed in the 8th, needing just 15 pitches as well.

I haven’t mentioned the Dodgers’ offense since Taylor’s grand slam in the 6th because they managed just a double by Freeman, a bloop single by Jake Marisnick (who was thrown out stealing) and a single by Outman that never really led to any serious threat in the final three innings.

Back to the Dodgers pen, with Evan Phillips unavailable, Dave Roberts went to Ryan Brasier to close out the game. Still not even two months from being released by the Red Sox, Brasier’s 1.59 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings for the Dodgers really do make him the logical option even if that is still shocking to say.

An 0-2 count to Colton Cowser turned into a 3-2 count after three balls and a pair of fouls, but the battle was spoiled by a violation of some sort on Brasier and led to a man on first. Up 0-2 again, this time on Urias, Braiser didn’t get a strikeout call at 1-2 but a roller up the middle led to a perfectly played double play from Miguel Rojas to Freddie. A third 0-2 count in Brasier’s three batters led to a fly out to left to close out the victory.


The Dodgers and Orioles will face off again at 4:05 p.m. PT tomorrow with Michael Grove (6.89 ERA/5.03 FIP/4.36 SIERA) and probably a bunch of bullpen arms facing Tyler Wells (3.18 ERA/4.64 FIP/3.98 SIERA), who has allowed exactly two earned runs in each of his past seven starts while throwing between 5 to 6 2/3 innings and 82 to 102 pitches in that stretch.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.