Andrew Toles didn’t know if the one-out fly ball he hit to the wall in the 10th inning Saturday was caught by Angels left fielder Justin Upton, who stumbled and fell on the warning track, or went over the wall for a home run.
The Dodgers outfielder, his team trailing by a run, slowed up between first and second base as the ball bounced behind Upton and then under him. Toles didn’t want to risk getting thrown out at third so he stopped at second, an error in judgment that would prove costly in an eventual 5-4 loss to the Angels.
“I just didn’t know where the ball was,” Toles said. “I was running around the bases, and I was like, ‘What happened?’ Then I looked and [Upton] is on the ground. He didn’t catch it.
“Then I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna be that dude,’ because you can ruin a rally. There’s one out, you take off and then get thrown out. That’s not smart. I’m in scoring position. I’m pretty fast. A base hit, I’m scoring. So it didn’t matter.”
Except it did. A passed ball by Angels catcher Martin Maldonado allowed Toles to take third. Chase Utley flied to shallow left field, Toles holding at third, and Yasmani Grandal struck out to end the game. Had Toles got to third on his hit, he would have scored the tying run on the passed ball.
“I don’t know if he thought the ball was out of the park or if he lost sight of it, I haven’t talked to him yet,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“Unfortunately with the passed ball we got there, we expected him to be on third off the bat.”
The Dodgers also missed an opportunity to win the game in the ninth after Utley led off with a single and scored on Grandal’s double over the head of Upton to tie the score 4-4.
With the winning run on second base and no outs, Roberts did not call for leadoff man Chris Taylor, who has no sacrifice hits this season, to bunt. Taylor struck out.
Enrique Hernandez walked. The runners advanced on Matt Kemp’s slow roller to third. Max Muncy was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Joc Pederson flied to the wall in center.
Closer Kenley Jansen was tied with Colorado’s Wade Davis for the National League lead with 26 saves and had converted 22 of 23 save opportunities since May 3 before he gave up Kole Calhoun’s game-winning homer in the 10th inning Saturday.
Jansen tried to go up and in with a 90-mph cut fastball, but the pitch was more over the middle and not up enough.
Jansen struggled early in the season when his velocity dipped as he tried to pitch through a minor hamstring injury, but he wasn’t going to put too much weight on Saturday’s loss. He still has a 2.38 ERA in 43 games, with 47 strikeouts and 12 walks in 451/3 innings.
“I’m fine,” Jansen said. “It’s crazy. If I don’t give up that home run, nobody is talking to me here, so I’m not gonna think about all that stuff. I’m getting the job done, right? Today, I didn’t get the job done. It’s painful, and we lost.”
Break for Buehler
Walker Buehler was optioned to triple-A to clear a roster spot for reliever Zac Rosscup, a left-hander who was claimed off waivers from Colorado on Wednesday.
The Dodgers will determine over the All-Star break whether to keep Buehler, who is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 games, in the minor leagues or recall him as part of a six-man rotation during a stretch in which they play 17 straight games.