Dodgers can't cash in on Justin Turner ninth-inning homer, fall, 3-2

Dodgers can't cash in on Justin Turner ninth-inning homer, fall, 3-2
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner throws from second base for the double play attempt as the Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland slides after being forced out during the fourth inning Tuesday. (LM Otero / Associated Press)

The Dodgers were looking as if they were in a hurry to get out of town, as if they wanted to beat the coming storm or the Rangers to the airport, or at least beat them back to Los Angeles, where they will resume this odd home-and-away series against Texas.

The Dodgers had gone down quickly for eight innings against Texas newbie Chi Chi Gonzalez. The 23-year-old had needed only 93 pitches to hold the Dodgers scoreless through eight innings.


But in the ninth inning Tuesday, Justin Turner stunned Gonzalez with a two-run homer and it looked as if the Dodgers wanted to keep playing.

At least until catcher Robinson Chirinos led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run against rookie Josh Ravin to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory at Globe Life Park at Arlington, Texas.

Chirinos' solo home run enabled the Rangers to sweep the two-game series. Now in a scheduling quirk that makes sense only to those Major League Baseball schedule makers, the teams will open a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.

A serious thunderstorm was headed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area Tuesday night, and for eight innings the Dodgers looked determined to play quickly to make their flight. They swung at first pitches and just generally seemed to abandon their grind-out-the-at-bats approach.

Gonzalez, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2013, has been nothing but impressive in his four starts since was called up May 30. In the first three professional starts of his career, the right-hander had allowed exactly one run. And he was simply cruising until walking Howie Kendrick with one out in the ninth and then surrendering the two-run homer to Turner.

For Turner, who has been playing with a sore kneecap, it was his sixth home run of the season. It also was the only offensive life the Dodgers showed all night.

It appeared the victim of the Dodgers’ lousy early offensive support was going to be left-hander Brett Anderson, who pitched very well, but still found himself down, 2-0, heading into the ninth. Anderson gave up single runs in the first and fifth innings.

He started his trouble in the first with a two-out walk to Prince Fielder. Kyle Banks singled Fielder to second, and when Mitch Moreland also singled to left, Fielder -- for reasons known only to him -- started to round third and try to score. Fortunately for him, he fell down rounding third and had to return to the bag or he was probably easy pickings at the plate. Fielder got up and pointed to the upper deck as if he’d been shot by a sniper.

That worked out for the Rangers when Anderson, the bases now loaded, walked Joey Gallo to force in a run.

A bunt single by Hanser Alberto and a base hit by Elvis Andrus put runners on the corners for Fielder in the fifth, who singled to drive in the second run.

Anderson went eight innings for the Dodgers, allowing two runs, eight hits and three walks, while striking out four.

He turned it over to Ravin (2-1), who lasted one batter.