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Dodgers

Dodgers lose to Phillies and suffer a scare with Corey Seager

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager goes down after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Philadelphia Phillies reliever Elvis Araujo in the sixth inning.
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

A sleepy Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium morphed into a more troubling affair as the Dodgers bullpen faltered and Corey Seager got smoked hit on the wrist by a fastball in the team’s 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

In the seventh inning, holding a one-run lead, Scott Kazmir started a fire and Grant Dayton splashed kerosene atop the kindling as the Dodgers missed a chance to sweep Philadelphia and maintain a tie with San Francisco in the National League West. In the ninth, Kenley Jansen surrendered a three-run double to fading former National League MVP Ryan Howard.

Losses happen, and the Dodgers did not weep over failing to win a fifth game in a row. But an injury to Seager would rob the offense of its finest talent. For a team that has already set an NL record with 26 players on the disabled list in 2016, the safety of Seager is critical.

An X-ray examination came back negative on Seager’s right wrist, which was drilled by a 91-mph fastball from Phillies reliever Elvis Araujo in the sixth inning. Seager yelped and fell into the dirt. Manager Dave Roberts and trainer Neil Rampe fled the dugout to check on him. 

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“That’s as quick as I’ve come out of the dugout in a long time,” Roberts said. “I was just happy to see that he was fine.”

Seager finished the game. He doubled off the wall in his next at-bat. But he spent more than 30 minutes icing his wrist after the game. The Dodgers will not play on Thursday, but the team barred Seager from competing in Clayton Kershaw’s charity ping-pong tournament at the ballpark. Seager does hope he can play on Friday against Pittsburgh.

“You don’t ever really want to get hit,” Seager said. “It hurt.”

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The day started off on a promising note. In his first 23 at-bats as a Dodger, Josh Reddick managed only two hits. Roberts did not consider it troublesome, this small stretch of struggle. With Justin Turner resting for the day, Seager occupied the No. 3 spot in the lineup, with Reddick batting ahead of him.

The arrangement paid dividends in the first inning. Reddick ripped a belt-high fastball from Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson off the wall. The carom cost him extra bases, so he settled at first base with one out. Seager hit a single to left.

If a bad bounce cost Reddick, a fortunate bounce aided Adrian Gonzalez. He chopped a grounder down the first-base line. The ball evaded the glove of Philadelphia first baseman Tommy Joseph and redirected off the foot off umpire Alan Porter for an RBI double.

“We had [Hellickson] on the ropes,” Roberts said.

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But the Dodgers did not record another hit until the sixth inning. Reddick led off with a single to left. Then the club experienced the panic of seeing Seager in the dirt.

Seager stayed in on defense as the seventh inning began and Kazmir started to waver. Up to that point, he had blanked the Phillies. He struck out six and scattered three hits. He reduced the velocity of his changeup to find a feel for the pitch, and found his fastball command.

But with only a one-run lead, there was little margin for mistakes. Kazmir gave up a broken-bat single to catcher Carlos Ruiz and walked outfielder Jimmy Paredes. In came Dayton, a 28-year-old rookie appearing in his fourth big league game.

“As a competitor, you always want to stay in the ballgame,” Kazmir said. “But it was one of those things.”

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The selection of Dayton appeared odd, but Roberts lacked many other alternatives. Joe Blanton is on bereavement leave until Friday. Adam Liberatore is on the disabled list. Dayton had struck out eight batters in five big league innings before Wednesday, and Freddy Galvis carried a .360 slugging percentage in the game.

“Grant’s been throwing the heck out of the baseball,” Roberts said.

Galvis fouled off three consecutive two-strike pitches before Dayton pumped a 90-mph fastball at the belt. Galvis powered it over the left-field fence. Howie Kendrick doubled in the bottom of the inning and scored on a single by rookie Rob Segedin, but Jansen stumbled in the ninth, and the Dodgers drifted toward defeat.

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

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Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


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