Max Scherzer Outduels Zack Greinke as Tigers Sweep Dodgers


The lone run for the Dodgers on Wednesday morning in Detroit was off a Miguel Rojas solo homerun in the fifth inning. Max Scherzer and the Detroit bullpen shut down the Dodgers while only allowing four hits to Los Angeles as they completed the two-game sweep. The Dodgers were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, and they left four men on base. A costly base running mistake by Yasiel Puig in the first ended a potential scoring opportunity which was rare to come by for the Dodgers off the excellent Detroit pitching, and he grounded into an inning ending double play in the third. Even so, Puig had 2 of the Dodgers’ 4 hits in the game including a double and a triple.

Zack Greinke pitched well, but he did have a shaky two-run first inning which ultimately allowed Scherzer to edge him out for the win. Greinke allowed a third run in the fourth on three consecutive singles by Detroit. The Tigers scored a fourth time in the eighth off Brandon League after Austin Jackson led off with a ground-rule double, Adrian Gonzalez made a mistake trying to get the lead runner at third and ended up with no outs, and a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp‘s pal Torii Hunter brought in the run.

Like Game 1’s gruesome defeat, the Dodgers couldn’t muster any late inning runs against Detroit’s pitching, and the rest is history. Detroit, who has one less win than the Dodgers, really dominated this short series. The Dodgers have now won 1 of 4 games against the Tigers this year. I was hoping for a split, but after Tuesday’s debacle my hopes weaned. The Dodgers sit at 1/2 game ahead of the Giants in the standings, but with a Giant win against the A’s tonight, the Dodgers could be pushed back into second place.

Dodgers 1 4 0

Tigers 4 8 0

WP- Scherzer (11-3)

LP- Greinke (11-5)

S- Nathan (18)

HR- Rojas (1)

With one out in the top of the first, Yasiel Puig strokes a triple to right center field. That’s Puig’s fifth triple of the season. Hanley Ramirez taps a ball to short, and Puig is caught leaning too much off third base and is picked off. Rajai Davis makes a great diving catch to rob Adrian Gonzalez of a base hit, and the inning and scoring opportunity are squandered by the Dodgers.

The Tigers start off where they left off yesterday. Two runs come in. There’s a lead-off triple to center field by Austin Jackson in the home half of the first against All-Star Zack Greinke. The run quickly comes in as Ian Kinsler singles home Jackson. With Torii Hunter batting, a wild pitch by Greinke allows Kinsler to advance to second. Hunter ends up striking out. Greinke also strikes out J.D. Martinez. Don Kelly‘s RBI single puts the Tigers up 2-0 as Kinsler comes home. The inning finally ends as Nick Castellanos flies out to Puig. Greinke made 26 pitches in the inning.

Max Scherzer sends the Dodgers down in order in the top of the second.

Greinke settles down in the bottom of the second, and he pitches a 1-2-3 inning.

Jul 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (37) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Ellis draws a walk to open the third. Miguel Rojas strikes out looking. Dee Gordon singles to left, and that’s the second hit of the day for the Dodgers. It’s all for naught as Puig grounds into a double play to end the inning.

Greinke pitches another 1-2-3 inning in the third, and he has now retired seven Tigers in a row since the shaky first inning.

Hanley Ramirez draws another lead-off walk in the top of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez hits the ball hard, but Martinez is there to pick it off in right field. Kemp flies out to left. Ethier grounds out.

The Tigers single three times in a row in the bottom of the fourth and score their third run of the day against Greinke. Martinez, Kelly, and Castellanos single consecutively. 3-1 Tigers.

Miguel Rojas gets the Dodgers on the board in the top of the fifth with a two-out solo homerun to left field. That’s Rojas’ first Major League homer, and the Detroit lead is cut to two runs, 3-1.

Greinke pitches a scoreless fifth even though Davis leads off the inning with a double.

Puig leads off the sixth with a double to left field, but Scherzer retires Hanley, Gonzo, and Kemp in order.

Greinke sets the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the sixth.

Ethier, Uribe and A.J. Ellis can’t muster anything against Scherzer in the seventh.

Zack Greinke strikes out Alex Avila, Eugenio Suarez and Davis in the bottom half of the seventh.

Scherzer’s day is done, and Joba Chamberlain will come in to pitch in relief in the eighth inning for Detroit. Chamberlain shuts down the Dodgers, and he strikes out Puig to end the inning for good measure.

Max Scherzer pitched 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks on 101 pitches.

Zack Greinke pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks on 115 pitches.

Brandon League will come in to pitch the bottom of the eight in relief of Greinke, and the Tigers tack on another run in the frame. Austin Jackson leads off with a ground-rule double over the left field wall. Kinsler reaches safely on a fielder’s choice after Gonzo throws to third but fails to get the out in time. Jackson scores on a sacrifice fly by Hunter, and it’s 4-1 Detroit.

The Dodgers head to the ninth trailing by three. Joe Nathan will take over on the mound for the Tigers. Hanley grounds out, Gonzo strikes out, and Kemp strikes out.

The Dodgers drop to 51-42 on the season after getting swept by Detroit. The Boys in Blue now head back to California, and they will begin their last series of the first half on Thursday in San Diego.