MemberSeptember 22, 2020 at 10:40 pm
With the help of the Angels defeating the Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially clinch their eighth straight National League West title with a smooth victory over the Oakland Athletics, 7-2.
Dustin May went to work in the first and was taken deep to the opposite-field by Robbie Grossman, putting the Athletics on the board early. Mookie Betts lined a two-strike single off of Frankie Montas to start the bottom half. After a wild pitch that allowed Betts to advance to 2nd, Corey Seager drove him home with a base hit up the middle, tying the game at 1. Cody Bellinger followed with a hustle double, but Seager was doubled off on Smith’s sharp line-out to end the inning. May opened the second with back-to-back strike-outs in a 1-2-3 frame, and Montas countered with one of his own. May walked Sean Murphy in the third, and after he advanced to 3rd base, May overthrew a fastball that allowed Murphy to score, putting Oakland back in front, 2-1. Contrary to the loud outs made by Edwin Ríos and Betts, Seager’s blooper dropped in with two-down in LA’s half. Max Muncy took advantage of a hanging slider and hit a two-run home run to center field against his former team, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. In the fourth, May navigated a single with a pair of strike-outs. Montas’ first pitch of the home half was crushed by Chris Taylor for a solo shot, doubling LA’s advantage. A few pitches later, AJ Pollock smashed an inside fastball over the wall in center to make it 5-2. Tony Kemp started the fifth with a sharp single and stole 2nd as May got Murphy looking. Tommy La Stella soon after walked, putting two-on with two-out, but May escaped unscathed. He wasn’t as efficient as we’ve seen, also struggling to find the strike-zone more than normal, but May completed a very solid outing and deservingly earned the win: 5IP, 2ER, 3H, 3BB, 5K, W. Seager continued the trend of Dodger solo homers with another one in their half of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-2. Victor González entered for the sixth and allowed a single, but nearly erased it with a double-play. The throw was late to 1st, keeping the inning alive, and with two-outs, Seager’s error gave the A’s an opportunity. Dylan Floro relieved González and slipped out of the jam with a strike-out. In the bottom of the inning, Joc Pederson banged a base hit but it was erased on Pollock’s double-play. Floro got the first two outs of the seventh, and Joe Kelly struck-out Grossman for the third. In LA’s turn, Betts reached on an error before Seager and Muncy walked to load the bases with no-outs. Bellinger hustled out an infield single, plating an additional run, but that was all. Pedro Báez was given the eighth, and he struck-out a pair in a clean frame. The Dodgers, aside from Ríos’ ground-rule double, went quietly offensively, sending the game to the ninth. Jake McGee worked around a double and pitched a scoreless frame to end the ballgame.
The boys in blue defeat the AL West champs and clinch the NL West title, continuing their dominate stretch for an eighth straight year. In a 60-game season, the Dodgers didn’t skip a beat, grinding their way to the 1 seed headed into an unprecedented expanded postseason. The regular season isn’t over however, and the set from Dodger Stadium will continue tomorrow as LA hopes to secure a series win. Julio Urías, 3-0 with an ERA of 3.49, will get the ball and continue to fight for a spot in the rotation come October. Starting for the A’s will be left-hander Sean Manaea, 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA, who has struggled this season. 6:40 first pitch. Go Dodgers!
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