Recap: Dodgers’ bullpen can’t tame Phillies hitters as road trip ends with loss

two baseball players run to catch a baseball
Dodgers center fielder Jason Heyward and left fielder David Peralta chase down a run-scoring single hit by Philadelphia’s Bryson Stott during the third inning Sunday.
(Derik Hamilton / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ bullpen gave up 13 hits and the team struggled to produce consistent offense in a 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Dodgers recent ‘lull’ continues with loss to Phillies in ineffective bullpen game

PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers entered Sunday with the fourth-worst bullpen earned-run average in the majors, and the third-worst mark away from home.

Then, in a game where they had to use nothing but relievers because of their shorthanded rotation, those numbers only got worse.

Forced to go with a bullpen game after a setback in Julio Urías’ recovery from a hamstring strain earlier this week, the Dodgers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 at Citizens Bank Park, dropping their third consecutive series and finishing a two-city trip with just two wins in six games.

The Dodgers (37-29) fell behind early. Opener Caleb Ferguson gave up one run in the first. Left-hander Adam Kolarek, who was called up pregame, couldn’t escape a jam in the third, when a jam-shot pop up by Bryson Stott landed between two Dodgers in the outfield for a two-run, two-out single.

Solo homers by Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward kept the team within striking distance of the Phillies (32-33) briefly.

But then Alex Vesia yielded one run in the sixth, Nick Robertson was tagged for three in the seventh, and the Dodgers managed just one run from a bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth — dropping to 10-14 in their last 24 games.

“That’s just the ugly part of a regular season,” Heyward said, noting the Dodgers have been out of “sync” lately with their up-and-down offense and sputtering pitching staff, which has been stellar at home (1st in the majors in ERA) but woeful in away games (second to last).

“That’s something that we’re trying to figure out,” manager Dave Roberts said about the team’s home-road pitching splits. “Hopefully we come up with some answers.”

The Dodgers only other realistic pitching option for Sunday was right-hander Tony Gonsolin, who could have started on normal four days’ rest.

However, Roberts said Gonsolin’s recovery between starts “hasn’t been great,” and that the team wanted to give him extra rest.

As for Urías, Roberts said he is scheduled for two bullpen sessions next week, then will need to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before rejoining the rotation.

In the meantime, the Dodgers are now 3 ½ games out of first place in the NL West, leading Roberts to acknowledge an increasingly “urgent” need to snap their recently mediocre skid.

“We’re in that kind of lull,” Roberts said. “It’s cyclical, and we’ve got to get on a run here.”


Dodgers end road trip with 7-3 loss to the Phillies

⚾ Phillies 7, Dodgers 3 — FINAL

Top of the ninth: Facing ex-Dodger closer Craig Kimbrel, Miguel Vargas struck out, Jason Heyward popped out and James Outman struck out.

Eight Dodgers pitchers collectively gave up 13 hits and Nick Castellanos’ two-run home run in the seventh put the game out of reach for the Dodgers. Freddie Freeman and Heyward each hit solo home runs.

The Dodgers return home to play the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night after going 2-4 on their road trip.


Dodgers cut into Phillies’ lead in the eighth

⚾ Phillies 7, Dodgers 3 — End of the eighth

Top of the eighth: Mookie Betts drew a four-pitch walk against Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado. Freddie Freeman singled on line drive to left and Will Smith walked on four pitches, prompting movement in the Philadelphia bullpen. With the bases loaded, Max Muncy drove in Betts on a force out at second. J.D. Martinez struck out in a nine-pitch at-bat. Pinch-hitter Chris Taylor then struck out on Alvarez’s 30th pitch of the inning.

Bottom of the eighth: Brusdar Graterol retired the Phillies in order to send the game into the ninth.


Phillies extend lead on Nick Castellanos’ two-run homer

Phillies 7, Dodgers 2 — End of the seventh

Top of the seventh: The Dodgers aren’t going down easy. Jason Heyward hit a two-out, solo home run to right off Phillies reliever Seranthony Domínguez to cut into the Phillies’ lead. It’s Heyward’s seventh home run of the season. Miguel Rojas grounded out to cap the frame.

Bottom of the seventh: Nick Robertson, the seventh pitcher to take the mound for the Dodgers, gave up a single to Trea Turner, the third hit today for the ex-Dodgers shortstop. Nick Castellanos followed with a two-run home run to center field for his eighth blast of the season. Bryce Harper then singled off the wall in left field.

Alec Bohm grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Bryson Stott then laced a bouncer into the right-field corner for a triple. Kody Clemens singled on sharp liner to right, scoring Stott. Robertson walked Brandon Marsh. Garrett Stubbs grounded out to first to finish off the inning.


Freddie Freeman solo home run gets Dodgers on the board

⚾ Phillies 4, Dodgers 1 — End of the sixth

Top of the sixth: Facing Phillies reliever Gregory Soto, Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run to center field to get the Dodgers on the scoreboard. It’s Freeman’s 13th home run of the season. Will Smith and Max Muncy each grounded out and J.D. Martinez flied out.

Bottom of the sixth: Alex Vesia walked Bryson Stott, then struck out Kody Clemens. Brandon Marsh followed with a single to right, moving Stott to third. Garrett Stubbs drove in Stott on a soft bunt down the third-base side. Marsh was tagged out by third baseman Max Muncy after getting caught between second and third. Kyle Schwarber struck out for the final out.


Dodgers struggling at the plate, trail Phillies after five

Phillies 3, Dodgers 0 — Fifth inning

Top of the fifth: The Dodgers were retired in order, leaving them at two hits so far today.

Bottom of the fifth: Yency Almonte took over on the mound for the Dodgers and got Trea Turner to ground out to first. Almonte struck out Nick Castellanos, then walked Bryce Harper. Almonte struck out Alec Bohm for the final out.


Dodgers trail 3-0 heading into the fifth inning

Phillies 3, Dodgers 0 — End of the fourth

Top of the fourth: J.D. Martinez struck out and David Peralta and Miguel Vargas grounded out.

Bottom of the fourth: Adam Kolarek struck out Brandon Marsh and Garrett Stubbs. Kyle Schwarber grounded out to first.


Phillies extend lead on Bryson Stott’s two-run single

⚾ Phillies 3, Dodgers 0 — End of the third

Top of the third: Miguel Rojas grounded out before Mookie Betts singled to left on a grounder for his fifth hit of the series. Freddie Freeman flied out to deep center. Betts then took second on his fourth stolen base of the season. Taijuan Walker walked Will Smith. Brandon Marsh made a running catch at the warning track on a liner hit by Max Muncy for the final out.

Bottom of the third: Facing Dodgers reliever Tayler Scott, Trea Turner doubled to center. Nick Castellanos flied out to left before Scott intentionally walked Bryce Harper. A double steal by Turner and Harper was successful, putting runners on second and third. Scott struck out Bohm, and Adam Kolarek took over on the mound. Bryson Stott hit a two-run single to shallow left-center field, plating Turner and Harper. Kody Clemens grounded out to cap the inning.


Dodgers trail by a run heading into the third inning

⚾ Phillies 1, Dodgers 0 — End of the second

Top of the second: David Peralta, Miguel Vargas and Jason Heyward grounded out for the Dodgers.

Bottom of the second: Victor González took the mound for the Dodgers and got Kody Clemens to ground out. Brandon Marsh singled to right on a grounder. Garrett Stubbs struck out and Kyle Schwarber grounded out to first.


Phillies take the lead on Bryce Harper’s RBI single

⚾ Phillies 1, Dodgers 0 — End of the first

Top of the first: Facing Philadelphia starter Taijuan Walker, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman struck out. Will Smith hit his ninth double of the season on a line drive into the right-field corner. J.D. Martinez took a called strike three on the bottom corner of the zone to leave Smith stranded.

Bottom of the first: Kyle Schwarber grounded out before Trea Turner singled to center off Dodgers opener Caleb Ferguson. Nick Castellanos followed with a single to center, moving Turner to third. Bryce Harper drove in Turner on a bloop single to left to put Philadelphia on the board. Ferguson struck out Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott to end the inning.


Caleb Ferguson to start in Dodgers bullpen game

Dodgers relief pitcher Caleb Ferguson throws against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 27.
(Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers have a chance to win a series and salvage a .500 road trip on Sunday afternoon.

But to do so, they’ll have to navigate their first true bullpen game of the season.

Following a setback to Julio Urías’ hamstring injury this week — forcing the left-hander to be scratched from his scheduled return to the rotation Sunday — the Dodgers will instead try to piece together nine innings from their relievers.

Left-hander Caleb Ferguson will open the game.

Here is the Dodgers full lineup:


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