Dodgers still playing catch-up in the NL West after series loss to Giants
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
SAN FRANCISCO — The crowd was on its feet again Sunday in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Another batch of “Beat L.A.” chants vibrated through Oracle Park. Albert Pujols had just come off the Dodgers’ bench to belt a pinch-hit, two-run home run to reinvigorate the masses, producing a scene befitting for October, down to the sweater weather.
Max Muncy stood at first base. Mookie Betts populated the batter’s box. Giants closer Jake McGee toed the mound. The Dodgers had two outs to make up a two-run deficit to avoid losing the three-game series, dropping the 19-game season series, and sinking back into second place in the National League West.
The rally fell short because Betts struck out on a pitch inside, out of the strike zone and Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski caught Justin Turner’s flyball down the right-field line against the netting to give San Francisco sole possession of first place.
With the win, the Giants claimed the season series, 10-9, meaning they will have home-field advantage against the Dodgers if the clubs need a 163rd game to settle the division race and if they meet in the National League Division Series next month. The Dodgers (86-51) are one game behind them with 25 games remaining.
Giants defeat the Dodgers, 6-4
Dodgers: Left-hander and former Dodger Jake McGee now pitching for the Giants. Austin Barnes, batting for Bellinger, grounded to third, but Bryant’s throw was off target and Barnes reached on the error. Albert Pujols, batting for the pitcher, homered to center, estimated at 425 feet. T.Turner popped to second. Muncy singled to left. Betts struck out looking. J.Turner fouled to right.
Final score: Giants 6, Dodgers 4
We go to the ninth, Giants 6, Dodgers 2
Dodgers: Right-hander Tyler Rogers now pitching for the Giants. Seager grounded to second. Smith grounded to third. Taylor flied to right.
Giants: Left-hander Andrew Vasquez now pitching for the Dodgers. Duggar struck out swinging. Mauricio Dubon, batting for Rogers, struck out swinging. Estrada grounded to pitcher.
Score after eight: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
Giants lead 6-2 after seven innings
Dodgers: Estrada at second. Left-hander and former Dodger Tony Watson now pitching for the Giants. Muncy flied to left. Betts grounded to second. J.Turner struck out swinging.
Giants: Bryant walked on six pitches. Wade struck out looking. Crawford grounded to first, Bryant to second. Yaz walked on four pitches. And that’s it for Price. Right-hander Shane Greene now pitching for the Dodgers. Casali struck out looking.
Score after seven: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
It’s 6-2 Giants after six innings
Dodgers: Bellinger grounded to second. Billy McKinney, batting for Bruihl, struck out looking. T.Turner lined to left.
Giants: Left-hander David Price now pitching for the Dodgers. Yaz reached on a bunt single to first. Casali doubled to left, Yaz to third. Duggar popped to short. Evan Longoria, batting for the pitcher, was walked intentionally. Thairo Estrada, batting for La Stella, popped to first. Belt grounded to first.
Score after six: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
It’s 6-2 Giants after five innings
Dodgers: T.Turner grounded to the pitcher. Muncy struck out swinging. Betts singled to left. J.Turner walked on seven pitches. Seager walked on six pitches. Bases loaded, two out. And that’s it for Quintana. Giants bring in their sixth pitcher of the game, right-hander Camilo Doval. Smith walked on seven pitches, scoring Betts. Ball four was actually strike three, so the Dodgers get a break. Taylor struck out swinging.
Giants: Bryant struck out swinging. Wade grounded to first. Crawford reach first on a bunt single. Crawford was caught stealing.
Score after five: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
It’s 6-1 Giants after four
Dodgers: Taylor struck out swinging. Bellinger grounded to third. Buehler struck out looking.
Giants: Left-hander Justin Bruihl now pitching for the Dodgers. Quintana walked on nine pitches. La Stella grounded to second, forcing Quintana. Belt grounded into a 6-3 double play.
Score after four: Giants 6, Dodgers 1
Giants take 6-1 lead after three innings
Dodgers: Right-hander Jay Jackson now pitching for the Giants. T.Turner singled to center. Muncy lined to right. Betts walked on five pitches. J.Turner flied to right, T.Turner to third. And that’s it for Jackson. Left-hander Jose Quintana, the former Angel, now pitching for the Giants. Seager walked on six pitches. Smith flied to right.
Giants: Bryant grounded to third. Wade hit a ground-rule double to center. Crawford doubled to right, Wade scoring. Yaz lined to second. Casali singled to left, scoring Crawford. It’s 6-1. Duggar flied to left.
Score after three: Giants 6, Dodgers 1
Giants take 4-1 lead in second inning
Dodgers: Left-hander Jose Alvarez now pitching for the Giants. Justin Turner singled to short. Corey Seager walked on five pitches. Will Smith singled to center, scoring Turner, Seager to second. And that’s it for Alvarez. Right-hander Zack Littell now pitching for the Giants, their third pitcher of the game. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Chris Taylor popped to short. Cody Bellinger struck out swinging. Walker Buehler struck out swinging.
Giants: Brandon Crawford walked on four pitches. Mike Yastrzemski doubled to center. Bellinger lost it in the sun, but it would have been a tough play. Crawford to third. Curt Casali flied to shallow center. Runners hold. Steven Duggar tripled down the right-field line, scoring Crawford and Yastrzemski. Darin Ruf, batting for Littell, singled to center, scoring Duggar. La Stella flied to right. Belt grounded to short.
Score after two: Giants 4, Dodgers 1
Dodgers place AJ Pollock on injured list, recall Mitch White
SAN FRANCISCO – The Dodgers put AJ Pollock on the 10-day injured list Sunday after the outfielder sustained a right hamstring strain in Saturday’s win over the Giants. The team recalled right-hander Mitch White to replace Pollock on the roster, giving the club 16 pitchers on their 28-man roster.
Pollock, 33, suffered the injury when he was picked off to end the first inning Saturday. He imped off the field and needed help going down the dugout stairs. After the game, Roberts said Pollock was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain – or a partial tear – and the team expected him to miss at least two weeks but likely more.
Roberts said the team is optimistic that Pollock will return this season after he reported to Oracle Park feeling better Sunday.
The loss is a blow in the thick of a division race. Pollock has been one of the most productive outfielders in the majors over the last two seasons. He started slowly this season before going on a tear starting in early July. Since July 7, he’s hitting .353 with eight home runs and a 1.001 OPS in 187 plate appearances across 47 games.
“Obviously, AJ’s been one of our better performers all year long,” Roberts said. “So to miss out on that player is a big loss.”
Without Pollock, the Dodgers plan on giving Cody Bellinger more playing time. Bellinger had been relegated to a platoon role, only starting in center field against right-handed starting pitchers since Mookie Betts came off the injured list Aug. 25, as he slogs through a dreadful offensive season. He’ll seemingly become the Dodgers’ everyday center fielder again with Betts in right field and Chris Taylor in left field.
Bellinger entered Sunday batting .169 with nine home runs and a .556 OPS in 77 games this season. His batting average is the second-lowest in the majors amongst payers with at least 250 plate appearances this season. Just four players have a worse OPS.
Part of the reason for that is that the Dodgers don’t have another right-handed-hitting, major-league-ready outfielder at their disposal. Bellinger’s elite defense gives him the edge over the other left-handed-hitting options who haven’t swung a hot bat on the roster, Billy McKinney and Zach McKinstry. Matt Beaty is another outfield choice but he hits left-handed, is a limited defender and isn’t on the roster.
Trea Turner played some center fielder for the Washington Nationals when he became a major-league regular in 2016, but the Dodgers aren’t considering asking him to make the transition again. He’ll remain the second baseman, a role that’s already required a midseason transition after the Dodgers acquired at the trade deadline.
Former top prospect Gavin Lux started in center field for triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday, but Roberts said that wasn’t in response to Pollock’s injury. That had already been planned with expanding Lux’s versatility in mind.
“It’s just more of a get Gavin out there, be a baseball player, figure out any way he can help the 2021 Dodgers,” Roberts said.
Like Bellinger, 2021 has been a frustrating year for Lux. The former first-round pick was batting .221 with six home runs and a .643 OPS before he was optioned to the minors Aug. 26.
Giants take quick 1-0 lead on Brandon Belt’s home run
Dodgers: Right-hander Dominic Leone pitching for the Giants. Trea Turner flied to right. Max Muncy popped to first. Mookie Betts flied to right.
Giants: Right-hander Walker Buehler pitching for the Dodgers. Tommy La Stella grounded to first. Brandon Belt homered to right-center. Kris Bryant struck out swinging. LaMonte Wade Jr. lined to first.
Score after one: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Dodgers looking for series win over Giants without AJ Pollock
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers will have Cody Bellinger start in center field and Chris Taylor in left field in their series finale against the Giants after losing AJ Pollock to a hamstring strain Saturday.
Roberts said Saturday that Pollock suffered a Grade 2 strain to his right hamstring. He’ll miss at least two weeks. Without him, Bellinger, who had only been playing against right-handed starters, may see his playing time increase.
Trea Turner 2B
Max Muncy 1B
Mookie Betts RF
Justin Turner 3B
Corey Seager SS
Will Smith C
Chris Taylor LF
Cody Bellinger CF
Walker Buehler P
Betting odds and lines for Dodgers vs. Giants on Sunday
The Dodgers and San Francisco enter Sunday tied for the best record in Major League Baseball and tied atop the NL West as Walker Buehler tries to add to his streak of 10 consecutive starts with two or fewer runs allowed.
Buehler has pitched at least six innings in 26 of his 27 starts this season and his 2.05 ERA is the best among qualifying starters in the MLB. He has a 1.88 ERA on the road. Buehler had not lost a decision in 11 road starts.
The Giants will utilize another bullpen game. Their bullpen is second in the majors in ERA at 3.08. Since the All-Star break, the Giants’ bullpen leads the league with a 2.62 ERA.
The Dodgers are 8-2 in Buehler’s 10 career starts against the Giants, with both losses coming this season. The teams are 9-9 against one another this season.
The Dodgers have played just one of their last 18 games over the total. The Giants have played three of their last 17 games over the total, scoring three runs or less in six of their last seven games. The Dodgers have surrendered four runs or less in 18 of their last 20 games. They own the league’s best team ERA at 2.97.
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Julio Urías gives Dodgers edge as they beat Giants, move back into first-place tie
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Giants on Saturday.
SAN FRANCISCO — As agonizing as the Dodgers’ Friday loss to the San Francisco Giants was — and it doesn’t get much worse than losing to your rivals in 11 innings on a throwing error to drop out of first place in September — the remainder of the three-game series fell in the Dodgers’ favor for one reason: starting pitching.
The Dodgers had front-line starters lined up over the next two days at Oracle Park: major-league wins leader Julio Urías on Saturday followed Sunday by National League Cy Young Award candidate Walker Buehler. The Giants, meanwhile, didn’t have a starter scheduled for either game. Instead, they planned on deploying bullpen games.
On Saturday, the Dodgers’ advantage produced a bounce-back 6-1 win in a front of a sold-out crowd, moving them back into a tie with the Giants atop the NL West at 86-50. One team will emerge from the weekend in sole possession of first place by the end of Sunday’s series finale, which will serve as the season series tiebreaker after the clubs split their first 18 meetings.
“The Dodgers have first-place ice cream,” manager Dave Roberts said. “So, for all the Dodger employees, you’re welcome.”
Corey Seager homers to help secure the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Giants
Corey Seager hit a solo home run and Albert Pujols drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead in the ninth inning.
Seager’s eighth home run of the season came on a 71-mph curveball from Giants reliever Sammy Long that he hammered over the center field wall.
Pujols later drove in Cody Bellinger on a fly to deep right field. Bellinger reached base on a walk, then advanced to third on an Evan Longoria fielding error and a Will Smith groundout. Mookie Betts flied out with the bases loaded to send the game into the bottom of the ninth.
Giants: Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol retired San Francisco’s first two batters before LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a ball that bounced off the warning track and over the wall in right-center field for a ground-rule double. Darin Ruf then grounded out to second base to end the game.
The Dodgers moved back into a tie with the Giants for first place in the NL West. Julio Urías becomes the first pitcher this season to win 16 games. The two teams meet again Sunday at 4:08 p.m. PDT.
Dodgers lead 4-1 heading into the ninth inning
Dodgers: Max Muncy, Mookie Betts and Justin Turner were retired in order in the top of the eighth.
Giants: Blake Treinen retires the Giants 1-2-3 to send the game to the ninth.
End of the eighth: Dodgers 4, Giants 1
Dodgers take a 4-1 lead over Giants into the eighth inning
Dodgers: Will Smith hit a two-out single off Giants reliever John Brebbia before Chris Taylor struck out.
Giants: Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford hit LaMonte Wade with a pitch before Darin Ruf lined out and Kris Bryant flied out. Blake Treinen then took the mound and struck out Mike Yastrzemski on a 94-mph cutter.
End of the seventh: Dodgers 4, Giants 1
Balk by Giants’ Jose Quintana allows Dodgers to take 4-1 lead
Justin Turner scored on a balk by Giants reliever Jose Quintana to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning.
Quintana, the former Angels pitcher who is making his Giants debut, was deemed to have started and stopped his delivery before resuming again while facing Corey Seager. Third base umpire Adam Hamari made the call, which was upheld after a brief discussion with Giants manager Gabe Kapler.
Turner was credited with a hit after Giants shortstop Mauricio Dubon threw the ball into the stands on what probably should have been a routine out at first. Turner was allowed to take second on the error to leadoff the inning. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Quintana.
Seager grounded out and Cody Bellinger struck out to cap the frame.
Giants: Buster Posey led off with his third hit of the game on a single to center field. Julio Urias then struck out Brandon Belt and got Thairo Estrada to ground out to first base. Urias was then pulled in favor of Alex Vesia, who struck out Mauricio Dubon for the third out.
Urías allowed eight hits, no walks and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings.
Dodgers can’t generate much against Giants in the fifth inning
Dodgers: Will Smith opened the inning with a leadoff walk before Julio Urías pushed him over to second on a sacrifice bunt. Giants reliever Zack Littell then struck out Trea Turner and Max Muncy to get out of the inning.
Giants: Kris Bryant hit a one-out single, but was left stranded at second when Evan Longoria grounded out to short. A good defensive play by Trea Turner at second prevented Austin Slater from reaching base after Bryant’s single.
After a somewhat shaky first inning, Urías has performed well for the Dodgers, allowing seven hits and striking out seven.
End of the fifth: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Dodgers hold off Buster Posey and Giants in the fourth
Dodgers: Giants reliever Jose Alvarez retires the Dodgers in order on five pitches. Corey Seager hit into a groundout to first before Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor each popped out.
Giants: Mauricio Dubon hit a chopper down the left-field line just out of reach of Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. Dubon’s eighth double of the year allowed Buster Posey, who reached base on a single to center field, to advance to third. The inning ended with Tommy La Stella popping out to Corey Seager at short.
End of the fourth: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Dodgers hold onto 3-1 lead heading into the fourth
Dodgers: Mookie Betts singled, but was gunned out at second after Justin Turner struck out. Max Muncy then struck out for the third out.
Giants: Julio Urías struck out Darin Ruf and Kris Bryant before he gave up a double to Austin Slater. Evan Longoria then popped out to Max Muncy in foul territory to cap the scoreless inning.
End of the third: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Dodgers say AJ Pollock sustained a right hamstring strain
SAN FRANCISCO — Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock exited Saturday’s game against the Giants in the first inning with a right hamstring strain, according to the club.
Pollock suffered the injury when he took off for third base and was picked off by the pitcher Jarlin Garcia. He got up slowly and limped off the field before needing help to go down the dugout steps.
Pollock had reached base on a two-out RBI double in the Dodgers three-run inning. He’s batting .297 with 16 home runs and an .861 OPS this season, and has been one of the most productive hitters in the majors since the start of July.
Dodgers lead 3-1 heading into the third inning
Dodgers: Will Smith drew a walk, then advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Julio Urías. But that’s as far as Smith got after Trea Turner grounded out to short.
Giants: Julio Urías retires the Giants in order.
End of the second: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Mookie Betts’ mind is clear after stint on injured list
SAN FRANCISCO — Mookie Betts doesn’t dash from first to home, as he did Tuesday at Dodger Stadium against the Atlanta Braves for the go-ahead run, before his second stint on the injured list to remedy his right hip.
He doesn’t steal second base in the first inning Saturday at Oracle Park against the San Francisco Giants and then steal third base moments later.
He doesn’t resemble the game-changing dynamic player that fueled the Dodgers’ championship run last season. Just ask him.
“I think we all saw it was tough for me to make it just to third in general so now I was able to score from first and stay in the game, my mental is clear,” Betts said. “My mind is clear and just can go play.”
Betts’ right hip became a problem during the first week of the season and continued hindering him through the All-Star break. He finally was placed on the injured list in late July and again Aug. 11 when the discomfort became unbearable again. The second time, a bone spur in the hip was discovered and a second cortisone shot was administered more effectively.
The 28-year-old right fielder came off the injured list Aug. 26, declaring himself pain-free.
“Prayers were answered,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
His mobility, as a result, had drastically improved even if his production at the plate hasn’t followed suit. Betts entered Saturday three for 25 (.120) in eight games since coming off the injured list. On the season, he’s batting .266 with 19 home runs and an .881 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
He’s batted third in each of his starts with Trea Turner, acquired at the trade deadline, in the leadoff spot. Betts acknowledged the change required an adjustment in his first at-bat, but it’s all the same after the first inning. It’s just a matter of time before he finds a rhythm at the plate if he stays healthy. Finally getting healthy was the first step.
“I’m in a good place mentally,” Betts said. “Just knowing that I can actually run and go play the game the right way and play hard and not have to worry about anything. Definitely helps clear my mind and it’s easy to just focus on the game now.”
Tony Gonsolin pitches on rehab assignment, activation could be next
SAN FRANCISCO — Tony Gonsolin started for single-A Rancho Cucamonga on rehab assignment Saturday, giving up a run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings. He threw 41 pitches.
Roberts said the Dodgers could activate Gonsolin if he emerged healthy from the outing. The 27-year-old right-hander has been on the injured list since July 31 with shoulder inflammation. His return would give the Dodgers four healthy starters, joining Max Scherzer, Julio Urías and Walker Buehler.
Scherzer threw a bullpen session Saturday and is in line to make his start Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals after leaving his outing Wednesday with a tight hamstring following six scoreless innings.
David Price’s status, however, isn’t as promising. Price was scratched from his start Friday against the Giants with what Roberts called a sore elbow. Roberts said Price felt “a little bit better” Saturday but placing him on the injured list remained a possibility.
Right-hander Andre Jackson was with the club Saturday but wasn’t added to the active roster. Roberts said Jackson will be part of a couple of roster moves the Dodgers make “over the next couple of days.”
Buster Posey drives in a run for the Giants
Buster Posey hit a run-scoring double off Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías to make it 3-1 Dodgers in the bottom of the first inning.
Urías struck out Darin Ruf to start the inning, but gave up singles to Kris Bryant and Evan Longoria. Bryant scored on Posey’s hit down the right-field line. Brandon Belt struck out on four pitches to leave Longoria and Posey stranded on base.
End of the first: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Dodgers jump out to 3-0 lead; AJ Pollock injured on stolen base attempt
Trea Turner led off the game with a home run and Corey Seager and AJ Pollock each drove in runs to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
Turner’s 21st home run of the season came off Giants opener Jay Jackson and went just over the wall in front of leaping Giants center fielder Austin Slater. After Mookie Betts and Justin Turner drew walks, Seager drove them in on a popup to center.
After giving up the home run, Jackson struck out the next batter, Max Muncy. He was yanked in favor of Jarlin Garcia after he walked Betts and Justin Turner. The Dodger duo then pulled off a double-steal to advance to third and second, respectively, before Seager drove in Betts.
Pollock then doubled into the left-center field gap to plate Turner. The top of the inning ended minutes later when Pollock was picked off on a poorly executed attempt to steal third that left him injured. Pollock needed help getting down the dugout steps. Cody Bellinger will take over for Pollock in the field.
Clayton Kershaw to pitch on rehab assignment Tuesday
SAN FRANCISCO — Clayton Kershaw will attempt to check off the final box in his return from the injured list Tuesday when he pitches for triple-A Oklahoma City on rehab assignment.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw will log three innings in the start against the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Colorado Rockies’ triple-A affiliate, in Oklahoma City.
Kershaw was cleared for the outing after tossing two innings in a simulated setting Saturday at Oracle Park. The left-hander will throw a bullpen session Sunday in San Francisco.
Kershaw, 33, hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since July 3. He landed on the injured four days later with forearm inflammation. He and the Dodgers expected a quick return, within a few weeks, but he suffered a setback in a simulated game in late July. As a result, he’s missed two months so far.
Roberts said Kershaw could come off the injured list if he doesn’t suffer a setback in Oklahoma City. That would give him around three weeks to build up arm strength before the postseason.
Slumping Cody Bellinger not in Dodgers’ lineup Saturday vs. Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Cody Bellinger, mired in a season-long slump, is not in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Saturday against the Giants even though a right-hander — Jay Jackson — will start on the mound for San Francisco.
Bellinger usually starts against right-handers, but Saturday is different because the Giants are likely to follow Jackson, a reliever, with a left-hander for multiple innings as part of their bullpen game.
It will be the 33-year-old Jackson’s first career start. Left-handers Sammy Long and José Quintana, who was recently released by the Angels, are the Giants’ options out of the bullpen.
So Chris Taylor, not Bellinger, will start in center field Saturday. Bellinger went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts Friday. He’s batting .170 with a .557 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 295 plate appearances this season. The batting average is the second lowest in the majors among players with at least 250 plate appearances. The OPS is the sixth worst.
It feels like old times as the San Francisco Giants return to relevancy and challenge the rival Dodgers for supremacy in the National League West.
The Dodgers will counter with Julio Urías after David Price was scratched from his start Friday because of an elbow injury, forcing Los Angeles into a bullpen game. In the end, all 11 relievers on the roster were used in the 3-2, 11-inning loss. Urías, as a result, will be counted on to eat innings Saturday.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts strongly hinted at Price landing on the injured list Saturday. Andre Jackson, who isn’t on the active roster, is with the team Saturday. He could replace Price on the roster if Price ends up on the injured list.
The teams will meet with the Giants a game up in the National League West standings. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
Trea Turner 2B
Max Muncy 1B
Mookie Betts RF
Justin Turner 3B
Corey Seager SS
AJ Pollock LF
Chris Taylor CF
Will Smith C
Julio Urías P
Betting odds and lines for Dodgers vs. Giants on Saturday
The Dodgers used 11 pitchers in their 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Friday and will look to MLB wins leader Julio Urías to lend some length on Saturday.
Urías is 15-3 with a 3.17 ERA and has done his best work away from Los Angeles with a league-high 12 road wins with a 2.71 ERA across his 15 road starts.
The San Francisco Giants did not announce a starter overnight and are likely to take a wholesale approach with Alex Wood on the COVID-19 list and Johnny Cueto on the injured list. The Giants’ bullpen ranks second in the league ERA at 3.13 with only the Tampa Bay Rays having a better bullpen ERA.
The Dodgers are 1-5 in their last six games against the Giants, with just one of those games going over the total. The Dodgers have played just eight of Urías’ last 34 regular and postseason starts under the total.
The Dodgers have played just one of their last 17 games over the total and the Giants have played three of their last 16 games over the total, scoring three runs or fewer in five of their last six games. The Dodgers have surrendered four runs or fewer in 17 of their last 19 games.
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Dodgers fall to Giants in 11 innings on costly throwing error
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants in 11 innings Friday.
SAN FRANCISCO — The first chant echoed through Oracle Park at 3:40 p.m. Friday, three hours before the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants took the field for the rivals’ most important meeting in at least a half-decade.
Some members of the Giants were stretching down the left-field line. The Dodger hadn’t yet emerged from the visiting clubhouse; just a member of the training staff stood along their dugout’s rail. The ballpark was empty. A man behind the wall in right field took centerstage.
“Go Giants!” the man shouted. “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Wooooooo!”
Five pennants, one for each team in the National League West, flapped in the wind on a flagpole overhead. The pennants’ placements mirrored the division’s standings. On Friday, the Giants’ remained above the rest, though the Dodgers boasted the same league-leading record (85-49) and the best run differential in the majors.
Giants defeat Dodgers 3-2 in the 11th inning
The Giants defeated the Dodgers 3-2 in the 11th inning when Will Smith’s foot came off the bag while he was trying to make a catch on a throwing error by second baseman Trea Turner.
The ruling on the field stood after a video review of the play. Brandon Belt scored the winning run on Buster Posey’s grounder to second.
Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips struck out Darin Ruf before the Dodgers intentionally walked Belt. Phillips then walked Kris Bryant to load the bases with one out. San Francisco’s Alex Dickerson followed with a grounder to short, allowing Seager to easily force out Mike Yastrzemski at home for the second out.
Dodgers: Corey Seager recorded his fourth hit of the game on a single to center to start the 11th, advancing Justin Turner from second to third. But the strong start fizzled quickly when Turner was gunned out at home plate by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on a grounder by Will Smith.
Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia then struck out Chris Taylor and Phillips to keep Seager and Smith stranded on base.
The Giants (86-49) retake first place in the NL West over the Dodgers (85-50) with the victory. The two teams continue their three-game series Saturday.
Dodgers take 2-1 lead in 10th inning on Trea Turner’s sacrifice fly
Trea Turner drove in Walker Buehler on a sacrifice fly to center field off Giants reliever Dominic Leone to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the top of the 10th inning.
Albert Pujols started the inning on second base and advanced to third on a fly to deep center field by AJ Pollock. Buehler took over as a pinch runner for Pujols and scored on the next at-bat.
Austin Barnes kept the inning alive with a single to center field before claiming second after a wild pitch by Leone. Mookie Betts joined Barnes on the bases after drawing a walk but both were left stranded when Justin Turner grounded out to third.
Chris Taylor ties game with two outs in the ninth
Chris Taylor hit a run-scoring single off Giants reliever Jake McGee with two outs in the top of the ninth, scoring Dodgers teammate Justin Turner from third base to tie the game 1-1.
Corey Seager hit a one-out double on a line drive to left field, advancing Turner to third, who reached earlier on a single to left. On the next at-bat, Will Smith hit a grounder to second, prompting Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada to throw home. After Turner ran back to third to avoid the tag, Seager was called out as he stood on third for the force-out.
Taylor then laced a hit into center field to plate Turner and tie the game. Albert Pujols grounded out to first base for the third out.
Kenley Jansen took the mound for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth and issued a four-pitch walk to Darin Ruf. After throwing six consecutive balls to start his stint, Jansen got Brandon Belt to fly out to center. Jansen then walked Kris Bryant, leading to a mound meeting with pitching coach Mark Prior. Alex Dickerson flied out to left for the second out before Buster Posey grounded out to short.
End of the ninth: Dodgers 1, Giants 1
Dodgers looking to rally in the ninth
Dodgers: Different pitcher, same result. The Dodgers went down 1-2-3 against Giants reliever Tyler Rogers, meaning they’ll have to mount a ninth-inning comeback in order to stay at the top of the NL West.
Giants: Brandon Crawford welcomed Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly to the game with a leadoff double off the top of the wall in left-center field. The next three Giants went down in order to send the game into the ninth.
End of the eighth: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Corey Seager left stranded as Dodgers trail Giants 1-0 heading into eighth
Dodgers: Corey Seager led off with a single against Giants reliever Tony Watson, who retired Will Smith, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger in order to once again stymie the L.A. offense.
Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani, in his second game back from the injured list, gave San Francisco six quality innings, allowing two hits, no runs, three hits and striking out five.
Giants: Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen oversaw a 1-2-3 inning, with Kris Bryant and Buster Posey popping out and Austin Slater grounding out.
End of the seventh: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Dodgers struggling to generate offense vs. Giants
Dodgers: Max Muncy led off with a walk, but after Mookie Betts flied out to center field, Justin Turner hit into a double play to end the frame.
Giants: Thairo Estrada grounded out to second and Justin Bruihl struck out Mike Yastrzemski before giving way to reliever Blake Treinen.
Justin Turner made a great defensive stop on a scorcher hit by Evan Longoria, but Max Muncy couldn’t handle the bouncing throw to first, allowing Longoria to reach first.
On the next at-bat, Darin Ruf was initially called out on a blooper to shallow center that appeared to barely touch the field before Cody Bellinger got his glove under it. A video review reversed the on-field call, but the play became moot when Brandon Belt hit a first-pitch foul to Turner in foul territory.
End of the sixth: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Dodgers trail 1-0 heading into the sixth inning
Dodgers: Trea Turner and Billy McKinney each flied out and Cody Bellinger grounded out to first in the 1-2-3 inning.
Giants: Shane Greene became the fifth Dodger pitcher of the game, and he promptly struck out Brandon Belt. Kris Bryant followed with a groundout to short before Austin Slater and Buster Posey drew consecutive walks.
Justin Bruihl took over on the mound and got Brandon Crawford to hit into a force out at third.
End of the fifth: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Dodgers struggling to generate much vs. Anthony DeSclafani
Dodgers: Other than a single by Corey Seager, the Dodgers couldn’t muster anything else against Anthony DeSclafani.
Giants: Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol took over on the mound and gave up a leadoff double to Thairo Estrada, who advanced to third on a groundout by Mike Yastrzemski. Estrada was left stranded when Graterol struck out DeSclafani before getting Darin Ruf to ground out to first.
End of the fourth: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Mookie Betts adjusting to new spot in batting order
SAN FRANCISCO — Mookie Betts and Trea Turner were in the Dodgers’ lineup together for the eighth time Friday and for the eighth time Turner, not Betts, led off.
Betts was the Dodgers’ leadoff batter this season until the Dodgers acquired Turner from the Washington Nationals on July 30. He has batted third in each game he has played since.
Betts said the team had a conversation with him and Turner about the plan. He acknowledged the shift required a slight adjustment.
“I think it takes a little time to get used to,” said Betts, who returned from a right hip injury Aug. 27 . “Your first at-bat, guys are on base, typically, especially with Trea and [Max Muncy] in front of me. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same. It’s just a different routine in the first inning, pretty much. But other than that, it’s the same.”
Betts entered Friday 4 for 25 with two home runs, five walks and nine strikeouts in 30 plate appearances since moving out of the leadoff spot.
Turner, meanwhile, was batting .319 with two home runs and nine doubles in 102 plate appearances since joining the Dodgers, continuing to solidify his case as an NL MVP candidate.
David Price likely headed to IL; Clayton Kershaw takes next step in return
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers changed plans Friday, announcing that Corey Knebel, not David Price, would start their series opener against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park.
A few hours later, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Price, who had been listed as their starter, would not pitch at all in the meeting between the clubs tied for the best record in the major leagues. Instead, Roberts indicated that Price is probably headed to the injured list because of a sore elbow that hindered him in his last few appearances.
“This is not something that is too big,” Roberts said. “But I think, again, if you look at the couple of starts, his velocity’s ticked down and we just want to make sure just to reset him a little bit.”
Price, 36, rejoined the Dodgers this year after opting out of the 2020 season citing health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He began the season as a reliever but was pushed to assume a starter’s workload — either as a conventional starter or following an opener — last month.
He posted a 4.08 earned-run average in 39 2/3 innings across 10 outings since the transition. He last pitched Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, surrendering two runs in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees and Red Sox have been touted as baseball’s best rivalry. The Dodgers and Giants could reclaim that title, starting with this weekend’s series.
Price’s absence would represent a step back just as the thin starting rotation is approaching reinforcements.
Tony Gonsolin, on the injured list since July 31 because of right shoulder inflammation is scheduled to throw four innings for single-A Rancho Cucamonga on a rehab assignment Saturday. The right-hander could then come off the injured list if he emerges healthy.
Clayton Kershaw took his next step forward in his return from forearm inflammation Friday when he threw around 35 pitches in two innings in a simulated setting at Oracle Park. Roberts said the left-hander is slated to throw a bullpen session Sunday before going on a rehab assignment for a three-inning start. Kershaw, who last pitched for the Dodgers on July 3, could be activated after the outing in the minors.
“Just to face competition,” Roberts said. “He needs that.”
Price’s absence would leave the Dodgers with only Max Scherzer, Julio Urías and Walker Buehler. Urías and Buehler are listed as the club’s starters for the final two games of the Giants series Saturday and Sunday.
Scherzer left his start Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves because of a tight hamstring after six scoreless innings, but he isn’t expected to miss his next start. The 37-year-old right-hander ran sprints in the outfield Friday at Oracle Park without an issue.
Discarded by the Milwaukee Brewers, Oaks Christian High product Phil Bickford has carved out a prominent role in the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Scherzer has been dominant since he was acquired at the July 30 trade deadline. In five starts, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has given up five runs with 50 strikeouts and five walks across 35 innings as, essentially, Trevor Bauer’s replacement.
Bauer’s chances of pitching for the Dodgers again this season remain close to zero after he was accused of sexual assault in June. His paid administrative leave was extended for an eighth time Friday through Sept. 10.
On paper, the Dodgers have more than enough starting pitching for a deep October run anyway. Buehler and Scherzer represent perhaps the best one-two punch in the majors, and Urías leads the league in wins. But depth never hurts, and the Dodgers have September to figure theirs out.
Giants take 1-0 lead on Austin Slater’s run-scoring single
Pinch hitter Austin Slater hit a bases-loaded run-scoring single off Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford walked Anthony DeSclafani and Darin Ruf before allowing a single to Brandon Belt to load the bases. Bickford struck out Kris Bryant and was replaced by Vesia. DeSclafani scored on Slater’s single to left field.
After Slater’s hit, Justin Turner forced out Darin Ruf at home on a grounder hit by Buster Posey to keep the bases loaded before Brandon Crawford lined out to Cody Bellinger.
Dodgers: After Zach McKinstry struck out on four pitches to lead off the third, Trea Turner worked out an 11-pitch walk off DeSclafani. Mookie Betts flied out to leave Turner stranded at third.
End of the third: Giants 1, Dodgers 0
Corey Knebel keeps Giants at bay in scoreless second
Dodgers: Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani struck out Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger as part of a 1-2-3 inning.
Giants: Buster Posey lined out to Cody Bellinger in center before Brandon Crawford singled on a quick liner up the middle off a first-pitch curveball. Dodgers opener Corey Knebel bounced back by striking out Thairo Estrada and getting Mike Yastrzemski to fly out to center.
End of the second: Dodgers 0, Giants 0
Dodgers and Giants scoreless after first inning
Dodgers: Trea Turner led off with a single off Giants starter Anthony Sclafani, but he was forced out at second on the next at-bat when Max Muncy hit into a fielder’s choice grounder. After Mookie Betts popped out to first and Justin Turner drew an eagled-eyed walk before Corey Seager struck out to cap the frame.
Giants: In the bottom half, Darin Ruf singled on a liner to right before Dodgers opener Corey Knebel struck out Brandon Belt. Kris Bryant and LaMonte Wade Jr. then each grounded out to first.
End of the first: Dodgers 0, Giants 0
Corey Knebel to open for Dodgers vs. Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers threw a curveball hours before first pitch against the Giants on Friday, announcing that reliever Corey Knebel will start the series opener for them at Oracle Park.
David Price had been listed as the starter. The left-hander will presumably log multiple innings after Knebel, a right-hander. The idea is to force the Giants into unfavorable matchups based on handedness at least time through the top of the order.
The Dodgers have listed Julio Urías and Walker Buehler as their pitching probables for the final two games of the highly anticipated series between the teams with the best record in the majors.
The Giants will counter Friday with right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who will be deployed as a traditional starter. The remainder of the weekend is a question for the Giants after Alex Wood tested positive for COVID-19 and Johnny Cueto was put on the injured list because of an elbow strain this week.
Trea Turner 2B
Max Muncy 1B
Mookie Betts RF
Justin Turner 3B
Corey Seager SS
Will Smith C
Chris Taylor LF
Cody Bellinger CF
Corey Knebel P
Darin Ruf LF
Brandon Belt 1B
Kris Bryant 3B
Lamonte Wade Jr. RF
Buster Posey C
Brandon Crawford SS
Thairo Estrada 2B
Mike Yastrzemski CF
Anthony DeSclafani P
Revived and reloaded, Dodgers renew Giants rivalry with an eye on NL West crown
SAN FRANCISCO — For more than four months, the Dodgers did not budge, at least not publicly.
Stars bounced on and off the injured list. Trevor Bauer, their marquee free-agent acquisition, was accused of sexual assault and put on paid administrative leave. The bullpen’s composition changed seemingly every day. Instability was constant for the club with Major League Baseball’s highest payroll.
But the Dodgers remained confident they would catch the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. Their key position players, led by Mookie Betts and Corey Seager, got healthy. They reloaded at the trade deadline, acquiring Max Scherzer to replace Bauer and Trea Turner to bolster an already stacked lineup. It soon started clicking. The Dodgers went 21-6 in August, have won 16 of 19 games, and resemble the juggernaut they were supposed to be all along.
And on Wednesday, after 126 days outside of first place, they finally surpassed their rivals, beating the Atlanta Braves to complete a three-game sweep while the Giants lost to the Milwaukee Brewers. The combination catapulted the Dodgers half a game ahead of San Francisco in the standings for the first time since April 28, giving them the best record in the majors.
Trevor Bauer’s paid administrative leave is extended by MLB for an eighth time
Trevor Bauer’s paid administrative leave from the Dodgers was extended Friday through Sept. 10, according to a league official. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is determining whether to file sexual assault charges against the pitcher.
It’s the eighth time Major League Baseball and the players union have extended the leave since Bauer was accused of sexual assault in late June. His leave, agreed to by MLB and the players’ union, was scheduled to expire Friday.
The Pasadena Police Department presented the results of its investigation to the district attorney’s office Aug. 27. MLB is conducting a separate investigation into the allegations brought by a San Diego woman stemming from sexual encounters she had with Bauer April 21 and May 17.
Betting odds and lines for Dodgers vs. Giants on Friday
The Dodgers are 16-3 in their last 19 games and have an identical record to the San Francisco Giants at 85-49 as the teams battle for the division lead and best record in MLB on Friday.
Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani has struggled against the Dodgers, posting a 9.43 ERA with six home runs and 12 walks allowed in 21 innings. The Dodgers are 3-2 against him.
The Dodgers are 4-7 in David Price’s 11 starts this season, but that does not include the team’s win over the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 28 in which he pitched in a bulk role with Corey Knebel being the opener.
Both the Giants and Dodgers rank in the top four in bullpen ERA over the last month. The Dodgers have played just one of their last 16 games over the total and have allowed four runs or fewer in 16 of their last 18 games.
The Giants’ 80-54 record on the run line leads the majors. The Dodgers are just 7-13 in their last 20 games on the run line, with nine wins by one run as a favorite.
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Best coast, best rivalry: Bring on the Dodgers and Giants
Three more outs on that sunny Saturday, then one more victory the next day, and the San Francisco Giants would force the Dodgers into a tiebreaker for the National League West championship.
In 1951, when the bitter rivals called New York home, the Giants beat the Dodgers in a tiebreaker for the league championship. In 1962, after the teams had migrated to California, the Giants won another tiebreaker from the Dodgers.
On Oct. 2, 2004, the Giants never secured those three outs. Steve Finley belted a game-ending grand slam, lifting Dodger Stadium into delirium and leading new Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt to dance together on the field.
“In all the storied history and glory, frustrations and heartbreak that both of these teams have inflicted upon the other, this one had to be a killer,” Vin Scully said on the air.
Fifteen days later, the New York Yankees needed three outs to sweep their archrivals, the Boston Red Sox, out of the American League Championship Series. The Yankees never secured those three outs. Dave Roberts’ stolen base ignited the Red Sox to a comeback in the series, and then to Boston’s first World Series championship in 86 years.