The Dodgers drop the series finale with the Diamondbacks despite having the go ahead run on base in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers went 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning, but Kenta Maeda struggled by allowing three runs to the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the first. Three singles and a double allowed the Diamondbacks to bring home three runs. Jake Lamb is slowly turning into the new Paul Goldschmidt when it comes to owning the Dodgers.
In the top of the second inning, Scott Van Slyke doubled, Yasiel Puig was hit by a pitch and Chris Taylor walked. The Dodgers then had the bases loaded with no outs. Unfortunately, they still could not get on the board. A.J. Ellis and Zach Walters struck out for two quick outs. Maeda flied out to end the inning. This whole series the Dodgers struggled with leaving runners on base. Last night alone they left 15. In Walters’ defense, strike three in his at bat should have been ball two.
The bottom of the second inning started off weird when Nick Ahmed popped up, but refused to move out of the batter’s box as Ellis went to go for the ball. Ahmed stood on top of home plate and did not move. Ellis jumped up from his catching position and with his eye on the ball, ended up running into Ahmed who seemed to be a statue at home. The ball dropped as Justin Turner came in from third to try and make a catch as well. The home plate umpire called Ahmed out on interference with the catcher. Ahmed was not happy about it and Chip Hale came from the dugout to angrily exchange words. The ump was not having it. It was clearly interference and I still have no idea why Ahmed did not feel the need to move out of the way. Ellis did bang his mouth/teeth on the back of Ahmed’s batting helmet, but seemed to be okay from the collision.
In the third inning, Van Slyke was hit by a pitch from Robbie Ray again. On Friday night, the Dodgers were hit by pitches three different times. Meanwhile, the Dodgers had not hit a single Diamondbacks batter. The Dodgers would strand two more in the third inning.
Lamb tacked on another run in the bottom of the third for the Diamondbacks when he hit a solo shot to right center. The score was now 4-0, Diamondbacks.
By the end of the fifth inning, the Dodgers were 1 for 21 (.047) with runners in scoring position the last two games. They managed to get people on base, but greatly struggled to get their teammates home.
Ray led off the fifth inning with a double. The Diamondbacks starting pitcher at this point had held the Dodgers to just three hits and then came up and doubled himself. He would come home when Michael Bourn doubled to left. That now made the score 5 to 0, Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks were back at it again and tacked on another run in the seventh inning thanks to a stolen base by Goldschmidt and a poor inning by Chris Hatcher. The run came home on Hatcher’s wild pitch. The D-Backs now had a comfortable six run lead.
The Dodgers would FINALLY get on the board in the eighth inning when Corey Seager led off with a double and Turner followed him up with a two run home run to right. That made the score 6 to 2. After that it looked like the team woke up. The Dodgers would score again in the ninth inning. Chase Utley came in to pinch hit for Walters. Utley led off the inning with a walk. Howie Kendrick then reached first on an infield single. (I could write all day about how amazing Kendrick has been this whole series). Seager doubled to right and brought home another run. Turner then singled in two more following Seager. With one out in the ninth inning, the Dodgers had two runners on, had scored three runs in the inning and were just one run behind the Diamondbacks. For the first time all day, they had a shot to take the lead. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Puig and Chris Taylor struck out to end the inning and secure the Diamondback win. So close, yet so far away. The Dodgers had the go ahead run on base, but just could not find a way to get their teammates home, again.
Maeda went 4.1 innings today, allowed five earned runs, seven hits and struck out five batters. It was clearly a rough start for him, but after the second inning he did pretty good. Maeda so far with the Dodgers seems to always have a shaky inning in each start.
Though the Dodgers officially lost their first series back from the All-Star break, a few players have really stepped up. Taylor had an amazing came Friday night, but really an amazing series. Kendrick has been red hot starting right before the break and continued that into this series.
The Dodgers play again on Tuesday as they kick off a three game series with the Washington Nationals in our Nations Capital. Good news is, Clayton Kershaw is expected to return during the series and make his start.