Dodgers 6, Guardians 1: Mookie Betts and his 5-for-5 game leads Los Angeles to victory

Despite the Progressive Field grounds crew’s best attempt to stop it, the Dodgers beat the Guardians 6-1 on Thursday morning/afternoon to open up the doubleheader caused by Wednesday’s rain.


Opening the remaining 7 innings with a 3-1 lead, the Dodgers added to their lead before the Guardians could cut into it Thursday morning.

After four walks between the two sides in the 3rd and top of the 4th, Mookie Betts finally broke through with the first hit of the day at a blazing 59 mph off the bat. Betts singled to center to move Miguel Rojas to third with two outs and ended the day for Nick Sandlin after he recorded the first five outs of the first game. Freddie Freeman greeted Eli Morgan with a first-pitch single at just 60.1 mph, just out of reach of the diving Brayan Rocchio, but Betts fell as he turned around second base and was thrown out to end the 4th — though Rojas obviously crossed home plate before the inning ended.

While Cleveland’s bullpen game allowed the one run early, the Los Angeles bullpen worked around singles and walks for all 7 remaining innings of the game. After Victor Gonzalez recorded the first two outs of the day, Gus Varland entered and pitched 1 1/3 innings with three strikeouts, and Ryan Brasier followed with a scoreless inning of work after Varland walked the leadoff man in the 5th.

With James Karinchak entering in the 6th after Sandlin and Morgan, the Dodgers’ offense got its first extra-base hit of the morning as Freeman doubled Betts to third with two down. However, a 3-2 fastball to Will Smith bounced right up the middle to end the threat.

Brasier remained in the game for the 6th, but it didn’t go quite as smoothly. A pair of singles by Oscar Gonzalez and Eric Haase put runners on the corners, but Andres Gimenez struck out on three pitches after hitting for Tyler Freeman. Continuing to bounce back from the pair of hits, Brasier got Gabriel Arias swinging on a 2-2 slider and escaped without a run allowed on a fly out from Rocchio.

Alex Vesia continued the bullpen’s scoreless stretch with just 12 pitches in the 7th, the first 1-2-3 inning of the day for the Dodgers’ pitching staff despite the Guardians being held off the board.


After 5 innings with just one run combined by the two teams, the Dodgers put the game away in the 8th.

James Outman opened the inning with a single against Tim Herrin, who returned for a second inning of work after giving up just an infield single in a 12-pitch 7th. Amed Rosario walked with Outman already at second thanks to an errant throw over to first and Rojas loaded the bases with a 43.1 mph roller toward second that resulted in no play for the Guardians.

Betts, 4-for-4 between the two days the game was played on, battled back from a 0-2 start to his at-bat and drew a full count after fouling off three pitches. Lofting a slider to left at 108.7 mph, Betts would have hit a grand slam in 18 parks, but settled for a double to bring home two.

Three consecutive ground outs ended the inning, but the 6-1 lead proved to be enough to close out the win.


Brusdar Graterol opened the 8th with a 10-pitch walk, but a strikeout and double play continued the Guardians trend of wasting lead off batters reaching base. In total, Cleveland opened the 5th, 6th and 8th with a man on before failing to break through.

Once the teams were allowed to return to the field following the second delay of this specific game, the Dodgers stranded a walk to Kiké Hernandez before Bryan Hudson took over in the 9th. Thanks in part to an absolute rocket from Rojas at short to first after bare-handing a high chopper, Hudson only needed nine pitches to finally end the game.


As mentioned, rather than actually finish the first game on time, the Cleveland grounds crew rushed onto the field to cover their precious grass once again before the 9th inning could begin.

That proved to be another 72-minute delay just to finish up the final six outs before waiting another 30 minutes to start the second game. I dunno.


Game 2 will begin around 1:15 p.m. PT now with Ryan Pepiot likely to be a bulk boy one again. There’s some more rain around the area, so who knows if the second game will start when expected.

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.