The Dodgers went through a double Tuesday of two eerily similar games with drastically different results.
The opener lasted more than three hours from noon, and the Dodgers eventually went from flat to focused, exploding for five runs in the eighth inning to edge the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 at Dodger Stadium.
More than three hours passed before the start of Game 2, and again the Dodgers fell behind early, giving up their third unearned run of the day in the second inning and two more in the sixth, giving them a record four errors in the match. – and six in the double title.
Max Muncy hit a two-run home run in the sixth but Ketel Marte answered with a solo shot in the seventh, keeping the Diamondbacks ahead by two runs. Muncy came in eighth and burned a line drive with two outs and a runner, but right fielder Jordan Luplow signaled it. The Diamondbacks turned on a run in the ninth win 5-2.
More from the mirror: The Dodgers had 12 singles and a home run from Austin Barnes in Game 1, and seven singles and a home run from Muncy in Game 2.
In both games, the Dodgers reached base frequently but scored sparingly. In game two, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman singled in the first inning. Cody Bellinger scored a single and Trea Turner walked in the third. Will Smith and Justin Turner singled in the fourth. All were blocked.
“We didn’t play baseball well,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s hard to win when you give up strikeouts and goals.”
Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson continued to push for inclusion in the playoff rotation, giving up three unearned runs and two hits in six innings while striking out five and lowering his ERA to 2. 52.
“He had a good year,” Roberts said of Anderson, who is 15-4 and an NL All-Star. “Whatever his role [in the postseason]it’s going to be important.
Anderson, however, must have possessed a base-loaded, non-outing jam in the sixth. He hit a batter, dropped a covering pitch first on a groundout to Freddie Freeman and hit another batter. Then the Dodgers defense, wobbly all day, got worse.
Carson Kelly hit a sacrificial fly to Mookie Betts, which saw Jake McCarthy drop to third. Betts’ throw passed Muncy, allowing McCarthy to score. Anderson supported play but his home throw was errant, allowing Christian Walker to advance to third.
The countdown ? Three errors in the inning – two by Anderson – and the Diamondbacks led 3-0.
“I felt good [pitching] but I became a one-man Bad News Bears for a run,” Anderson said.
Game 1 brought similar frustration for the Dodgers until the eighth inning. An RBI single from rookie Miguel Vargas to the glove of Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas capped the rally with five runs. It was the second hit of the inning for Vargas, who started the inning with a sharp single that was followed by Barnes’ homer to cut the lead to 5-3.
“It’s a big moment for him,” Justin Turner said of Vargas. “It’s not easy to go from playing every day in the minors to coming up and adapting to a role, maybe playing once or twice a week.”
The Dodgers planned to have rookies Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot pitch all of Game 1 to rest veteran relievers, but with the tables turned to ninth, Roberts opted for right-hander Chris Martin, who pulled the Diamondbacks out to score. his second except since joining the Dodgers at the trade deadline.
“We came out flat, so it was good to see life in the later innings,” said Barnes, who hit two singles in addition to hitting the home run that went 394 feet.
Roberts took issue with the characterization, saying flatly, “I don’t think we were flat. We eliminated bats early and increased the number of pitches. They gave us extra outs in the eighth after we had done everything earlier to give them the game.
Grove struck out seven in five innings but allowed nine hits, including two solo home runs. Making his fifth major league appearance and fourth start, he relied on effective curveball.
“He’s got a really good curve,” Barnes said. “He fights, he competes there.”
Grove’s four-seam fastball, however, caused no swings or misses. He fell victim to errors by Freeman and Vargas that led to unearned runs, and the Dodgers trailed 5-1 when Pepiot took the mound to start the sixth inning.
Pepiot shook off a wobbly start to record three scoreless innings. With two goals and one out in the sixth, he was late to cover the first on a ground ball by the fast McCarthy to Freeman, who first turned to throw at the second, thought and turned to throw at Pepiot covering the bag.
Referee Adam Beck called McCarthy to safety but the replay showed he was out. Pepiot settled in, knocking out Christian Walker to finish the sixth, then pulling the Diamondbacks down in order in the seventh and eighth.
Vargas made two bad pitches, including one immediately after making an exceptional reception in the fifth inning. Marte followed Walker’s 35th home run with a sharp, slashing shot to left field that Vargas caught by twisting his body to his right after opening his left shoulder as the ball was kicked.
Ten hours after the first pitch of the opener, the Dodgers had a split to show, their still-seeming record of 103-45 with 14 remaining in the regular season.