Albert Pujols sets stage for more ninth-inning magic, but Dodgers fall short again
Top 9th: Alex Vesia on for Gonzalez to start the ninth and he delivers a 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom 9th: The Dodgers find themselves where they did on Friday night, down 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, only this time they will face lefty Jake McGee. Bellinger dribbles a roller in front of the plate, but McGee throws errantly to first. Lux strikes out looking. Pujols launches his third home run as a Dodger—and No. 670 in his career—into the pavilion in leftfield to make it 5-4.
Will Smith gets his shot to replicate his backup Austin Barnes’ game-tying magic from Friday night, but gets called out looking on a low, but defensible call.
Austin Barnes now gets his shot to replicate his own game-tying magic from Friday night, but pops out to right field to end it.
The Dodgers are now 31-22 and two-and-a-half games behind the Padres, and two games behind the Giants as they get set to face the Cardinals tomorrow at 6:10 PST at Dodger Stadium.
Max Muncy goes yard, Dodgers will not be shut out for first time in 2021
Update on Gausman:
Top 8th: Other than a Mike Tauchman hit-by-pitch, nothing eventful in the top half of the inning other than having to type ‘Yastrzemski’ for the first time today. Don’t know how Boston writers did it on deadline for 23 seasons.
Bottom 8th: The Dodgers will not be shut out for the first time in 2021, as Max Muncy pounds a Zack Littell offering into the centerfield bleachers (421 feet) for his fifth homer in six games against the Giants this season. 5-2 Giants.
Tough day for the Lakers, too; Davis injured, Suns even series at 2-2
The Lakers lost Anthony Davis to injury and then control of their first-round playoff series with Phoenix on Sunday afternoon, the team’s star unable to finish a 100-92 loss because of a groin strain.
Already hobbled by a sprained left knee, Davis went to the court and clutched at the inside of his upper left leg in the final minute of the first half. He limped through the final seconds of the half and didn’t rejoin the team after halftime.
The Lakers, already playing without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, head to Phoenix for a crucial Game 5 on Tuesday, their flirtations with being at full strength already over.
LeBon James finished with 25 points, but the Lakers were held under 40% shooting as the Suns defense dominated.
Joe Kelly makes it interesting, but Kelly, Victor González escape bases-loaded jam
Top 7th: Joe Kelly in the game for Kershaw and it’s getting a little wild, as the Dodgers reliever loads the bases on two walks and a single to right by LaMonte Wade Jr. on a 3-2 pitch. Longoria (who I didn’t realize was part of the St. John Bosco juggernaut until now) struck out on Kelly’s 25th pitch of the inning. Dubón, who entered the game one for his last 18 but reached in each of his first three at-bats, struck out on three pitches.
And that’s it for Kelly. Two walks, two whiffs, three runners for his replacement, Victor González, to inherit. Quality Don “Full Pack” Stanhouse outing. Google it.
Gonzalez strikes out Duggar swinging to end the inning. Still 5-0 Giants.
Bottom 7th: Gausman out of the game after six outstanding innings in which he threw only 72 pitches, possibly because of a leg injury.
In any case, that gets the Dodgers into the Giants’ bullpen, but they can’t take advantage. Jarlin Garcia walks Bellinger to start the inning, but the Dodgers can’t muster anything beyond that. Still 5-0 Giants.
Q&A: Pujols-ologist Derrick Goold on the upcoming Dodgers-Cards series (and Albert)
Derrick Goold has been covering the St. Louis Cardinals for 18 seasons, and does it extremely well. Earlier this month, he took first place in the Beat Writing category of the annual APSE Awards for the second straight year. For the last eight seasons of Albert Pujols’s career, Derrick had a front-row seat to not only one of the most ferocious primes in the sport’s history, but also to the future Hall of Famer’s gentle influence in the clubhouse, which still defines the Dodgers’ slugger to this day.
Derrick, who is also the host of “The Best Podcast in Baseball,” was gracious enough to answer a few questions ahead of the start of this week’s series between the Dodgers and the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.
Stone: Let’s start with Albert. After Pujols was released by the Angels, the popular national conviction seemed to be that he was St. Louis-bound, or very much in the mix for a reunion? How did the organization and the fan base receive the news that he had chosen the Dodgers, or any team other than the Cards?
Goold: There was definitely a warm gust of nostalgia that gripped the fan base with visions of a magical sendoff dancing in so many heads. That’s based on the emails I received, the buzz in the fan base on Twitter, and I’m sure all the crackling conversations on sports radio.
Internally, the Cardinals explored the idea, for sure. The president of the club said how could they not. They couldn’t deny the romantic possibility of a reunion and the jolt it would give their fans—right at the same time they were about to expand capacity and put more tickets on sale. The conversations within the walls at Busch Stadium were about the benefit of bringing back Pujols from a business standpoint, from the shared history and closure perspective, from the chance to capture magic, and then from the baseball view.
Albert Pujols says he’s excited to have a chance to play on the Dodgers and believes the team is good enough to repeat as World Series champions.
It’s that last part where it’s the clear the decision not to pursue him was made. I was told there were “headwinds” for a reunion. They compared Pujols to who they had on the bench, and they were under the impression that Pujols wanted to play more than they could offer because Paul Goldschmidt plays 29 out of 30 games at first. Most of the fans I’ve heard from were disappointed, and that was probably more acute because he did end up with an NL team (no DH) and that NL team just happened to be considered the best team in baseball, so why couldn’t the Cardinals use him?
From an official standpoint, they felt the timing was off. I was told if it were August or September they would have eagerly sought that reunion for a stretch run and chance to give Pujols the coda in red the Angels didn’t.
Stone: The Dodgers don’t visit St. Louis until late summer. What do you anticipate the reception will be for Pujols?
Goold: Warm. Enthusiastic. Effusive. Thunderous. Ovations galore. He will tip his cap, hold back a laugh as Yadier Molina keeps the ovation going just long enough to get an emotional response from Pujols. He’s adored in St. Louis and always will be. He got a curtain call when he hit a home run—as an opposing player. And the pitcher who allowed the homer said it was one of the cooler moments he had on a ballfield.
There’s this sense in some corners that because the Cardinals didn’t sign him the fans will never get a chance to call him a Cardinal ever again. There is a lot of applause ahead for Pujols in St. Louis. He’s going to get a redcoat and go in the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame a few years before he enters Cooperstown. He’ll always be invited to Opening Day ceremonies. There will be Pujols Day at the ballpark. His number will be retired. A statue will go up. They’ll have decades ahead of cheering for him as one of their own. It just will be with a Hall of Fame pin on his lapel, not a bat in his hand.
Albert Pujols signing with the Dodgers might not make a lot of sense on the surface, but the Dodgers have plenty of reasons to sign a player like him.
Stone: Jorge Castillo has written extensively on the clubhouse impact of Pujols, which has been sold as an essential, if hard-to-quantify, argument for his roster spot. Recognizing that it’s been nearly a decade since you covered him on a daily basis, can you share your thoughts on his clubhouse presence and value?
Goold: There are so many stories that might serve as an example of this. When he first met the late Oscar Taveras, considered the finest hitting prospect the Cardinals’ produced since Pujols, he brought the teenager into the big-league clubhouse at spring training and gave him one of his personal bats. Said it was time he had a tool to go with his talent, and to give it a try. When Colby Rasmus was struggling to connect in the clubhouse, Pujols called him up during a road trip and took him out to dinner, just the two of them, to try and connect.
Pujols would go at least once every spring training to the back fields to talk to the minor-leaguers about the work that it takes to take advantage of the first opportunity they get to advance, because there he was – a 13th-round pick who vaulted to Class AAA for the playoffs in 2000 and was in the majors and Rookie of the Year in 2001. He would describe how his production made that swift ascent possible but how preparation made that production possible. To prove his point, he would hit each day of spring at about the same time, and the door was open to young players to come watch. He might not say much. But he would show a lot. And he welcomed them being there.
This past October, Randy Arozarena, the Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff sensation, was describing tee drills that helped him, and how he learned them while being a Cardinal minor-leaguer. Those were the tee drills Pujols did, showed the young hitters, and nine years later—two generations of players in baseball terms—here was Arozarena describing those same things. Coincidence? Maybe. But probably not. You’re right, it’s been 10 years since I got to see it in person, but what we saw then was a player willing to show his work, share his insight to anyone who showed him they were interested and invested in getting better.
Stone: This is the Dodgers’ first look at the Cardinals this year. As we hit the one-third mark, what are your three biggest takeaways on the Cardinals and where they’re headed (perhaps to a return trip to LA for you in October)?
First, they’re as good as their starting pitching lets them be. If they can get a rotation to consistently crank out quality starts then a strong bullpen gets to flex within its roles and the offense doesn’t have to carry more than it can. They’re built to be driven by their rotation and an exceptional defense.
Secondly, they’ve been challenged by injuries (who hasn’t?) and that has undermined the consistency of the rotation. The division race will be a race to get healthy and a race to get starting pitching, which they could add via health or trade. They have the roster and talent to win the division. How far that gets them into October? They’ll need an addition to propel a postseason run, to be as robust as the teams out west. They’ve feasted on losing teams and been reminded by contending teams of the gap they still must close to contend beyond the NL Central.
And, finally, up third: Something to watch as the season progresses is how Jack Flaherty, Monday’s starter who grew up going to Dodger games, emerges as the ace promised and Cy Young contender expected, and also how the team becomes a reflection of Nolan Arenado and his personality.
He wanted to be a Cardinal to contend.
Well, here’s that chance.
He sure seems primed to make the most of it.
Quiet middle innings, Gausman and Giants still cruising; not looking good for Lakers
Top 5th: Kershaw still in the game. A few hard-hit balls, including a Longoria fly ball to the track in left, but the Giants go 1-2-3.
Bottom 5th: Gausman keeps cruising along. Another 1-2-3 inning.
Top 6th: Kershaw back out there to eat some innings. Dubón reached for a third time, with a walk, but Kershaw
gets through another inning unscored upon. His line IP: 6, H: 7, ER: 5, BB: 3, SO: 5, PC: 104-64.
Bottom 6th: Interesting conversation between Joe and Orel in the top half of the inning about the somewhat pleasant conundrum facing Giants President Farhan Zaidi this summer. We’ve hit Memorial Day weekend, always a good first marker of success, or lack thereof. The aging Giants own a lot of favorable trade assets, but can Zaidi really undertake a rebuild or a retool given what he’s seen in the first third of the season?
Anyway, another 1-2-3 inning for Gausman. 5-0 Giants through six.
Not looking especially great for the Lakers either. Via the Times’ Dan Woike at Staples.
Gausman hits two-out single to push Giants lead to 5-0
Top 4th: Clayton Kershaw continues to scuffle, allowing a two-out RBI single to Kevin Gausman, who is doing his best Julio Urías two-way imitation. After allowing a single and a walk to start the inning, Kershaw nearly got out of the inning unscathed, thanks in part to a nice back-to-the-plate catch by Max Muncy on a Curt Casali flair. However, Gausman found a hole between short and third to make it 5-0.
Bottom 4th: After allowing a leadoff single to Matt Beaty, Gausman retired the next three batters.
Giants extend lead to 4-0 on Austin Slater homer
Top 3rd: The top of the order continues to give Clayton Kershaw trouble, as Austin Slater drives a homer to right center to lead off the inning. Kershaw gets out of the inning without further damage, allowing only a Longoria infield single before picking off the Giants third baseman.
Bottom 3rd: A Mauricio Dubón error on a Kershaw grounder is the only peep for the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning.
Tough road ahead for the Dodgers. Kevin Gausman, the fourth overall pick of the 2012 draft (and a sixth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2010, the Dodgers broadcast team reminds us, before choosing to go to LSU) has allowed one earned run or fewer in nine of his 10 starts this season. In six May starts, he has allowed three earned runs. He is on a pace for a 9.0 WAR season, per Baseball-Reference.com.
Kershaw settles down, Giants still lead 3-0 at end of two
Top 2nd: Clayton Kershaw entered the game with a career 1.79 ERA against the Giants, his lowest against any team per Baseball-Reference.com. After the rough first, he retired the Giants in order, striking out two of the three hitters and throwing only 11 pitches.
Bottom 2nd: After Cody Bellinger struck out, Gavin Lux crunched a double to the centerfield wall. Gausman, however, escaped with a strikeout of Albert Pujols and groundout by Zach McKinstry.
Lakers-Suns update via Dan Woike at Staples:
Dodgers-Giants underway; Giants jump out to 3-0 lead on Dubón homer
And we’re underway.
Top 1st: The Giants — who scored 19 runs in the previous two games — came out raking again, putting three runs on the board, the last on a home run by Mauricio Dubón high off the leftfield foul pole. Dubón punctuated the home run by mimicking the Trevor Bauer sword plunge as he crossed home plate.
Austin Slater and Donovan Solano had led off with consecutive hard singles and advanced on a wild pitch before Clayton Kershaw got Wilmer Flores to chase on a 3-2 pitch out of the strike zone. Evan Longoria, who’s been smoking in this series, grounded out to bring home Slater before Dubón went yard.
Bottom 1st: The Dodgers go quietly, as Kevin Gausman retires them 1-2-3.
Q&A: The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler on the view of the Dodgers from New York
Lindsey Adler covers the New York Yankees for the Athletic, and she covers them extremely well, bringing a bell-clear, informed authority — and skepticism — essential to one of the industry’s most competitive beats. Her Twitter account is worthy of all sorts of effusive praise, too. Prior to the Athletic, Lindsey worked at Deadspin and BuzzFeed. She is the owner of a huge tattoo of a sprig of golden poppies, which speaks to her California cred.
Lindsey was gracious enough to answer questions for today’s live blog, including the possibility of a certain 40th anniversary World Series reunion in the fall.
Stone: I’m always curious what the Dodgers look like to a close observer of the game who likely won’t see them in-person until (maybe) the postseason (we’ll come back to this later). From your remove, what do the Dodgers look like?
Adler: The Dodgers, to me, look like a team built with near-ideal roster construction. I’m sure there are roster spots and decisions that Dodgers fans would say are definitely not ideal, but my general impression is that they built the team through strong drafting and development and a sizable investment in retaining their stars and acquiring players from the free-agent market. Their championship window has been open for so, so long. I don’t think that gets appreciated enough throughout the sport. Sustainable contention is extremely difficult in baseball and the Dodgers are just rolling with it.
Stone: The team you cover....the first weeks were treated like a Bronx Apocalypse I haven’t seen in a while. They are back on track. What’s the first-third-of-the-season diagnosis of the Yankees, in less than 75 words?
Adler: Inconsistent. Chronic underperformance. Something is very wrong with the offense. They’re not hitting home runs. They’re surviving games due to excellent pitching (a new development in its own right). This is not the team you envision when you think about the Yankees winning games 8-6 between 2017-2020. They’re winning and losing games 3-1. It’s deeply bizarre to witness and unclear if they’ll need to accept it and adapt or if something will eventually click.
(That was 74 words, by the way.)
Stone: Following up on that question, the Los Angeles Times is doing a season-long docus-series on the 40th anniversary of Fernandomania, the coda of which is the 40th anniversary of the last time the Dodgers and Yankees met in the World Series. Feels ripe for a rematch. Thoughts?
Adler: Remember a few years ago when the Yankees went to Los Angeles and it was Players’ Weekend and they wore those horrible monochrome uniforms instead of their classics? I’m not even a uniform dork and I’m still mad about that.
I do think it would be fun to have that matchup from an aesthetic sense. I don’t really know how these teams match up on paper (they both seem like potential late bloomers, who knows?), but think about the stories we all could write about 90-year-old Brooklynites who are still mad about the 1950s. Could someone coax Roger Angell out of apparent retirement?
I am just relieved that if we do get a Dodgers-Yankees World Series matchup sometime in the near future, it won’t be in a year when there are no fans. As much as fans of many other teams would groan at the spectacle nature of that matchup, it’d be a great national event. I’m picturing league executives salivating now.
There’s another Game 4 rivalry game in town this afternoon
Sometime shortly after 12:30 p.m. PST, the Lakers and the Suns will tip off in Game 4 of the Western Conference playoffs. Lots of choices. We’d recommend these two as your simul-follows this afternoon:
Mookie Betts scratched from Sunday’s lineup because of allergies
Right fielder and leadoff man Mookie Betts was a late scratch from Sunday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants in Dodger Stadium because of allergies, manager Dave Roberts announced.
Betts, who has been battling a series of nagging injuries all season, has just one hit, a triple, and one RBI in 16 at-bats over his last five games. He was given Saturday’s game off before drawing a walk in a ninth-inning pinch-hit appearance.
Roberts said Betts “couldn’t keep his eyes open” Sunday morning and that the team was trying to manage the condition with eye drops. Betts was replaced in Sunday’s lineup by Albert Pujols, who will start at first base and push original first baseman Matt Beaty to right field.
“I don’t [know what the allergic reaction was to], and he doesn’t,” Roberts said. “It’s something that hasn’t happened before. He wants to be in there, but a player who is vision-impaired doesn’t make sense for anyone.”
Betts, who has dealt with shoulder and back injuries, is batting .240 with a .782 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, five homers and 17 RBIs in 43 games on the season after batting .292 with a .927 OPS, 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 55 games in 2020.
“He’s very frustrated,” Roberts said of Betts, who signed a 12-year, $365-million extension before last season. “A guy like Mookie, who is one of the leaders in the club, he feels like he’s letting the team down. The truth of the matter is he wants to be out there, and physically, he can’t today.”
The game will feature a marquee pitching matchup between Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who is 7-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 71 and walking 10 in 64 1/3 innings, and Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman, who is 5-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 10 starts, striking out 76 and walking 16 in 64 2/3 innings.
Kershaw is making his 50th career start against San Francisco and is 24-13 with a 1.78 ERA (70 ER/352.2 IP) against the Giants. Kershaw’s 360 career strikeouts against the Giants ranks second all-time, trailing only Warren Spahn (417), and his 1.79 ERA against the Giants is the best of any pitcher since 1920 with a minimum of 120 innings pitched.
The Betts scratch won’t help the Dodgers. Betts has a .349 career average (15 for 43) with three homers and seven RBIs against Gausman.
DODGERS LINEUP: LF Chris Taylor, 2B Max Muncy, RF Matt Beaty, CF Cody Bellinger, SS Gavin Lux, 1B Albert Pujols, 3B Zach McKinstry, C Austin Barnes, LHP Clayton Kershaw.
GIANTS LINEUP: LF Austin Slater, 2B Donovan Solano, 1B Wilmer Flores, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Mauricio Dubon, CF Steven Duggar, C Curt Casali, RH Mike Tauchman, RHP Kevin Gausman.
Former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley took your questions; the answers are really good
Just before he went on vacation, Houston Mitchell, the author of The Times’ Dodgers Dugout newsletter, pulled off the nifty coup of getting Peter O’Malley to answer reader questions. The former Dodgers owner did not disappoint. His answers are thoughtful, lengthy and nonevasive, so we’re running back the Q&A.
Former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley, who was involved with the team his whole life until selling the Dodgers in 1998, agreed a couple of weeks ago to take part in the “Ask....” series we do in this newsletter from time to time.
Readers sent me hundreds of questions, many of them variations of the same question (Why did you sell the team? being a particular favorite), and I selected 17 to send to O’Malley. A tall order that would take some time, so I told him he could pick and choose which ones he wanted to answer. He answered all 17. And then he said if reader response to this first batch warranted, he’d be happy to answer some more.
He didn’t dodge (no pun intended) the tougher questions, he answered the easy ones and the hard ones.
So, without further ado, here are his answers. It’s long, but worth the read, so pull up a chair and spend some time with us.
What’s ahead today on the live blog
One-ten start today at Dodger Stadium on another busy L.A. sports Sunday that includes Lakers-Suns running concurrently with the baseball game. Clips-Mavs are at 6:30 PST, with the news that Luka Doncic is questionable to play in a crucial Game 4.
The law firm of DiGiovanna & Hernández will be out at the yard today. I will be handling the play-by-play as Houston Mitchell continues his well-deserved vacation. We’ll also mix in a couple of Q&A’s throughout the afternoon with two deeply informed, must-follow baseball writers: The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, who covers the Yankees, and Derrick Goold, who’s on the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and will be in town beginning Monday for the L.A.-St. Louis series.
The live blog will be back later this morning with lineups and other game day goodness.
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Giants on Sunday
The Dodgers find themselves in third place in the division entering Sunday’s clash with the San Francisco Giants, and will turn to Clayton Kershaw to salvage a series split.
The Giants have had issues accumulating hits against Kershaw. He has a 1.79 ERA in 51 career appearances against them while allowing 0.56 home run and 1.35 walks per nine innings.
The Giants will look for Kevin Gausman to continue his outstanding season. He has a 4-0 record in seven road starts with just one home run allowed in 44 innings. He has allowed one or no runs in nine of his 10 starts this season.
The Giants are 10-3 on the run line in their last 13 games and an MLB best 34-18 for the season while going 21-5 on the run line as an underdog.
The Dodgers are 8-2 in Kershaw’s last 10 starts with all eight wins coming by at least two runs, with six of Kershaw’s last seven starts going over the total.
Julio Urías is hit hard as Dodgers lose to Giants, fall into third place in NL West
The Dodgers listed 10 relievers on their lineup card Saturday. Not 10 pitchers, mind you. Ten relievers.
They all sat there in the bullpen for the first hour of the game, and then some, watching as the San Francisco Giants turned Saturday into one of the worst days in the career of Julio Urías.
He gave up more hits Saturday than he ever had. He was hit often, and he was hit hard. Hit after hit, run after run, and all the relievers sat there.
The Dodgers’ game plan was Urías pitching deep into the game. The Dodgers stuck to their game plan, and in the meantime the Giants piled on the runs en route to what turned out to be a 11-6 victory.
Urías gave up 11 hits, including hits to eight of the first 15 batters. Of the first 12 batters, the only outs: a sacrifice bunt by the opposing pitcher, a 102-mph flyout, a diving catch by left fielder Matt Beaty, and a strikeout when Austin Slater swung at a pitch closer to his batting helmet than to the strike zone.
Dodgers can’t muster final-inning rally in 11-6 loss to Giants
The Dodgers fail to hold back the Giants’ offensive surge and drop consecutive games for the first time in three weeks with an 11-6 loss at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
Matt Wisler struck out Gavin Lux and Cody Bellinger in the ninth inning to preserve the win.
In the top of the inning, Dodgers reliever Edwin Uceta struck out Steven Duggar and Buster Posey as part of a 1-2-3 inning.
The Giants scored 11 runs on 16 hits, the most runs San Francisco has scored at Dodger Stadium since 2013.
The Dodgers stand at 31-21 on the season, and the Giants improve to 32-20.
Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run for Dodgers in the eighth
Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run to left field off Giants reliever Jose Alvarez to make it 11-6 San Francisco in the eighth inning.
It was Pujols’ second home run in a Dodgers uniform, his seventh on the season and the 669th of his career. He drove in Will Smith, who reached base on a single.
Chris Taylor ended Alvarez’s game on a single to left. Matt Wisler entered the game and struck out Austin Barnes and Yoshi Tsutsugo to send the game into the ninth.
End of eighth: Giants 11, Dodgers 6
Giants score two more runs in the eight to extend lead
Evan Longoria led off the eighth with a home run and Mauricio Dubon drove in another on a sacrifice fly to give the Giants an 11-4 lead. It was Longoria’s eighth home run of 2021.
Reliever Alex Vesia’s day ended after he walked Donovan Solano two batters later. Edwin Uceta then nearly gave up a second-pitch home run on a blast to right field by Brandon Crawford that was upheld as a double upon video review.
On the next at-bat, Dubon drove in Solano on fly ball to center field. Uceta then struck out pitcher Jose Alvarez for the third out.
Dodgers fans have had it a bit rough on Saturday, so far, but at least this happened:
Steven Duggar’s two-run double extends Giants’ lead in seventh
Steven Duggar hit a two-run double off Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia to extend the Giants’ lead to 9-4 in the seventh inning.
After Mitch White allowed a single to LaMonte Wade Jr., he got Donovan Solano to strike out before getting Mauricio Dubon to fly out. Vesia came on in relief and hit Alex Dickerson with a pitch to load the bases before Duggar’s drive to right.
Mike Yastrzemski flied out to left to put a cap on the inning.
Max Muncy hit a two-out double to right-center field off Giants reliever Jose Alvarez in the bottom half, but was left on base when Justin Turner flied out to deep left.
End of seventh: Giants 9, Dodgers 4
Max Muncy and Albert Pujols help Dodgers cut into Giants’ lead
Max Muncy hit a solo home run — his team-leading 12th of the season — and Albert Pujols hit a run-scoring double off Giants reliever Scott Kazmir to make it 7-4 Giants in the sixth inning.
Cody Bellinger, who walked after Muncy’s homer, scored on Pujols’ 113-mph hit to deep left. Kazmir got out of the jam by striking out Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry.
Kazmir, a former Dodgers starter, gave up a home run to Muncy last weekend while making his first start in the majors in five years. Kazmir relieved Logan Webb, who allowed just one hit, struck out seven and retired 12 consecutive batters in his first game off the injured list.
Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford allowed a double to Mike Yastrzemski, but left him stranded there when he struck out Evan Longoria with a 95-mph fastball for the third out.
End of sixth: Giants 7, Dodgers 4
Dodgers struggling to generate offense against Giants
Giants starter Logan Webb has limited the Dodgers to one hit so far. The 24-year-old has retired 12 consecutive Dodgers batters and is up to seven strikeouts. He struck out Zach McKinstry and Julio Urías before getting Gavin Lux to hit into a groundout to end the fifth.
In the top of the inning, Urías retired the Giants in order. After giving up a career-high six earned runs on 11 hits through five innings, he’ll give way to reliever Phil Bickford, a former first-round draft pick of the Giants.
End of fifth: Giants 7, Dodgers 2
Giants score two more runs in the fourth to take 7-2 lead
Evan Longoria and Wilmer Flores each hit a run-scoring singles off Dodger starter Julio Urías to give the Giants a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning.
Mike Yastrzemski, who beat a throw from right fielder Zach McKinstry on Longoria’s hit to score, hit a two-out double on a hanging fly ball just inside the left-field line. Longoria scored from second on Flores’ line drive to left.
Urías has allowed seven runs on 11 hits. Phil Bickford started warming up in the bullpen before the start of the fifth inning.
Giants pitcher Logan Webb retired the Dodgers in order, striking out Will Smith and Matt Beaty in the process.
End of fourth: Giants 7, Dodgers 2
Donovan Solano hits two-run home run to give Giants 5-2 lead
Donovan Solano hit a two-run home run to left-center field off Dodgers starter Julio Urías to give the Giants a 5-2 lead in the second inning.
Urías has allowed eight hits to the first 15 batters. Solano’s home run, his second of the season, comes an inning after he committed a pair of fielding errors at second that helped the Dodgers score a run.
Solano drove in Wilmer Flores, who hit opened the inning with his second single of the game.
In the bottom half, Giants starter Logan Webb retired Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger in order.
End of third: Giants 5, Dodgers 2
Dodgers score run on Julio Urías’ sacrifice bunt in the second
A well-placed sacrifice bunt by Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías drove in a run and made it 3-2 Giants in the bottom of the second inning.
A pair of costly fielding errors by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano allowed Matt Beaty and Zach McKinstry to reach base. Instead of setting up a potential double play, Solano let a drive by McKinstry go right between his legs, allowing Beaty to advance to third. He then scored on Urías’ bunt.
End of second: Giants 3, Dodgers 2
Julio Urías struggling as Giants jump out to 3-1 lead in second
Mauricio Dubon hit a two-run single and Mike Yastrzemski drew a bases-loaded walk off Dodgers starter Julio Urías to give the San Francisco Giants a 3-1 lead in the second inning.
Urías has already allowed six hits. Singles by Wilmer Flores, Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford loaded the bases before Dubon’s sizzler up the middle plated Flores and Solano. After intentionally walking Buster Posey to load up the bases again with two outs, Urías walked Yastrzemski to force in Crawford.
Urías, on his 38th pitch of the game, struck out Evan Longoria to cap the Giants’ rally.
Justin Turner gives Dodgers early lead; Matt Beaty makes spectacular catch
Justin Turner hit a run-scoring double off Giants starter Logan Webb to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Gavin Lux, who reached base after getting hit by a pitch, scored on the hit, which was magnified by Giants center fielder Mauricio Dubon coming up empty after he tried to make a diving catch.
Still, it was a spectacular defensive play that marked the inning for the Dodgers.
Less than 24 hours after a stunning over-the-wall catch thwarted a walk-off home run by Albert Pujols, Matt Beaty made arguably the best catch of the Dodgers’ 2021 season so far with his run-stopping grab in the first inning.
Beatty made a backhanded sliding catch on a popup hit by Evan Longoria in the left-field corner to end the inning with Buster Posey stuck on second.
The catch really has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
After Turner’s double, Cody Bellinger flied out in his first Dodgers at-bat since April 5, when he sustained a hairline fracture in his left leg. Webb then struck out Will Smith to leave Turner stranded.
End of first: Dodgers 1, Giants 0
Albert Pujols feels ‘blessed’ to be on Dodgers, working toward World Series title
Magic Johnson was making his way to his seat through the bowels of Dodger Stadium on Friday when he ran into the newest member of the home team.
“Oh, man, here he is,” Johnson, a Dodgers co-owner, said.
The two men embraced.
“Keep doing your thing, baby,” Johnson said. “Great to have you here.”
Johnson introduced his wife, Cookie, and let her know.
“He’s been doing his thing,” Johnson said.
With Cody Bellinger in, Mookie Betts (2 for 19) out of Dodgers’ lineup
With Cody Bellinger and Zack McKinstry activated Saturday, the Dodgers gave Mookie Betts the day off.
Bellinger will play in center field. McKinstry will be in right. Betts, who has alternated between the two positions since Bellinger was injured April 5, was asked to relax and kick back.
“I hope he doesn’t pick up a bat today,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Betts went hitless in six at-bats in Friday’s game, after which Roberts said he had noted that Betts was struggling with high-velocity pitches.
Betts has two hits in his past 19 at-bats. In the past two weeks, he is batting .186, with a .666 OPS.
Roberts said Betts would return to the lineup on Sunday.
“We’re going to lean on him a lot as the season goes on,” Roberts said.
Gavin Lux, ss
Max Muncy, 2b
Justin Turner, 3b
Cody Bellinger, cf
Will Smith, c
Albert Pujols, 1b
Matt Beaty, lf
Zack McKinstry, rf
Julio Urias, p
Cody Bellinger: ‘I feel like I haven’t been a part of the team this year’
Cody Bellinger was all smiles Saturday, back at Dodger Stadium with his baseball family.
“I feel like I haven’t been a part of the team this year,” he said.
The Dodgers have played 75 games this year, between spring training and the regular season. Bellinger has played in 14.
He was limited to 10 games in spring training, as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. Four games into the regular season, he suffered a hairline fracture in his left leg. The Dodgers activated him from the injured list Saturday, and he was in the Dodgers’ lineup for the first time since April 5.
“It’s good to be back with the boys,” he said. “It’s going to be nice not watching on TV.”
After Austin Barnes tied the game on a homer in the ninth, the Giants robbed Albert Pujols with a over-the-wall catch before beating the Dodgers, 8-5.
Bellinger said the turning point in his rehabilitation came on “Day 40 or 41,” when he was able to run without pain. The two weeks since then have involved making sure his legs were in game shape and getting used to playing on consecutive days.
He returned to Dodger Stadium to find an adjacent locker newly occupied by Albert Pujols.
“I’m going to take full advantage of being next to a future Hall of Famer,” Bellinger said, “and try to learn from him as a much as I can.”
Bellinger said he kept up with his teammates “through the phones,” via group chats, text messages and FaceTime. When he watched the games on television, he did not scream at the set, even when the Dodgers lost 15 of 20 games.
“I’m pretty mellow during the games,” he said. “It’s definitely not fun watching from your couch, but it’s what I had to do to feel like I was involved.”
It’s official: Cody Bellinger is back for Dodgers
Cody Bellinger is expected to start for the Dodgers on Saturday for the first time in almost two months.
The Dodgers activated Bellinger and utilityman Zack McKinstry from the injured list Saturday. Bellinger, the 2019 National League most valuable player, suffered a hairline fracture in his left leg during a game against the Oakland Athletics on April 5.
McKinstry has not played since April 20 because of a strained oblique muscle.
A night of heroic, late-game feats ends with Dodgers falling to Giants in 10th
Highlights from the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 8-5 loss in 10 innings to the Giants on Friday.
Austin Barnes, a right-handed hitter without a pinch-hit home run in his career, was thrust into a tough matchup against Tyler Rogers, a submarine right-hander who flings frisbees.
But Rogers hung an 84-mph fastball and Barnes smashed a line drive over the left-field wall for a game-tying three-run home run. Dodger Stadium shook. The Dodgers in the dugout were in disbelief.
Moments later, they began spilling out on the field when Albert Pujols cracked a fly ball to left field. They all thought Pujols had clubbed a walk-off home run to beat the rivals.
But Giants left fielder Mike Tauchman robbed the new Dodger with a leap at the wall, stunning the 17,873 fans in attendance into silence when they realized he made the catch after a moment of confusion.
Evan Longoria hits two-run double to push Giants to 8-5 win
Wade Jr. advances to second on a wild pitch.
Jansen walks Yastrzemski to put runners on first and second with one out.
Jansen struck out Posey for the second out of the inning.
Evan Longoria, who was supposedly getting a day-off, is on to hit for the Giants in the top of the tenth.
Longoria pokes a two-run double to extend the Giants’ lead.
Phil Bickford replaces Jansen with two outs.
Crawford is put on intentionally, but Dubón immediately grounds out to end the inning.
The Dodgers have to put together another three-run scoring display to push the game further into extras.
Jarlín García comes in to pitch for the Giants.
Tsutsugo grounds out to shortstop to begin the bottom of the tenth.
Neuse flew out to center field for the second out.
A balk by García moves Pujols to third.
Betts lines out to left field to end the game.
Final score: Giants 8, Dodgers 5 in 10 innings
LaMonte Wade Jr. drives home go-ahead run for Giants
Kenley Jansen is in to pitch the tenth inning for the Dodgers.
Jansen recorded the first out on a flare out to left field.
LaMonte Wade Jr. drove in the sixth run of the night for the Giants on an run-scoring single to right-center field.
Austin Barnes’ pinch-hit, three-run home run ties the game in the ninth
Edwin Uceta secured the first out by getting Donovan Solano to swing through a changeup.
The second out came on a high pop-up to Justin Turner in the middle of the infield.
Uceta gets through the top of the ninth smoothly by striking out Steven Duggar on three straight changeups.
The Dodgers come into the bottom of the ninth down three with only three outs to work with.
Tyler Rogers comes in looking for the close for the Giants.
Max Muncy hits a weak ground ball to first for the first out of the ninth inning.
Turner gets his third hit of the game with a single up the middle.
Smith hits a laser to second that infield replacement Mauricio Dubón can’t handle, but it’s ruled an infield single. This brings the tying run to the plate in Lux with runners on first and second.
Gavin Lux grounded into a fielder’s choice to hold the runners at first and third with two outs.
The tying run is still at the plate in pinch hitter Austin Barnes.
Barnes hits a three-run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Albert Pujols is robbed of a game-winning home run that sends the game into extra innings.
Buster Posey launches three-run home run, gives Giants the lead
Blake Treinen replaced Mitch White on the mound for the Dodgers in the top of the eighth.
Treinen struck out the first batter he faced, then hit LaMonte Wade Jr. with a pitch. Wade then advanced to second on a pass ball before Mike Yastrzemski walked.
Buster Posey then hit a three-run home run to left field to give the Giants a 5-2 lead.
Alex Dickerson flied out to Max Muncy for the second out of the inning.
A double-switch takes place, taking Treinen out of the game. Mookie Betts moved to center, Sheldon Neuse entered the game in right field, and Edwin Uceta relieved Treinen.
Brandon Crawford flied out to Yoshi Tsutsugo in left field to end the Giants’ half of the inning.
Jake McGee comes on to face the Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth.
McGee walks Pujols to begin the inning.
McGee struck out Tsutsugo for the first out.
Neuse flied out to right field for the second out.
Betts popped out to first for the final out.
End of eighth: Giants 5, Dodgers 2
Relievers do their job in the seventh with game tied 2-2
Mitch White relieved Walker Buehler to start the seventh inning.
Donovan Solano grounded out to second for out number one.
White recorded his first strikeout of the night against Jason Vosler.
Steven Duggar struck out swinging.
Zach Littell is on to pitch for the Giants in the bottom half of the inning.
Justin Turner grounded out to Brandon Crawford at shortstop for the first out.
Will Smith walked on four pitches, his third walk of the night.
Gavin Lux grounded into a fielder’s choice. LaMonte Wade Jr. made a diving stop to get the first out in only his third start at first base. The Giants are hampered at the position with injuries to three players.
Chris Taylor grounded out to Crawford to end the inning.
End of seventh: Giants 2, Dodgers 2
Battle on the bump, tied after six innings
Walker Buehler walked LaMonte Wade Jr. for the second time in the night.
Mike Yastrzemski skied out to Mookie Betts in right field for the first out of the sixth.
Buster Posey walked on eight pitches, and Buehler got chipper with home plate umpire Greg Gibson about the last ball call in the at-bat.
Runners on first and second, one out.
Alex Dickerson grounded into a fielder’s choice, leaving runners on first and third with two outs.
Dickerson moved up to second on a high fastball.
With Brandon Crawford batting, Yoshi Tsutsugo makes a leaping grab to save two runs and keep the game tied.
The bottom of the sixth begins with a walk for Tsutsugo.
DJ Peters struck out while pinch hitting.
Betts popped out to Buster Posey for the second out.
Max Muncy sent a deep fly ball to center field, but the sixth ended in a fly out.
End of sixth: Giants 2, Dodgers 2
Chris Taylor’s run-scoring single ties the game in the fifth
The Dodgers are 0-6 with runners in scoring position entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
Max Muncy grounded out to second to begin the Dodgers’ half of the fifth.
Justin Turner singled to left field on a fifth-pitch changeup to get the offense started.
Will Smith walked for the second time of the game, moving Turner to second.
Gavin Lux hit a deep fly ball to the warning track, but it’s tracked down by Steven Duggar. Turner advanced to third with two outs.
Chris Taylor tied the game at 2-2 on a run-scoring single that skips past Brandon Crawford.
Albert Pujols then flied out while pinch hitting for Matt Beaty to end the inning.
End of fifth: Giants 2, Dodgers 2
Steven Duggar’s homer pushes Giants ahead in top of the fifth, 2-1
Donovan Solano popped out to Max Muncy at second to begin the fifth.
Jason Volser then struck out swinging on the sixth pitch of his at-bat.
Steven Duggar lifted a homer into the right field bleachers on a 0-1 curveball to give the Giants a 2-1 the lead.
Anthony DeSclafani grounded out for the third out.
Mookie Betts’ slump continues, strikes out with runners in scoring position
Buster Posey softly pokes a line drive to Max Muncy at second for the first out of the fourth inning.
Walker Buehler earned his second strikeout of the night with a cutter against Alex Dickerson.
The Giants go down 1-2-3 in the inning when Brandon Crawford flies out to left.
Chris Taylor walked on seven pitches to start the bottom of the fourth.
Matt Beaty singled to left for his second hit of the game, moving Taylor to third.
Yoshi Tsutsugo then a hard ground ball to first, allowing LaMonte Wade Jr to get Taylor at the plate. Taylor made an acrobatic slide to avoid the tag, but Posey did everything in his power to make the play.
With runners on first and second with one out, after a fielder’s choice, Buehler moved the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.
With two outs, Betts struck out on a 3-2 fastball to end the inning.
End of fourth: Giants 1, Dodgers 1
Dodgers strand bases loaded in the third
On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Steven Duggar singled to right field for the Giants.
A little small ball: Anthony DeSclafani moved Duggar over to second with a sacrifice bunt.
LaMonte Wade Jr. grounded out to first for the unassisted second out, pushing Duggar to third.
The sacrifice would be for not as Mike Yastrzemski grounded out to Walker Buehler for the final out.
In the bottom half, Buehler struck out on four pitches.
Mookie Betts popped out to Donovan Solano, who snow cones it for the second out of the inning.
Max Muncy worked the count to 3-2 and walked on six pitches.
Justin Turner then lined a base hit up the middle to put runners on first and second with two outs.
On a 3-2 slider, Will Smith drew a walk to load the bases.
DeSclafani had a meeting on the mound before facing Gavin Lux.
No damage done in the second by either team after Lux grounded out to first.
End of third: Giants 1, Dodgers 1
Giants score first with Donovan Solano’s run-scoring sacrifice fly
Alex Dickerson grounded out to for the first out of the inning.
Walker Buehler gave up his first hit of the game to Brandon Crawford, who recorded a double on a 2-1 fastball.
Crawford advanced to third on a passed ball.
The Giants scored first in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly from Donovan Solano.
With two outs and nobody on, Jason Vosler struck out swinging to end the top of the second.
The Dodgers look to continue their hot streak at home against the Giants
Walker Buehler issued a four-pitch walk to start the game, all fastballs — two high and two low, but regardless, the leadoff man, Lamonte Wade Jr. started the night on first.
Mixing up the pitches with a cutter and a curveball, Buehler got back into the strike zone.
On a 1-2 count, Buehler forced a 4-6 fielder’s choice that allows Mike Yastrzemski to reach first.
On a 1-1 count, Buster Posey grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the first. No hits, no runs and no errors for the Giants as the Dodgers come to the plate.
Anthony DeSclafani began the inning with a strike, but Mookie Betts put the ball in play, and the ball deflected off the glove of Brandon Crawford, allowing Betts to reach second base on the error by the shortstop.
Max Muncy is the first out of the inning for the Dodgers with a fly out to Alex Dickerson in left field; Betts didn’t advance on the play.
Justin Turner also flied out to left. Two outs, Betts still on second base.
The final out of the inning is a fly-out to center field by Will Smith, stranding Betts on second.
Nothing doing on either side at the end of one inning of play.
End of first: Giants 0, Dodgers 0
Cody Bellinger to come off injured list, start in center field Saturday
Cody Bellinger was in El Paso, Texas, with the Dodgers’ triple-A affiliate Friday taking pitches from rehabbing reliever Brusdar Graterol. On Saturday, he’ll be in Los Angeles, back in the Dodgers’ lineup for the first time since sustaining a hairline fracture in his left fibula April 5 to face Giants right-hander Logan Webb.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger will come off the injured list to start in center field Saturday and Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Roberts said utilityman Zach McKinstry, on the injured list with an oblique strain, will be activated Saturday or Sunday.
“Obviously it’s not ideal to lose really good players, but everyone is going through it,” Roberts said. “To get them back, it’s kind of like some free-agent acquisitions of trade, but just getting them back to the active roster makes us a lot better.”
Bellinger, 25, broke his fibula on a fluke play when Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan stepped on his left leg as he tried to run out an infield single in the ninth inning of a Dodgers blowout win. The Dodgers initially thought Bellinger would return quickly, but the leg didn’t progress over the next few days. A follow-up exam revealed the fracture for the 2019 National League MVP.
Bellinger began a rehab assignment with tripe-A Oklahoma City on May 21. He played in five games over the next week, four in center field and one at first base. He went 4 for 20 with two home runs, one walk and four strikeouts.
McKinstry, 26, was placed on the injured list April 23 with a right oblique strain after a strong start to the season. The rookie, a 33rd-round pick in 2016, batted .296 with three home runs and an .883 OPS in 17 games before suffering the injury. He joined Bellinger in Oklahoma City for the same period, going 5 for 16 with two doubles, three walks and one strikeout in five games. He started three games in left field, one at second base and one in right field.
Roberts said McKinstry will play left field, right field, second base and third base for the Dodgers.
As for Graterol, Roberts said he threw 15 to 20 pitches, ranging from 94 to 98 mph, to Bellinger and McKinstry on Friday. He’ll continue facing hitters in a controlled setting before beginning a rehab assignment.
Roberts said Jimmy Nelson, out with right forearm inflammation, played catch Friday. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday and a live batting practice session Tuesday. He could then return to the roster next weekend when the Dodgers open a road trip in Atlanta. Nelson was placed on the injured list May 23, retroactive to May 21.
AJ Pollock (hamstring) is slated to begin a four-game rehab assignment with single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday before traveling with the team to Atlanta. The outfielder took batting practice with teammates on the field at Dodger Stadium on Friday. He’s been out since re-straining his left hamstring May 14 in his first start since injuring the hamstring a week earlier.
Dodgers lineup vs. Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani
The Dodgers will get another crack at Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani Friday at Dodger Stadium after pummeling him at Oracle Park on Sunday. They scored 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings off DeSclafani en route to completing a three-game sweep.
Walker Buehler will counter for the Dodgers. Buehler held the Giants to one run over seven innings last Saturday.
The Dodgers won the first game of the four-game weekend series Thursday to improve to 4-0 against the Giants this season.
DODGERS (31-19, +77)
Mookie Betts RF
Max Muncy 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
Gavin Lux SS
Chris Taylor CF
Matt Beaty 1B
Yoshi Tsutsugo LF
Walker Buehler P
GIANTS (30-20, +55)
LaMonte Wade, Jr. 1B
Mike Yastrzemski RF
Buster Posey C
Alex Dickerson LF
Brandon Crawford SS
Donovan Solano 2B
Jason Vosler 3B
Steven Duggar CF
Anthony DeSclafani P
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Giants on Friday
The Dodgers look to defeat the San Francisco Giants for the fifth time in eight days and improve upon MLB’s second-best ERA when the NL West rivals continue their four-game series Friday at Chavez Ravine.
In eight career appearances against the San Francisco Giants, starter Walker Buehler has a 5-0 record and a 2.68 ERA. He hasn’t allowed a home run across his 37 innings against San Francisco.
The Giants will go back to Anthony DeScalfani. He gave up 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on Sunday. DeScalfani had allowed three runs or fewer in every start this season prior to Sunday’s meltdown.
The Dodgers have won nine of their last 10 games and 13 of their last 15, but are just 2-2 on the run line against the Giants, who have MLB’s best run-line record at 32-18.
Since the start of 2020, between regular and postseason games the Dodgers are 17-5 in Buehler’s starts, with four of his last five going over the total.
Max Muncy gets the better of Alex Wood this time to lift Dodgers past Giants
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
The last time Max Muncy faced Alex Wood in Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers infielder walked away with a broken left ring finger, an injury that contributed to a brutal start to 2020 in which Muncy hit .169 with five RBIs in his first 20 games.
Facing each other in an intrasquad game last July, Muncy, struggling to pick up the ball in the new batter’s eye of a renovated stadium, was hit in the hand by a pitch from the former Dodgers left-hander.
The two squared off again Thursday night when Wood took the mound for the Giants in the first of a four-game series between the National League West rivals.
The rematch was a lot more gratifying for Muncy, who crushed a tiebreaking homer to right-center field in the sixth inning to lift the Dodgers to a 4-3 victory over the Giants before a reduced-capacity crowd of 16,343.
Kenley Jansen overpowers Giants to earn save in Dodgers’ 4-3 win
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen put on a power show in the ninth, striking Donovan Solano on a 94-mph cutter before pushing past pinch-hitter Buster Posey with a 96-mph cutter as part of a 1-2-3 inning to preserve a 4-3 win over the Giants.
Max Muncy exchanges words with Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia
The Dodgers went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, but Max Muncy appeared to exchange words with Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia after striking out. Whatever was said was relatively brief and the reaction from the dugouts appeared to be muted. Muncy’s bat flip on his solo home run in the sixth probably irked the Giants.
Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen frustrated the Giants in the eighth, throwing a couple mind-blowing air-benders to strike out Mike Tauchman and Steve Duggar before Mike Yastrzemski flied out to deep right. Kenley Jansen likely will pitch the ninth for the Dodgers.
End of eighth: Dodgers 4, Giants 3
Dodgers hold on to 4-3 lead heading into the eighth inning
Nate Jones relieved Victor González, who struck out Brandon Crawford to start the inning. Jones got Curt Casali and Jason Vosler to pop out to send the game into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Dodgers went down in order in the bottom half against Giants reliever Zack Littell.
End of seventh: Dodgers 4, Giants 3
Dodgers re-take lead on Max Muncy’s solo home run
Max Muncy hit a towering home run to right field off Giants pitcher Alex Wood to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning.
Muncy’s 420-foot blast, his 11th of the season, was a sure-thing off the bat, which Muncy ceremoniously flipped aside as soon as he cracked his moon-shot.
It was Muncy’s third home run in the last five games.
End of sixth: Dodgers 4, Giants 3
Donovan Solano hits two run-home run to tie game
Donovan Solano hit a two-run home run into the left-field corner off Dodgers reliever Victor González to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth inning.
Solano drove in Mike Yastzemski, who reached base on a bunt single off González, who relieved Joe Kelly after the first out of the inning.
It was the first home run González allowed in 36 major-league appearances. It was also Solano’s first home run of the season.
DJ Peters hits his first major league home run to give Dodgers 3-1 lead
DJ Peters hit his first major league home run, a solo shot to left field off Giants starter Alex Wood, to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Peters managed to get the barrel of the bat underneath the pitch, for a 110-mph blast into the pavilion.
Wood hit Mookie Betts with a pitch two batters later before striking out Justin Turner and getting Chris Taylor to line out and end the inning.
Joe Kelly was in command in the top half, retiring the Giants on 11 pitches. He struck out Wood with a 99-mph fastball for the third out.
End of fifth: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Evan Longoria homers to cut into the Dodgers’ lead
Giants veteran Evan Longoria hit a solo home run off Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly to make it 2-1 Dodgers in the fourth inning.
Longoria crushed the hanging 86-mph breaking ball, sending it into the left-field pavilion 397 feet away. It was only Kelly’s second pitch after he relieved Alex Vesia. Kelly will remain on the mound in the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, Austin Barnes hit a two-out single before getting forced out a second on a grounder to short hit by Sheldon Neuse.
End of fourth: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
Dodgers take 2-0 lead over Giants on Justin Turner’s home run
Justin Turner hit a two-run home run off Giants starter Alex Wood to break the scoreless game in the third inning.
One at-bat earlier, Mookie Betts hit a two-out triple on a deep hit to straightaway that hit wall in center field in front of Austin Slater. Turner’s home run, his ninth of the season, also was to center field.
David Price opened the inning by recording his 2,000th career strike out, getting Curt Casali to miss on a 95-mph sinker.
After Jason Vosler grounded out, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts relieved Price in favor of Alex Vesia, who immediately ran into problems. The rookie reliever walked pitcher Alex Wood and then gave away a base to Austin Slater on four straight balls. After a call to the bullpen and visit by pitching coach Mark Prior, Vesia settled down as struck out Mike Yastrzemski to get out of the jam.
Price was perfect over 2 2/3 innings, striking out five.
End of third: Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Albert Pujols shows off some wheels against the Giants
As surprising as it is to see Albert Pujols in a Dodgers uniform this season, his double against the Giants in the second inning was nearly as shocking.
After ricocheting a drive off Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford that diverted the ball into left field, Pujols rounded first and turned on his wide-stride afterburners, barely beating Alex Dickerson’s throw for a sliding double.
Pujols’ big run drew plenty of smiles and reaction from the Dodgers dugout, particularly from Justin Turner, who seemingly was equal parts amused and amazed by the spectacle. Pujols would go no further, however, after Alex Wood struck out Austin Barnes and Sheldon Neuse to end the inning.
David Price is looking sharp in what will be an abbreviated start for the left-hander. He has retired the first six batters he’s faced, striking out Alex Dickerson and Brandon Crawford in the second inning to give him four strikeouts so far.
End of second: Giants 0, Dodgers 0
David Price retires the Giants in order in the first inning
David Price, getting the start in a bullpen game for the Dodgers, struck out Austin Slater to start the game before striking out Donovan Solano in the 1-2-3 inning. Can Price give the Dodgers two to three solid innings for the Dodgers tonight?
The Dodgers also went down in order, with former Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood striking out Chris Taylor to end the inning.
End of first: Giants 0, Dodgers 0
Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry resume rehab stints for Oklahoma City
Cody Bellinger and utility man Zach McKinstry both resumed their rehabilitation stints for triple-A Oklahoma City Thursday night, Bellinger starting in center field and batting second and McKinstry playing left field and batting third at El Paso.
Manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger, out since April 6 because of a hairline fracture of his left fibula, is on track to join the Dodgers on Saturday, and McKinstry, out since April 22 because of a right-oblique strain, could return Sunday.
Right-hander Tony Gonsolin, sidelined all season because of shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw four innings and about 60 pitches for Oklahoma City on Friday. Next week, he’ll throw five innings or 75 pitches in a final rehab start before joining the Dodgers’ rotation.
After a Cardinals pitcher had to change his cap because it was sticky, Dave Roberts discusses the widespread use of substances that enhance grip.
Reliever Brusdar Graterol, out since April 29 because of right-forearm tightness, joined Oklahoma City for a rehab stint on Thursday.
AJ Pollock, out since May 15 because of a left-hamstring strain, ran the bases at about 90% and did some drills in the outfield on Thursday, Roberts calling the work “a step in the right direction.”
The team is expected to decide in the next few days whether Pollock needs a minor-league rehab stint of three or four games or some live at-bats in Arizona before being activated.
Reliever Blake Treinen would prefer a more ‘old-school’ style of play
Blake Treinen didn’t mean to open up a can of worms when, in response to a simple question about how winning the World Series last October has changed his perspective, the Dodgers reliever said, “There’s a lot I still love about the game, and there are things I’m scratching my head about.”
When the natural follow-up question came, asking what about the game has the 32-year-old right-hander still scratching his head about at this stage of his career, that can was pried open even more.
“Oh man, you’re trying to get me in trouble,” Treinen said with a chuckle before Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants in Dodger Stadium. “I’ll put it this way: I’m all for a lot of the flair and stuff, people are gonna be who they gotta be, and it’s what has been embraced. I just miss old-school baseball, man, when baseball was like a pure sport.
“I love the game, the energy is great, and there are a lot of young, talented, energetic players. But I’m one for nostalgia. I like the old-school, almost ghost-like figures, the iconic players who kind of went about their business and it was almost like you couldn’t believe you were in their presence and watching them play when you came to the ballpark.”
After a Cardinals pitcher had to change his cap because it was sticky, Dave Roberts discusses the widespread use of substances that enhance grip.
Treinen, who entered Thursday night’s game with a 1-1 record, 1.89 ERA and two saves in 20 games, striking out 22 and walking five in 19 innings, didn’t name names.
But it was clear that he would prefer today’s players emulate stars of yore like Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams, who rarely showed much emotion on the field or showed up opponents, and cut back on the bat flips and over-the-top celebrations that are so prevalent today.
“A lot of it is social media — we get to create our own platform, and we have a guy on our team who does it phenomenally,” Treinen said, alluding to Trevor Bauer. “And there’s so much talent in our division.
“To be honest, it’s like a two-edge sword because I do enjoy watching all the energy and some of the flair in the game, but if I had a preference, I just miss old-school baseball.”
Old-school as when he first reached the big leagues in 2014 or as in black-and-white vintage clips from the last century?
“I don’t know if I was truly privileged to play old-school baseball — it was finding its way out my first year or two in the big leagues, and that’s OK,” Treinen said. “Things change, life goes on, and we’re still very blessed. There’s a lot to hold onto here.
“But when you have changes across the board from leadership, then there’s new talent, a new generation of players, it’s gonna happen, and that’s fine. It is what it is. There’s still a lot of fun and excitement to be had in the game right now.”
David Price to start ‘bullpen game’ for Dodgers vs. Giants
Veteran left-hander David Price will get another start on Thursday night, as the Dodgers employ a “bullpen game” against the San Francisco Giants in Chavez Ravine. Alex Wood, the former Dodgers left-hander who helped the team win the World Series last October, will start for the Giants.
Price started the last bullpen game, pitching two scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over Arizona on May 20. Jimmy Nelson, Alex Vesia, Joe Kelly, Victor González, Blake Treinen and closer Kenley Jansen also pitched in that game.
The Dodgers, who had their eight-game win streak snapped in Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Houston Astros, swept a three-game series in San Francisco last weekend, outscoring the Giants 26-10.
Los Angeles Times assistant sports editor Steve Henson shares inside info from his side hustle as an umpire at high school baseball games.
San Francisco is coming off a two-game sweep in Arizona, where Austin Slater hit a game-tying two-run homer that traveled 460 feet and Jason Vosler hit his first big-league homer in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s 5-4 win.
DODGERS LINEUP: RF Mookie Betts, 3B Justin Turner, SS Chris Taylor, 2B Max Muncy, 1B Albert Pujols, C Austin Barnes, LF Sheldon Neuse, CF DJ Peter, LHP David Price.
GIANTS LINEUP: CF Austin Slater, RF Mike Yastrzemski, 2B Donovan Solano, LF Alex Dickerson, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Brandon Crawford, C Curt Casli, 1B Jason Vosler, LHP Alex Wood.
Trevor Bauer wants to push the envelope when it comes to pitch counts
Trevor Bauer prides himself on being a workhorse, a pitcher who goes deep into games and is so old-school he would prefer to start every four days instead of five, so it should come as no surprise that the right-hander is determined to push pitch limits of what the Dodgers might be comfortable with.
Bauer threw 126 pitches, more than any starter in the big leagues this season, in last Friday’s game at San Francisco and another 37 pitches in the first inning Wednesday night, the start of a six-inning, two-run, four-hit, 100-pitch effort in a 5-2 loss at Houston.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thought it prudent to pull Bauer with a 2-1 deficit to the Astros, even though Bauer needed only 63 pitches to navigate the final five innings. Bauer thought he could continue.
“I felt I could have gone out for the seventh, honestly,” Bauer said. “I felt great. I think after the first inning, if you just watched the quality of the innings, the pitches, the stuff, it was really good, and 100 pitches is just an arbitrary number.
“I’ll pitch deep into the game as long as I’m allowed to. I would have liked to have gone seven or eight or nine or just kept pitching. I felt good. Obviously, that’s not my decision to make.”
Roberts said he “absolutely” thought Bauer could have kept going, but with the Dodgers trailing by a run and the team employing a four-man rotation since May 1, when Dustin May suffered a season-ending elbow injury, he preferred Bauer save some bullets for his next start.
After a Cardinals pitcher had to change his cap because it was sticky, Dave Roberts discusses the widespread use of substances that enhance grip.
“I just don’t think it makes sense all of the time to push any of our starters,” Roberts said after reliever Nate Jones gave up three runs in the seventh inning of the loss in Minute Maid Park. “Could he have [continued] or can other guys at different times in different games? Absolutely.
“That part of the lineup, I just felt he gave us what he needed to give us tonight. He’s gonna be on regular rest on Monday [against St. Louis], and it just didn’t work out, but as far as Trevor, I had no question he could have kept going.”
Bauer didn’t make any drastic changes to his between-starts routine after his 126-pitch effort. He thought he recovered well and said he felt “normal or slightly better than normal” Wednesday night.
“I know everyone is crazy about this pitch count, like, ‘Oh, 126 is a lot,’ but like I told you guys last time, I didn’t empty the tank, I wasn’t done,” Bauer said. “I felt fine tonight.
“I just got in a little funk in the first inning where I was a little off mechanically and locked it in from there. We can talk about pitch count all we want, but it’s a non-factor for me.”
Does Bauer feel like he has to prove to his new bosses that he can go deeper into games consistently, perhaps even deeper than conventional wisdom might dictate?
“I don’t think I have to prove anything to anyone — that’s not what I’m here to do,” Bauer said. “I’m here to win baseball games. I’m not the manager, I’m not the pitching coach. I don’t make those decisions. My job is to go out there and pitch as long as they’ll let me.
“As long as I communicate to them how I’m feeling, if I feel done, if I feel good, if I’m hurting a little bit … I try to do as good a job as I can to communicate that, but at the end of the day, that’s not my decision. I’m here to do what they ask of me and pitch when they ask me to pitch and stop when they tell me to stop.”
Baseball’s latest dirty secret is a sticky subject for some pitchers
After St. Louis Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos was ordered to change his cap Wednesday because umpires disapproved of the sunscreen on the bill, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt broached the taboo topic of pitchers’ widespread use of foreign substances in defense of his player.
“This is baseball’s dirty little secret,” Shildt told reporters, “and it’s the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it.”
It’s common knowledge around the majors: More pitchers than ever are using “sticky stuff” to doctor baseballs to increase spin rate, a property that front offices have increasingly prioritized when evaluating performance. A better spin rate usually improves a pitch’s movement, increasing the chances of a hitter swinging and missing. Strikeouts are the preferred outcome in 2021. Pitchers are rewarded — with service time and money — when they miss bats.
This week, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed he has seen an increase of foreign substances to manipulate pitch movement in recent years.
Los Angeles Times assistant sports editor Steve Henson shares inside info from his side hustle as an umpire at high school baseball games.
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Giants on Thursday
The Dodgers start a four-game series with the San Francisco Giants at 7:10 p.m. PDT Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Both teams are 30-19 and both trail the San Diego Padres by 1.5 games in the NL West.
The Dodgers hadn’t announced a starting pitcher as of 10:45 a.m. PDT Thursday. They reportedly will go with a bullpen approach, but Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Dodgers as favorites between -123 and -133.
The Giants are starting former Dodger Alex Wood (5-1, 1.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP). He faced the Dodgers last Friday in San Francisco and gave up two runs in six innings, but he suffered his first loss of the season as the Dodgers prevailed 2-1. Of course, that was with Trevor Bauer shutting down the Giants’ offense and striking out 11.
Of course, it’ll be a tougher task for the Dodgers’ bullpen, which has a combined 3.38 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this season. The Dodgers have used three “bullpen games” this season and haven’t allowed more than three runs in any of them, though they’re 1-2. The good news is L.A. only needed two relievers each game of its two-game split in Houston and have six relievers with at least three days rest.
The Over/Under is set at eight runs with oddsmakers shading to the Under at -120 instead of the standard -110.
The Dodgers are -200 to win the series (must win three of four as a 2-2 split is a push and refund).
ICYMI: Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer has no choice but to praise Astros hitters after rough outing
Maybe Carlos Correa was trying to lower the temperature on the back-and-forth rhetoric between pitcher Trevor Bauer and the Houston Astros, or maybe the star shortstop just has a good poker face.
Whatever the case, Correa claimed he got no extra satisfaction from Houston’s 5-2 victory over Bauer and the Dodgers on Wednesday night, or from hitting a sixth-inning tie-breaking home run off Bauer into the left-field seats at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
“It’s just another win,” Correa said. “A lot of people have said a lot, and that doesn’t mean we go out there every single day and try to win because of what they said. It doesn’t mean much to us. We just try to go out there and win games, day in and day out.”
Los Angeles Times assistant sports editor Steve Henson shares inside info from his side hustle as an umpire at high school baseball games.
Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner who signed a three-year, $102-million deal with the Dodgers in February, entered Wednesday’s game with an 8-0 record and 2.90 ERA in nine career starts against Houston, and he’s gone to great lengths in an effort to “own” the Astros on social media, too.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers vs. the San Francisco Giants
Here’s how to watch this week’s two-game series between the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants:
How to stream
Spectrum SportsNet LA is available with a subscription to AT&T TV “Choice Plan” ($84.99 / mo.). You can stream the game on your Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and your browser.
Fans outside of the Los Angeles market can stream the games using MLB.TV.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast by Fox.
How to watch on TV
Spectrum SportsNet LA and SportsNet LA Desportes are carrying the games on cable and satellite providers.
How to listen
In Los Angeles, the games can be heard on 570 AM or 1020 AM (Español).