On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers returned to Chavez Ravine seeking revenge after dropping consecutive games to the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The odds were in their favor, though, as ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound against his childhood team for the first time in his career.
The Rangers prevailed, again. Texas found ways to score off the three-time CY Young winner early on, resulting in a 5-3 win over Los Angeles for the third straight day.
Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly opted to go with a right-handed heavy lineup against the Rangers’ veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, leaving Joc Pederson on the bench and Yasiel Puig in the lead-off spot. Despite consecutive lead-off doubles, by Puig and Scott Van Slyke in the first two innings, Los Angeles failed to score any runs off the southpaw and left four runners stranded combined.
Kershaw entered the game with a 3-0 record and 0.94 ERA in his last four starts, but he would need a few runs of support on this night. In the second inning, Texas picked up their first run on an RBI from Rougned Odor on a force out. One inning later, Rangers’ rookie Joey Gallo pulled off a rarity, when he sent a Kershaw pitch half-way up the right-field pavilion for a two-run home run, at Dodger stadium.
Texas would extend their lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning on another RBI-single from Odor.
The Dodgers offense finally picked up in the sixth inning, thanks to a two-run homer from recently activated Van Slyke (3). Enrique Hernandez kept the pressure on by following with a double, leaving an opportunity for Alex Guerrero in a pinch-hit situation, two batters later. He picked up his ninth RBI in such situations with a single to make a 4-3 ballgame.
After a Puig walk, a frustrating sequence followed. Pederson entered the game as a pinch-hitter and struck out, against lefty reliever Sam Freeman. That left Adrian Gonzalez at the plate with two on and two outs, but came up empty as he grounded out to end the inning.
The Dodgers ended the night 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 base runners stranded.
Rodriguez came out the winner in what appeared as a lopsided matchup on paper. He finished 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, with one strikeout and two walks. Kershaw fanned 10 Rangers’ while allowing four runs on five hits and one walk.
Texas added a fifth and final run in the ninth inning on a Prince Fielder solo-home run off reliever Josh Ravin.
Both teams will finish off their home-and-home interleague series on Thursday night, as the Dodgers hope to avoid the four-game sweep.
WP: Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 3.20)
LP: Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 3.29)
SV: Keone Kela (1)
News & Notes;
- RHP Chris Hatcher placed on 15-Day DL (oblique).
- RHP Brandon Beachy, as part of his rehab assignment, pitched in a professional game with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga for the first time since August of 2013 on Tuesday; 1.2 IP, BB, K.