Dodgers fall to Angels in 10 as their extra-inning struggles continue
It took two pitches for the Dodgers’ extra-inning struggles to resurface Friday.
After failing to protect an early two-run lead, then squandering chances to go back in front later in the game, the Dodgers found themselves deadlocked with the Angels after nine innings in the opener of this weekend’s Freeway Series.
In the first at-bat of the 10th, they fell behind for the first time all night.
Angels shortstop José Iglesias lined a leadoff RBI double to score the automatic baserunner in the extra inning. Third baseman Jack Mayfield tacked on an insurance run three at-bats later on a pop-up single that squirted out of Max Muncy’s glove in shallow right field.
Angels closer Raisel Iglesias ended it in the bottom of the frame, securing the Angels’ 4-3 win by stranding the potential tying and go-ahead runners on base after the Dodgers had gotten back within one.
The Dodgers are 65-45 overall but dropped to 1-12 in extra-inning games. On Friday, they stranded 11 runners and went 2-for-12 with men in scoring position. They also failed to take advantage of the San Francisco Giants’ loss earlier in the night — also in extra innings to the Milwaukee Brewers — and instead stayed four games behind the Giants in the National League West standings.
“We know we’re a very good team,” Dodgers starter David Price said. “We just need to play better in extra innings.”
Price was cruising early on Friday. The left-hander retired nine in a row to begin the game. He faced the minimum again in the fourth after Angels second baseman David Fletcher hit a ground-rule double but was later caught trying to attempt a delayed steal from second.
Price contributed at the plate too, drilling a two-out base hit in the bottom of the fourth to set up Mookie Betts for an RBI single in the next at-bat that made it 2-0.
Betts later left the game with right hip discomfort, a flare-up of a previous injury that manager Dave Roberts said the club will have to continue to try to manage moving forward.
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was first placed on administrative leave on July 2 after a woman accused him of sexual assault.
The Dodgers were already ahead by then thanks to a first-inning RBI grounder from Albert Pujols, who was playing his first game against the Angels since being released by the club in May.
During pregame batting practice, Angels players and staff walked over to Pujols one by one, greeting their former teammate with hugs and smiles behind home plate at his new home field.
Pujols shared a laugh with catching coach José Molina. Two-way star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara came over to say hello. Even general manager Perry Minasian was embraced by the 41-year-old slugger.
Three months earlier, Minasian and Pujols had met under more ominous circumstances in Anaheim, when the Angels’ first-year GM informed Pujols he was being released in the final season of a 10-year, $240 million contract.
But if any hurt feelings remained, neither showed it Friday.
Instead, the night’s most emotional moments came down the stretch.
The Angels tied the game at 2-2 with solo home runs in the fifth inning by José Iglesias, his eighth of the season, and Mayfield, his seventh in 20 games since the All-Star break.
Mayfield’s blast marked the end of Price’s night, with reliever Phil Bickford getting the final two outs in the inning.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval, meanwhile, grinded through five innings of his own, giving up two runs with four strikeouts — including a crucial punchout in his final at-bat to strand a runner at third.
“I think people are quick to look at how the game finished, but if you look at that game, we had scoring opportunities and situational opportunities that we came up short on,” Roberts said, bemoaning his team’s many missed chances to pull away before the end.
“When you can tack on a run here and there, it changes the complexion of the game. For me, that’s the story. … You’re not always gonna slug. So at times, you have to manufacture runs.”
Fernando Valenzuela made two starts with the Angels in 1991. And while he didn’t pitch well, he proved to himself he still belonged in the majors.
Even against the Angels bullpen, however, the Dodgers struggled to do so.
José Quijada tossed a scoreless sixth for the Angels. Sam Selman got the first two outs in the seventh. Then rookie Austin Warren pitched 2 ⅓ innings between the seventh and ninth — twice stranding runners to keep the game tied.
“Warren was a difference-maker in this game,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “What he did tonight really stood out to all of us.”
For the Dodgers, Joe Kelly and Blake Treinen kept the Angels quiet in the seventh and eighth before Kenley Jansen spun a perfect ninth.
In the 10th, however, Garrett Cleavinger gave up the double to Iglesias. Muncy couldn’t make his over-the-shoulder catch on Mayfield’s pop-up. And the Dodgers couldn’t come all the way back in the bottom half of the inning, getting only one run on a sacrifice fly from Corey Seager that died at the warning track.
“Very proud of our guys tonight,” said Maddon, whose club remains six games back in the American League wild-card race, clinging to slim playoff hopes with key players still on the injured list. “I just want to keep this effort level, and this grit and intensity that we’re showing right now.”
Mookie Betts exits with hip issue
Betts left the game after the sixth with what the team said was right hip discomfort.
Betts’ right hip has given him issues throughout the season, including a recent stint to the injured list from which he only returned last weekend.
Betts had two hits in his first three at-bats Friday before being double-switched out of the game to begin the seventh.
It had been the continuation of a strong week for the 28-year-old former MVP, who was seven-for-17 with three home runs since returning from the IL.
- Manager Joe Maddon said it’s “not impossible” for first baseman Jared Walsh (right intercostal strain) to return from the injured list this weekend. Walsh has been out since July 27 but has been able to begin taking swings again and do agility drills on the field.
- The Angels recalled reliever Andrew Wantz on Friday and placed Steve Cishek on the bereavement list.
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