Dustin May exits with arm injury, then Dodgers fall to Brewers in 11 innings
Dustin May turned his back toward home plate and winced in pain after his 27th pitch of the game Saturday night, a 94-mph fastball that the Dodgers can only hope isn’t the 23-year-old flame thrower’s final pitch of the season.
May immediately summoned manager Dave Roberts and athletic trainer Yosuke Nakajima to the mound in the second inning of a crushing 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, who erased a two-run deficit with three 11th-inning runs for the walk-off win in American Family Field.
After a brief discussion, May headed for the clubhouse, his injury adding to the sting of a grueling loss in a 4-hour, 48-minute game in which the Dodgers emptied both their bullpen and bench.
“He said he felt a shooting sensation through his arm on one of those curves he threw in the [Billy] McKinney at-bat,” Roberts said. “We’re gonna get an MRI when we get to Chicago [on Monday]. We remain hopeful, but we won’t know until we get the MRI.”
May has not had a serious arm injury in his six-year professional career.
Asked whether he feared this could be serious, Roberts said, “Yeah, I think so. Any time a pitcher comes out of a game and starts talking about the elbow, you’re concerned.”
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 6-5, 11-inning loss to the host Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
The Dodgers weathered May’s injury and took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 11th when Will Smith capped an eight-pitch at-bat with his first career triple, a shot into the right-field corner to score two runs.
Mookie Betts was walked intentionally and thrown out attempting to steal, Roberts confirming Betts was “running on his own,” and Corey Seager struck out, the Dodgers’ inability to tack on costing them.
Dodgers left-hander Alex Vesia walked Luke Maile and Mario Feliciano to load the bases in the bottom of the 11th. Mitch White, the 10th Dodgers pitcher of game, got Kolten Wong to hit a sacrifice fly, trimming the deficit to 5-4, and struck out Keston Hiura.
But Avisail Garcia grounded an RBI single to left for a 5-5 tie, and Travis Shaw, who hit a 443-foot solo homer in the third, lined an RBI single to right, sending the Dodgers to their 10th loss in 13 games. They are 16-12 after a 13-2 start.
“Yeah, obviously a little frustration,” Betts said. “We understand it’s a long season. We can get it back rolling, but we can’t keep wasting time. You gotta be there for each and every game, and we haven’t been lately.”
The Dodgers went three for 14 with runners in scoring position and are hitting .202 (22 for 109) in those situations in the last 14 games. They had runners on first and third with one out in the fifth Saturday and didn’t score.
“We’ve got to do better with some situational hitting,” said Betts, who crushed Brandon Woodruff’s first pitch of the game for a homer. “Building innings, stringing hits together. A couple of times tonight, we could have broken it open, but we didn’t.”
May looked unhittable early, striking out three of his first five batters before Luis Urias lined a 97-mph fastball over the wall in left field for a solo homer in the second, pulling the Brewers even 1-1.
But on his seventh pitch in the ensuing at-bat by McKinney, a 2-and-2 four-seam fastball that was well below his 98.4-mph average, May added to the growing list of injured Dodgers and unexpectedly forced the team into its second bullpen game in two days.
Jimmy Nelson, Scott Alexander, Dennis Santana, Victor Gonzalez, Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen each threw scoreless innings to keep the Dodgers even through nine innings, and Justin Turner’s run-scoring single in the top of the 10th off Drew Rasmussen gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
Max Muncy was walked intentionally to load the bases, and with the Dodgers out of position players, pitcher Clayton Kershaw was sent up to pinch-hit in extra innings for the second time this week. Kershaw struck out and AJ Pollock grounded out to end the inning.
Vesia, making his Dodgers debut after being recalled Saturday, gave up Urias’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th but struck out McKinney to escape further damage.
The Dodgers on Friday doubled the size of their fully vaccinated fan section, adding the option for every game of the team’s next homestand.
Austin Barnes walked with one out in the top of the 11th before Smith, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, hit his two-run triple to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead.
The Brewers summoned left-hander Angel Perdomo, who fell behind Betts and then walked him intentionally to put runners on first and third with one out. An insurance run would have been huge, but Betts was thrown out attempting to steal, and Seager struck out.
“He was going on his own,” Roberts said. “He just didn’t get a great jump.”
What did Roberts think of Betts’ decision?
“He’s got a great feel for the game and if he’s safe, there’s nothing said about it,” he said. “He has a very good feel for the game.”
What motivated Betts to try to swipe second?
“It seemed like a tougher matchup for Seager right there so I just tried to get to second to stay out of a double play,” Betts said. “They made a good play and a good throw and good tag, so in hindsight, obviously, I would probably stay at first.”
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