MemberSeptember 23, 2020 at 9:58 pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers battle back but fall late to the Oakland Athletics, 6-4.
Joe Kelly, announced this morning as the Dodgers’ “opener,” allowed a leadoff double to Tommy La Stella. Moments after, Robbie Grossman’s double put the Athletics on the board first for the second straight night. Kelly then walked a batter, and ultimately a sacrifice-fly plus a bad throw from Cody Bellinger allowed Oakland to grab a 3-0 lead early. Sean Manaea went to work in the bottom of the first, where Corey Seager and Justin Turner both singled. Max Muncy sharply lined-out, and Manaea wiggled out of the jam with a soft pop-out of Will Smith. After Kelly’s rough first, Brusdar Graterol pitched an easy frame in the second. Chris Taylor’s base hit was all for LA against Manaea in their half, and Julio Urías, originally scheduled to be the starter, entered for the third. Pitching a bulk of the innings out of the bullpen in order to simulate a postseason scenario, Urías got started with a 1-2-3 frame. Seager singled preceding Muncy’s two-run home run in the home half, pulling the Dodgers back within a run, 3-2. Urías and Manaea each stranded a walk in a scoreless fourth. Urías had bookend strike-outs to begin the fifth, and Manaea set the top of LA’s lineup down in order to end the inning. Urías pitched a clean top of the sixth, and Manaea cruised through the bottom frame. In the seventh, Urías was squeezed, resulting in a leadoff walk, and Stephen Piscotty’s ground-ball found a hole to put two-on with no-outs. Urías was close to escaping; however, Ramón Laureano’s base hit brought home a run, doubling the A’s advantage to 4-2. Despite a number of strikes that were called balls, Urías managed to mitigate the damage. Snatching the run right back, Bellinger smashed a solo shot on a full count pitch, making it 4-3 and forcing Manaea out of the game. Oakland turned to their league-leading ‘pen, and Joakim Soria got three outs to send the game to the eighth. Urías remained in and it took him only four pitches to get the Dodgers back to the plate. For Urías, the lightning quick top half concluded a very successful and impressive 2020 relief debut. In six innings of work, he allowed only the lone run on two hits, walking a pair while striking-out five. Jake Diekman, who was yet to allow a run this season, relieved Soria. Pinch-hitting for Turner to get him off his feet, Edwin Ríos tied the game at 4 with a lefty-lefty solo homer down the line — an extremely beautiful swing and piece of hitting. Blake Treinen was given the ninth against his former team, and allowed a soft hit with one-down. Subsequently, he made a very good pitch, but Laureano turned on it and hammered a go-ahead two run shot, putting the A’s back ahead, 6-4. It was the first homer allowed by Treinen all year. Liam Hendriks came on for the save, and he delivered — firing fastballs and getting help from his defense to end the ballgame.
After last night’s (modified) celebration, the boys in blue fall to the Athletics. Tomorrow will be the series rubber match from Dodger Stadium, and Walker Buehler will get the ball for LA. Buehler, 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, gets a final chance to ramp up for October as he returns from the IL hoping that his blister is healed. Mike Fiers, 6-2 with an ERA of 4.67, has gotten run support all season long but hasn’t thrown the ball particularly well. 6:40pm start time. Go Dodgers!
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