July 29, 2020 at 10:09 pm
Dodgers win! Edwin Ríos! Dennis Santana!
In their first extra inning game of the year, and the first 13 inning marathon of the 2020 season throughout the entire MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros by a final of 4-2, sweeping the 2-game set! An entertaining ballgame that lasted nearly 5 hours, the boys in blue escaped with the victory! In his first career start, Cristian Javier came out firing. He struck out the side in the first inning on 13 pitches and Dustin May went to work in the bottom half, striking out Kyle Tucker in a 1-2-3 frame as well. Corey Seager put LA in front on a solo homerun that he riffled to the pull side, making it 1-0. After Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson went down swinging, Houston tied the game on a 2-out RBI infield single. May escaped the leftover jam with a strikeout of Martin Maldonado, keeping the game tied at 1. Matt Beaty and Max Muncy both struck out in a quick third, but May countered with a 1-2-3 inning of his own. The Dodgers went down quickly in the fourth, and May walked a batter before allowing a 1-out single. With 2-on and 1-out, Bob Geren (replacing Dave Roberts, who was serving his one game suspension from last night’s events, as manager) went to his bullpen. Replacing May was Jake McGee, who escaped the jam by working a pop-out and a strikeout to keep the game tied. May’s final line consisted of 3.1IP, 1ER, 3H, 2BB, 3K. Javier pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, continuing to slice through the Dodger lineup. After allowing a 1-out knock to Tucker, McGee was replaced by Dylan Floro, who struck out José Altuve before getting Alex Bregman to ground-out to end the frame. In the sixth, a walk from Austin Barnes and a single by Muncy put LA in business. Mookie Betts couldn’t get the job done though, flying out to right, and Blake Taylor entered to face Cody Bellinger. The reigning MVP popped-out, and the heart of LA’s lineup left a pair stranded. Pedro Báez entered for the sixth inning, hoping to keep the game tied. He worked around a 1-out single, keeping it 1-1, before the Dodgers went down 1-2-3 to begin the seventh. Caleb Ferguson entered for the bottom half and, for the second straight night, worked a fabulous inning. He struck out a pair utilizing his strong fastball, and sent the tie game to the eighth. A pinch hit double by AJ Pollock with 1-out gave LA an opportunity, and he advanced to third on a passed ball. Barnes, however, failed to get the job done — striking out swinging. Muncy couldn’t manufacture a base hit either, and Taylor escaped the jam for Houston. Blake Trienen worked around a softly hit 2-out single for a scoreless bottom half. To begin the ninth, Betts, Bellinger and Turner went 1-2-3. Kenley Jansen came on in hopes of keeping the ballgame tied in the home half, and did just that. He stranded a pair with a clutch strikeout of Tucker, sending the game to extras. In their first occasion with the newly adopted extra innings runner-on-second rule, the Dodgers failed to score in the top of the tenth. In the bottom half, Scott Alexander struck out Altuve before intentionally walking Bregman to ultimately set up an inning-ending double play. To begin the eleventh, Edwin Ríos entered as a pinch hitter facing Cy Sneed, and struck out swinging. After Barnes grounded out, Muncy walked to put runners on the corners with 2 down. With the 2-0 fastball he was given, Mookie Betts drove a run-scoring double off the wall in left/center, giving LA the advantage. Sneed would intentionally walk Bellinger to load the bases and bring up Turner, who, uncharacteristically, popped-out on the first pitch he saw. With the Dodgers in front 2-1 now, Alexander remained in the ballgame hoping to earn the save. A pair of singles by Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa not only tied the game, but put Houston in a great spot with 2-on and no-outs, and a chance to win the ballgame. Alexander worked a soft fly-out and a fielders choice, bringing up George Springer with 2-on and 2-out. Dennis Santana would be called upon to escape the jam and hopefully send the game to a twelfth inning. The 24-year-old stepped up in a big way, landing a slider to get Springer looking and keeping the winning run at third. The Dodgers went quietly in the top half of inning number twelve, and Santana remained in the ballgame for the bottom half, looking to extend the game even further. Santana struck out Tucker looking, and after a walk to Altuve, he fell behind Bregman 2-0. Santana made a near perfect pitch for the situation — gently landing a slider — to get Bregman to fly-out. Santana escaped the inning by striking out Jack Mayfield swinging. Still facing Sneed, the thirteenth began with Ríos down 0-2. After battling, the powerful lefty got a middle cut fastball, and he didn’t miss it — emphatically crushing a 2-run homerun into the empty seats at Minute Maid Park, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. It was Major League Baseball’s first leadoff 2-run homerun in history. Bryan Abreu entered for the Astros to finish off the frame, and sent it to the bottom half with Santana in position to earn the victory. After walking Gurriel to bring the winning run to the plate, Santana made an outstanding pitch to Correa, getting him to ground into a double play. Santana would put an end to the ballgame by dotting a fastball on the corner to strike out Dustin Garneau looking.
Just like that, the Dodgers find a way. Thanks to 9 and 2/3 innings of phenomenal work by the bullpen, they improve to 5-2 and sweep the 2-game series with the Houston Astros. A pair of statement victories to top off a very entertaining and exciting pair of ballgames. It’ll be a happy flight tonight for the group on their way to Arizona, where they’ll tee off a 4-game set vs the Diamondbacks tomorrow. Ross Stripling, coming off of a wonderful outing last week, will get the ball for LA. For Arizona, Robbie Ray, a guy the Dodgers have had regular season struggles against, will get the start. 6:40pm first pitch. Go Dodgers!
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