Two division leaders in the West got together at the place where one of them won a World Series, and they had a hell of a series opener, going back-and-forth throughout. Fortunately, it was the Dodgers who got the last laugh, as they took the lead late and then built on it with insurance in an 11-5 win over the Rangers.
The Dodgers are now 9-2 in their last 11 games, and will try to win their fifth series in a row tomorrow.
The last time the Dodgers were at Globe Life Field, they became Champions. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/FjiU38gnZ5— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 21, 2023
After a rare stretch of struggling at run prevention, giving up 19 runs in his last four starts, Tony Gonsolin seemed to get back on track in his last outing. However, things didn’t start off well today, as after a walk in the 1st, an odd swing on a 3-2 pitch led to a seemingly accidental homer down the line in left for a 2-0 Rangers lead.
Like … lol. pic.twitter.com/6W8LjK3uXe— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
On the other side, old friend Andrew Heaney was on the mound for the Rangers and was off to a quick start with a pair of scoreless innings.
Surprisingly, the bottom of the order started the rally in the 3rd, as Miguel Rojas walked, Yonny Hernandez singled, and Freddie Freeman tied the game with a one-out oppo double into the gap to make it 2-2.
Freeman ties the game with a double and does a … dance (?) with the dugout. pic.twitter.com/B6vBg0l9zH— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
With two down, it was J.D. Martinez who came through with a single into the gap in left to make it 3-2, but he got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double to end the rally.
J.D. puts the Dodgers in front then runs into an out, as is tradition. pic.twitter.com/BVb5xAS3yk— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Meanwhile, Gonsolin had seemingly settled in, notching a clean 2nd and 3rd frame. However, things went south in the 4th in a hurry, starting with a walk, double, and walk to load the bases. Back-to-back sacrifice flies followed to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead, and he then got out of the inning on a caught stealing.
As mentioned, it was a back-and-forth affair tonight, and after working around a walk and infield single in the 4th, Heaney then gave up Freddie’s 18th homer to the same left-center gap as his double to tie the game at 4-4 in the 5th.
Freddie Freeman goes for an oppo bomb to tie the game. pic.twitter.com/12mLff9Pn3— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
That score was only kept at 4-4 through the 5th because of Jonny Deluca‘s heroics in center to back Tony, saving a one-out double and then a two-out homer to end Gonsolin’s start: 5 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 92 Pitches.
Heaney’s night was also over after five, and the Rangers pen saw immediate trouble. A one-out infield single led to a two-out single to corner the runners, and then a walk to load the bases, but Yonny popped up harmlessly to end the threat.
Unfortunately, the Rangers took the easy way against Alex Vesia in the 6th, as Corey Seager led the inning off with a homer to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead. After a strikeout, he also issued a walk, and his night was done.
Ryan Brasier entered, and while also issued a walk to put a pair on, he then rolled a pair and got out of the inning without further issue.
The Dodgers came right back immediately in the 7th, as Mookie Betts drew a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Freddie was then intentionally walked. Unintentional walks to Will Smith and J.D. followed, which tied the game at 5-5. After a pitching change, Chris Taylor unfortunately popped up, and Max Muncy grounded a ball to short but beat out the double play attempt to make it 6-5. That was it for the rally, but it was a lead.
Now protecting a lead, the Dodgers turned to Brusdar Graterol in the 7th, and he worked through a rather chill 1-2-3 frame.
The bats then made sure the rest of the pen could chill a bit as well. As in the 8th, a Rojas single was followed by a successful Yonny sac bunt to move him to second, and he made it to third on a steal. Mookie then walked to corner things, but the rally was in danger when Freddie looked at strike three. No worries, the Two-Out Dodgers were here, as Will doubled to drive in both runs on a nice send from Dino Ebel, and J.D. followed with a single to plate another and make it 9-5.
J.D. Martinez follows with a single to make it 9-5. pic.twitter.com/WttUQqMaDG— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Things were actually not easy from there in, however. Caleb Ferguson started the 8th and gave up a one-out double to Seager (who was safe on review and exited the game in pain) and a pair of walks to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. On a Josh Jung fly ball, however, Nathaniel Lowe made a hilarious mistake on the bases, assuming the runners were advancing and then slipping and falling dramatically to his knees to be tagged out for an inning-ending double play.
Nathaniel Lowe with a hilarious TOOTBLAN gets Caleb Ferguson out of a bases loaded jam. pic.twitter.com/OZ974KvhlR— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Even more runs followed in the 9th for the Dodgers, as Muncy led off with a double, Rojas got hit by a pitch, and with two outs Mookie doubled them both home to make it 11-5.
Mookie doubles to dead center and adds a pair more insurance runs, does the dance. pic.twitter.com/Q4hkHnmydB— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Justin Bruihl is now back up and got the easy 9th frame, issuing a two-out walk but getting a scoreless frame.
Yonny brought some new celebrations to the Dodgers.
Yonny Hernandez impact. pic.twitter.com/LbgMr5RFRR— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
Can't wait until they do this in the most tense situations down the stretch and into October. pic.twitter.com/wjWmRp0NDj— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
He wasn't wrong, tbf. pic.twitter.com/ElxKgG8ZY8— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 22, 2023
|Diamondbacks||54-44 (3 GB)|
|Giants||54-44 (3 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.
The two teams do it again a few hours earlier tomorrow at 10:05 AM HT/1:05 PM PT/4:05 PM ET with Bobby Miller (4.25 ERA/3.75 xERA/4.47 DRA) taking the hill against the surprising Dane Dunning (2.82/4.72/5.16).