Dodgers’ extra-inning woes continue with 6-5 loss to lowly Diamondbacks
This wasn’t so much a baseball game as it was a 4-hour 33-minute slog that didn’t really deserve to go extra innings but somehow found its way to that place where Dodgers’ hopes go to die.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a soft, one-out single to left to score the free runner, Daulton Varsho, from second base in the 10th inning Friday night to give the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks a 6-5 victory before 20,780 in Chase Field, dropping one of the best teams in baseball to 1-11 in extra innings.
“I don’t know,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked if there was anything they could do differently in extra innings. “You still have to play the game. You still have to execute when you have opportunities on the offensive side, and on the defensive side, you have to make pitches.
“Whether there’s a man on second base or not, it’s the same for both clubs, but we clearly haven’t played well in extra innings.”
The Dodgers went three for 16 with runners in scoring position, and though they scored twice in the sixth and seventh innings and once in the eighth to forge a 5-5 tie, they missed several opportunities to tack on runs against a team with baseball’s worst record.
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After being blanked on one hit by Arizona starter Zac Gallen for five innings, Chris Taylor led off the sixth with his 17th homer, a 407-foot drive to left that cut the deficit to 3-1 and ignited the mostly pro-Dodgers crowd.
Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Corey Seager, in his first game back after a 10-week stint on the injured list, followed with singles to load the bases with no outs. Will Smith struck out on a check-swing curve in the dirt, AJ Pollock hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to make it 3-2, and Cody Bellinger flied to left to end the inning.
The Dodgers scored twice in the seventh to pull to within 5-4 when Billy McKinney and pinch-hitter Matt Beaty opened with singles and Taylor crushed a two-run triple to right-center off right-hander Jake Faria.
Needing a ground ball or sacrifice fly to tie the score, Muncy struck out on a slider from left-hander Miguel Aguilar, Turner popped out to first and Seager, who had two hits in five at-bats, grounded out to second to end the inning.
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in Phoenix.
“You fight back, you claw back, you put yourself in a position to take the lead, tie the game, and situationally, we didn’t execute,” Roberts said. “It’s not from lack of effort, but it’s not a try game. We have to be better.”
Even when the Dodgers did come through with a clutch hit, they fell short on luck. Trailing 5-4 in the eighth, Smith walked and Pollock singled to center. Bellinger flied to left and McKinney grounded to first, the runners advancing.
Albert Pujols lined a pinch-hit, two-out single to center to score Smith for a 5-5 tie, but Pollock had to jump back toward second to avoid getting hit by the ball, a delay that forced him to stop at third. Pujols stole second with no throw, but Taylor grounded out to second to end the inning.
“AJ takes his secondary [lead], it’s right at him to the shortstop side, and he has to pull up to let the ball go by so it doesn’t hit him,” Roberts said. “At that point in time, Varsho charges hard [from center], he has a good arm, and there’s nothing AJ or Dino [Ebel, third-base coach] could do. It’s baseball.”
Closer Kenley Jansen, who hadn’t pitched since last Saturday, got himself into — and out of — a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the eighth by striking out Christian Walker with a 95-mph cut fastball and Carson Kelly with a full-count, 93-mph cutter to preserve the tie.
The Dodgers threatened in the ninth when Turner was hit by a pitch with one out and took third on Seager’s single to right. But Arizona reliever Tyler Clippard got Smith to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Dodgers right-hander Blake Treinen threw a scoreless ninth to send the game into extra innings, and the Dodgers went down in order in the 10th.
The Dodgers were planning on a “bullpen game” for Saturday after scheduled starter Josiah Gray was sent to the Washington Nationals in the trade that brought pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Dodgers on Friday.
They got an unplanned bullpen game Friday night after starter Tony Gonsolin retired only five of the 11 batters he faced and failed to complete the second inning.
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Gonsolin walked one batter in a scoreless first inning and three of four batters to open the second before Josh VanMeter lined a two-out, two-run double into the right-field corner for a 2-0 Arizona lead.
When Gonsolin walked Cabrera to put two on, Roberts pulled him in favor of Phil Bickford, starting a conga line of eight relievers. The Dodgers will have to make a roster move or two to add some fresh arms for the weekend.
Gonsolin, who missed the first two months of the season because of shoulder problems, threw 55 pitches, only 24 for strikes. His average fastball velocity of 93.3 mph was down from 95.1 last season.
“He just wasn’t as sharp with his stuff,” Roberts said. “He didn’t have a feel for the changeup. The fastball command wasn’t there. With Will behind the plate, it’s hard to figure out which fingers to put down if the pitcher can’t command the baseball and doesn’t have a feel for his mix.”
Asked if his shoulder is still a problem, Gonsolin said, “It has its days where it doesn’t feel great, but for the most part, it feels good on game day.”
Is that a factor in his struggles?
“I’m not gonna take it out of the mix,” he said, “but it’s no excuse to not throw strikes.”
Is Roberts convinced Gonsolin is healthy?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll talk to the training staff. We never want to put any player in harm’s way, and if it’s something that’s going to potentially hurt him further, we’ll have that discussion.
“But everything I’ve heard from him and from the staff is he’s definitely healthy enough to pitch and is not putting himself in harm’s way.”
The Dodgers claimed catcher Chad Wallach, a former Cal State Fullerton standout who is the son of former Dodgers third baseman and coach Tim Wallach, off waivers from the Miami Marlins on Friday. Wallach, 29, was designated for assignment on July 24 after hitting .200 (12 for 60) with six RBIs in 22 games. … Reliever Corey Knebel (right-lat strain) made his second rehab appearance for triple-A Oklahoma City Thursday night, retiring three of the four batters he faced with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning.
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