Walker Buehler grinds out ace-worthy effort in Dodgers’ win over Tigers
The role of an ace comes with myriad responsibilities.
Opening day starts. Playoff outings. And, over the course of a season, the need to occasionally serve as a stopper for a pitching staff, putting an end to rough patches in a campaign before they become all-out slumps.
That’s what Walker Buehler did for the Dodgers on Sunday.
With his team coming off three losses in its previous four games, Buehler wasn’t dominant against the Detroit Tigers. He gave up six hits. He dealt with traffic all day. He retired the side in order only once.
But he was effective anyway, pitching five scoreless innings to help the Dodgers win 6-3 and take two out of three games against the Tigers this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers win, 6-3
Justin Bruihl comes in to pitch the ninth for the Dodgers. Jeimer Candelario homered to left. Tucker Barnhart lined to first. Pinch-hitter Willi Castro doubled to left. And that brings closer Craig Kimbrel into the game. Eric Haase grounded to short. Javy Báez fell behind 0- and walked. Austin Meadows popped to third.
Final score: Dodgers 6, Tigers 3
We go to the ninth, Dodgers 6, Tigers 2
Alex Vesia comes in to pitch the top of the seventh and promptly strikes out the side.
The Dodgers went down in order.
In the top of the eighth, Phil Bickford came in to pitch. He gave up a leadoff double to Javy Báez. Austin Meadows struck out. Miguel Cabrera homered to left-center, making it 6-2 Dodgers. Harold Castro struck out swinging. Jonathan Schoop struck out swinging.
In the bottom half, left-hander Andrew Chafin comes in to pitch for the Tigers. Justin Turner flied to right. Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger struck out swinging.
Score after eight: Dodgers 6, Tigers 2
Dodgers take 6-0 lead after six innings
Walker Buehler struck out two in the top of the fifth and has shut them out through five. But that will more than likely be it for him. Through five, he gave up six hits and a walk, striking out five. He threw 92 pitches, 57 for strikes.
The Dodgers went in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Tommy Kahnle makes his Dodgers debut in the top of the sixth. He struck out the first two and got a fly ball to end the inning.
Justin Turner led off the bottom of the sixth with a strikeout. Chris Taylor singled to left-center and scored on Cody Bellinger’s double down the right-field line. Hanser Alberto lined to center. Gavin Lux grounded a ball up the middle that went right under Báez’s glove for an error, allowing Bellinger to score. The Tigers brought in right-hander Drew Hutchison, who got Mookie Betts to fly to right to end the inning.
Score after six: Dodgers 6, Tigers 0
Dodgers lead 4-0 after four
The Tigers got a two-out singled in the top of the third, but nothing else.
The Dodgers went three up, three down in the bottom half, their first 1-2-3 inning today.
The Tigers got two infield singled on balls that were barely hit hard enough to leave a bruise, but left them stranded in the top of the fourth.
The Dodgers went in order in the fourth.
Score after four innings: Dodgers 4, Tigers 0
Dodgers take 4-0 lead
Jonathan Schoop led off the second with a single. After an out, Tucker Barnhart singled to center. First and second with one out, and it doesn’t appear Walker Buehler has his best stuff today. Akil Baddoo lined to right-center. Betts ran it down for an out. Robbie Grossman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Javy Báez struck out swinging.
After Cody Bellinger grounded out to start the bottom of the second, Hanser Alberto and Gavin Lux to put runners at first and second. Mookie Betts grounded to third, but Candelario at third seemed to be distracted by Alberto running to third, double gripped the ball and threw it away, allowing Alberto to score. Freddie Freeman followed with a double to left-center, scoring Lux, with Betts stopping at third. Trea Turner grounded to short, scoring Betts. Will Smith flied to right.
Score after two innings: Dodgers 4, Tigers 0
Dodgers take quick 1-0 lead
Walker Buehler escaped a first and third (walk, stolen base, single) and one out situation in the top of the first by getting Miguel Cabrera to strike out and Harold Castro to pop to short.
The Dodgers got on board quickly. Mookie Betts hit a check-swing bouncer to no-man’s land between first and second. Freddie Freeman singled to left, putting runners at first and second. Trea Turner flied to right, Betts taking third. Will Smith, batting cleanup for the first time this season, singled to right to score Betts. Freeman stopped at second. Justin Turner flied to right, Chris Taylor flied to left, and the first inning was over.
Score after one: Dodgers 1, Tigers 0
Clayton Kershaw has surpassed Sandy Koufax as Dodgers’ greatest pitcher
Spencer Torkelson flailed, and Dodger Stadium shook.
Clayton Kershaw shoved his cap into the air, and Dodger Stadium screamed.
The cool April air was filled with a whiff of greatness Saturday night as a sweating, jabbing Dodgers lefty punched out a record and took his place at the top of a rotation of legends.
In the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers, on an 89-mph slider that was as unhittable as it was historic, Kershaw recorded his 2,697th career strikeout to pass Don Sutton to become the Dodgers’ all-time leader.
In doing so, he cemented his status as something far more enduring.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw breaks Dodgers’ strikeout record in loss to Tigers
Clayton Kershaw entered the season chasing history. He finally caught it in the fourth inning Saturday when he fanned Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson to break Don Sutton’s Dodgers record for career strikeouts.
Torkelson’s weak swing and miss, Kershaw’s fourth strikeout of the night, brought the Dodger Stadium crowd of 52,613 to its feet for an ovation as Kershaw circled the mound, then doffed his cap to the fans, seemingly anxious for the game to resume.
When it did, Kershaw kept the Tigers in check until he exited, then they rallied for four consecutive runs to snap a six-game losing streak and spoil the Dodgers’ night with a 5-1 win.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
Here’s a look at the TV and streaming schedule for the Dodgers in 2022: