Dodgers 8, Athletics 2: Completing the sweep before heading south

With Emmet Sheehan warming up before the game to throw behind Julio Urias if needed, given the latter’s cracked fingernail, one would naturally have a little bit of concern even if the Dodgers had handled the Athletics in the first two games of the series.

Instead, Urias provided a strong 5 innings and Sheehan still entered to close out the final 4 innings of the 8-2 victory for the Dodgers over the A’s.


By nearly every measure, it’s been clear how badly Urias has struggled early on in games this season. Whether it be a his 11.40 ERA in 1st innings, an .860 OPS allowed in the first time through the order or a 1.029 OPS on his first to 25th pitch of an outing, it’s all bad. So when the Athletics put a pair on with a single and a walk in the 1st ahead of Brent Rooker in the clean-up spot, I assume most fans were prepared for the worst. But after a brief meeting with Miguel Rojas, Urias’ 2-2 cutter was hit hard enough right to Max Muncy at third to start a double play and end the inning.

The Dodgers also put two on in the 1st, with Freddie Freeman continuing to absolutely dominate Oakland (and basically everyone) with a 1-out double. Amed Rosario reached on a 2-out error at short by Aledmys Díaz which brought Muncy to the plate. After working a full count as JP Sears alternated balls and strikes to open the at-bat, Muncy fouled off a pair of balls to bring up the eighth pitch of the at-bat, which missed high to load the bases. However, Chris Taylor could not repeat Wednesday’s 1st inning lead as Sears bounced back with a six-pitch strikeout to escape the jam.

Urias, who is much better in 2nd innings with a 3.00 ERA and .612 OPS allowed, naturally finished the 2nd on just 13 pitches with a pair of ground outs and a 3-2 slurve that froze JJ Bleday for strike three.

With Urias potentially not set for a long outing, the Dodgers kept the offense going in their half of the 2nd as Kiké Hernández connected on his third double in his first 18 at-bats back in Los Angeles. Then, fresh off his first home run of the year last night, Rojas made it back-to-back 100+ mph doubles with his shot down the left-field line for a 1-0 lead.

A sacrifice bunt by Austin Barnes (sure, I guess) led to Mookie Betts getting hit by a pitch on his ass, which provided a moment with A’s catcher Shea Langeliers. Unfortunately the Dodgers could not capitalize any further, as Freeman popped out and Will Smith struck out for the second time in the game (and 11th time in the past eight games).

On the other side, Urias worked around a 2-out double in the 3rd, including snagging this two-out comebacker by Zack Gelof. That meant he held an opponent scoreless through 3 innings for the first time since July 14th in New York, and only the second time since he allowed just 1 run in 7 innings to the Phillies on May 2.

Once again, the bottom of the Dodgers’ order came through in the 3rd to double the lead to 2-0. Walks to Muncy and Hernandez brought Rojas back up to the plate, and he promptly came up with another first-pitch double to left.

The two doubles were a first in 2023 for Rojas, who last had a multi extra-base hit game since September of last season with Miami. Additionally, the pair of RBIs were a first in 2023 for Rojas, with that last happening in July of last year.

Naturally after Dave Roberts admitted Urias may be limited, the lefty worked through the 4th on just 52 pitches with another two-out double ended up stranded.

Apparently both teams were only capable of hitting doubles in the game as Freeman hit his second of the game in the 4th, the fifth of the game for the Dodgers and the seventh of the game’s eight hits to that point. Los Angeles left him out there with a fly out for Smith and a pop out for Rosario, but had come up with five balls going 100+ mph off Sears.

Entering the 5th with just three misses, Urias continued his odd trend of being particularly dominant in the inning. Holding a 0.75 ERA in 5th innings in 2023, including a 12/1 K-BB ratio, Urias struck out the side on 16 pitches. That included Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom going down swinging on a change and slurve respectively.

That wrapped up his outing with 68 pitches thrown while allowing 3 hits and 1 walk to the 5 strikeouts in 5 innings. In total, Urias finished with 5 misses on 34 pitches with 3 of the 7 on the slurve.

Looking to build the lead before Sheehan entered the game, the Dodgers once again presented Rojas with an RBI opportunity. A second hit batter in the game, this time Muncy, and a fielder’s choice that failed to record an out brought Rojas to the plate with runners at first and second and just one away. Sears mostly kept his pitches outside in the third meeting with Rojas after he’d been hurt inside with his sweeper and fastball. With a 1-1 sweeper grounded hard to short, the Dodgers left another man on base against Sears.

With 95 pitches thrown, allowing 6 hits and 3 walks, Sears escaped with just the 2 runs scored and 5 strikeouts in his 5 innings of work.


Pitching out of the bullpen for the first time in his major league career, Sheehan hit 98 mph with his fastball three times against Seth Brown. Unfortunately after getting one out, the fastball was sent down the left-field line for a solo homer by Gelof to cut the lead down to 2-1.

With Sears also gone, Lucas Erceg entered out of the league’s worst bullpen by ERA (5.49) and fWAR (-1.1), and allowed an infield single to Barnes and a roller up the middle to Betts. After Freeman failed with a strikeout on three consecutive pitches, Smith delivered as he dropped in a single at just 63.2 mph off the bat.

And that’s when it all fell apart for the A’s. The throw home was not in time to get Barnes and allowed Betts to reach third with Smith behind him at second. Rosario lined a double to right, off a right-handed pitcher, to score two more and reach third on a wild throw in to second. David Peralta, hitting for Muncy who was hit on the wrist in the inning prior, then singled in Rosario to suddenly make it 6-1.

Erceg was left out there to pretty much eat it at that point, with Taylor singling as well. Amazingly, his single at 98.1 mph was the hardest of the six hits in the inning to that point as none of the other five broke 86 mph. The rally halted there though, with Hernandez grounding to third for a force out and Jordan Diaz completing the double play with a throw to first.

Sheehan’s second inning did see his velocity come back down from 97 and 98 to 94 to 96, but a strikeout, walk and double play made it a 12-pitch inning. The Athletics sent another fastball to the seats in the 8th, with Soderstrom hitting his first-career homer to right on a 2-2 count, but Sheehan escaped the inning without any other damage.

The Dodgers’ offense went down in order for the first time all night in the 7th, but Freeman made sure former Dodger Zach Neal didn’t get through another clean inning.

A walk by Jason Heyward, a ground out for Peralta and a single by Taylor added the night’s final run for the Dodgers in the 8th as well. 8-2.

Holding a 6-run lead, the Dodgers sent Sheehan out to the mound in the 9th to close out the victory with a 4-inning save (the first since Kenta Maeda in Septmber 2019 according to Eric Stephen). A pop out and a pair of strikeouts ended it without much difficulty.

Sheehan’s final line for night, 4 innings and 56 pitches with 2 runs allowed on 2 hits and 1 walk allowed to 3 strikeouts. Despite the pair of homers, it was a solid first step for Sheehan out of the bullpen with 14 misses on 30 swings, including 8 of 18 against the fastball, 3 of 7 on the slider and 3 of 4 on the change.


Not ideal with J.D. Martinez still missing games, but not on the IL.

The postgame update:


Giants61-49 (2.5 GB)
Diamondbacks57-53 (6.5 GB)

*Either still playing or will play later.

It’ll be Bobby Miller and Yu Darvish on the mound Friday night as the Dodgers and Padres start up a four-game series in San Diego. It’ll be Miller’s first game against the Padres and just his second against the NL West, with the other being his very forgettable game against the Giants back in mid-June. Darvish will face the Dodgers for the second time in 2023 after allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings back on May 5. His 2.36 ERA in 11 games against the Dodgers is Darvish’s fourth-best against all opponents in his career with 10 of those starts coming with the Padres.

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.