Corey Seager hit a solo home run and made to amazing catches on his birthday as the Dodgers beat the Giants 5-1 in ten innings. The Dodgers exploded for four runs in the tenth, led by Andrew Toles, who hit a go-ahead RBI single sparking the Dodgers’ offense.
Julio Urías made his 2017 season on Thursday, and Dave Roberts said he is here to stay. Urías pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball allowing four hits and striking out four. The Giants’ only run came on an errant pick-off attempt by Urías allowing Brandon Belt to go first to third.
Dave Roberts then intentionally walked Buster Posey and Urías pitched to Christian Arroyo. Arroyo hit a comebacker that Urías nearly caught, but it went off his glove and into center field allowing Arroyo to score. Dave Roberts then turned to the bullpen and Urías was forced to watch sit in the dugout while Josh Fields recorded the final out of the inning.
Of course, everybody knows that a pitchers’ duel only works when both pitchers pitch well, and Matt Moore did just that. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits, with eight strikeouts. His only hiccup came in the first inning against Corey Seager. In a 1-2 count, Moore threw Seager a fastball about waist high and outside. Seager got his barrel on the ball and hit it over the wall in center field for his second home run in as many days.
Seager did more than just hit on his birthday. He was busy at shortstop saving runs for Urías, and then the bullpen. Seager made to amazing basket catches and started a double-play. At the plate, Seager went 1-3 with a one RBI and a run scored. He walked in the third and was intentionally walked in the tenth.
Both teams’ bullpens were very strong (with the exception of the bottom of the tenth inning). In the top of the ninth, the Giants went to their closer Mark Melancon with the game tied. He retired the Dodgers in order, keeping the game tied at one. The Dodgers then went to their closer Kenley Jansen, who has pitched a lot in this series. Jansen allowed one hit but worked around it by striking out Gorkys Hernandez.
The Dodgers went into the top of the tenth inning, determined to win it. Adrián González entered the game, pinch-hitting for Austin Barnes, and drew a walk. Chase Utley entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Scott Van Slyke and singled right down the third base line. Yasmani Grandal entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Jansen, and walked, loading the bases.
The Dodgers sent pitcher, Ross Stripling, to pinch-run for Gonzalez with Toles at the plate. Toles singled to center field, and the Dodgers moved station to station taking a 2-1 lead.After Bruce Bochy made a double-switch, Kiké Hernández came to the plate. He hit a foul ball toward the Dodgers’ bullpen that Posey chased after. As soon as the ball hit Posey’s glove, Utley tagged and headed to home. Posey bobbled the ball, giving Utley time to score and the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead.
The Giants then intentionally walked Seager, re-loading the bases. Justin Turner came to the plate with a twelve game hitting streak on the line but hit the ball into center field for a single and the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead. The bases were loaded when Chris Taylor stepped up to the plate. Taylor worked a four-pitch walk and the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead.
Chris Hatcher entered the game in the bottom of the tenth to record the final three outs. It took him only fourteen pitches to send the Giants down in order, giving the Dodgers a 5-1 victory.
Keys To The Game:
A pitcher’s duel:
Julio Urías and Matt Moore both allowed only one run and both the bullpens were spotless through the ninth. Because Urías pitched into the sixth inning, the Dodgers bullpen got a much-needed break. Josh Fields pitched one inning, Luis Avilan pitched 1 1/3 innings, Jansen pitch one inning, and Chris Hatcher pitched one inning. The Dodgers bullpen will be rested for the opener against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium on Friday.
The Giants did not do much right in the tenth inning, but even what they did do right, helped the Dodgers. When Hernández hit a foul ball down toward the Dodgers’ bullpen, Buster Posey gave chase and caught the ball. The problem for the Giants was, Posey bobbled the ball. In the rules of baseball, a runner is allowed to leave his bases when a fly ball is caught. What I did not know until Thursday is that the ball being caught means when the ball first touches a fielder’s glove. When Posey touched the ball the first time, Utley started running toward home. Since Posey bobbled the ball, Utley was able to score.
A Great Birthday:
Corey Seager had a great birthday on Thursday. The now 23-year-old hit a home run and walked twice. He also saved runs with fantastic catches at shortstop. According to Joe Davis, those catches are some of the hardest catches to make.
The Dodgers are headed back to Los Angeles to open a three-game series against the Phillies. A struggling Kenta Maeda will seek to get his season going correctly against the Phillies. The Dodgers will be going up against right-hander Jerad Eickhoff. Because he is a righty, you can expect to see the Dodgers start their starters not bench players. The game starts at 7:10 pm PT and will be televised on SportsNet LA.