Dodgers go meekly to Tigers, Max Scherzer; swept with 4-1 loss

Dodgers go meekly to Tigers, Max Scherzer; swept with 4-1 loss
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Dodgers on July 9. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Get out of town. Don't bother to pack, don't worry about the bats and balls, just get out as quickly as possible. Do not look back.

Detroit wasn’t Motown for the Dodgers -- it was Helltown. They sent starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke out to meet the Tigers and came away with a pair of unsightly losses.

Wednesday afternoon it was All-Star Greinke’s turn to be on the wrong end of the final score, the right-hander surrendering two runs in the first inning and one more in the fourth, enough for the Tigers to come away with a 4-1 victory at Comerica Park.

Greinke was otherwise his typical brilliant self and certainly a marked improvement over Ryu’s outing Tuesday (seven earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings), but still not enough to overcome the performance of Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.

It completed a two-game sweep for the Tigers, the first time the Dodgers have been swept in 30 series this season.

Greinke (11-5) went seven innings, striking out eight, and allowing three runs on seven hits; he did not allow a walk.

The Dodgers started Wednesday like they wanted to give Greinke the quick lead when Yasiel Puig tripled with one out in the first inning. But with the Tigers already playing in, Hanley Ramirez hit a sharp bouncer to shortstop Eugenio Suarez.

Puig was not breaking on contact, but he had wandered down the line. Suarez recognized Puig's lapse and fired to third baseman Nick Castellanos to catch Puig, who also failed to get in a rundown to allow Ramirez to advance to second, flat-footed.


Failing to connect with runners in scoring position would prove a theme Wednesday for the Dodgers. They entered the game second in the majors by only a couple of percentage points to Detroit (.282) in hitting with runners in scoring position. Wednesday the Dodgers went 0-for-5 with RISP.

The Tigers scored twice in the first off Greinke after Austin Jackson led off with his own triple. Detroit, however, was able to make good on its opportunity. Ian Kinsler singled Jackson home, took second on a Greinke wild pitch and scored on a basehit by first baseman Don Kelly.

Detroit added one more in the fourth on consecutive singles by J.D. Martinez, Kelly and Castellanos. Greinke regrouped, but it was too late. He struck out the side in the seventh, his final inning.

The Dodgers' only run came from an unexpected source. Shortstop Miguel Rojas, here mainly for his glove, hit his first major league home run, off Scherzer no less, with a solo shot in the fifth.

But the Dodgers managed only four hits on the day. Scherzer (11-3) went seven innings, allowing the one run on four hits and two walks, striking out seven.

The Tigers scored a final run against Brandon League in the eighth on a Jackson ground-rule double, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly by Torii Hunter.

The two Detroit losses mean the Dodgers return home Thursday to face the Padres for four games coming off what became a disappointing 3-3 road trip.