Kiké Hernández‘s solo home run against Andrew Miller broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning and led the Dodgers to a 6-4 victory over the Indians. Hernández’s home run was the second time in two games that Miller allowed a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.
Brandon McCarthy held the Indians to one run on three hits over 5.1 innings. McCarthy, who did not strike out any batters, used a variety of pitches to get opposing batters to groundout and flyout. Instant Replay helped McCarthy in the third inning to help him retire the Indians in order. Because this play is too hard to explain, I have attached a video.
Corey Kluber lasted longer than McCarthy, pitching seven innings of two-run ball allowing four hits while striking out ten. While McCarthy relied on groundouts and popouts, Kluber struck out ten of the twenty-six batters he faced.
“Good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said when asked about Kluber’s outing. “They kind of scratched those two runs. One’s on a swinging bunt and the other one’s a first and third that we didn’t execute very well. Boy, then he kind of beared down. We had one walk, one hit batsman and 10 strikeouts. He was good. Gave us a chance.”
The swinging bunt that Francona was talking about came in the second inning when the Dodgers had runners on second and third with two outs. Joc Pederson was the batter and with one ball and two strikes, he hit a slow bouncing ball down the third base line. By the time Jose Ramírez reached the ball, Pederson was at first base and Yasmani Grandal had scored giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The first and third play also came in the second inning with Yasiel Puig batting. Joc Pederson started running toward second base and drew the throw from Yan Gomes. After Gomes threw, Pederson stopped running and Chris Taylor ran home. The throw from Erik González was off target and Taylor scored, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
The Indians scored a run in the sixth inning and another run in the seventh to tie the game. In the sixth, the Tribe used a leadoff single, a stolen base, and another single to chase McCarthy out of the game. The Dodgers then brought Grant Dayton into the game to face Michael Brantley. Brantley hit a fly ball to deep right field allowing the runner on third base to tag up and score the Indians’ first run. In the seventh, the Indians tied the game on a solo home run by Jose Ramírez.
In the eighth inning, Kiké Hernández came to the plate against Andrew Miller with his teammates and fans hoping for some magic. Hernández got a fastball that he drove the other way over the wall in right field for a solo home run. The hit gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Corey Seager then singled before Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger walked, loading the bases for Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal hit a bouncing ball to shortstop that looked like an inning-ending double-play. Francisco Lindor fielded it and threw it to Erik González at second base. González, however, was not standing on the base when he caught the ball. Bellinger was called out at second base and Grandal was thrown out at first. The Dodgers challenged the play, and it did not take long before it was decided that Bellinger was safe and Seager scored on the RBI groundout by Grandal.
Chris Taylor was not content with a two-run lead, so after the Indians made a pitching change, Taylor added to the Dodgers’ lead. He got a fastball in with an 0-2 count and hit it back up the middle into center field. Turner and Bellinger scored on the RBI single by Taylor and the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead.
The Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Luis Avilan, who allowed two runs over 0.2 innings. Pedro Báez got Avilan out of the inning without any further damage done. The Dodgers entered the top of the ninth inning with a 6-4 lead and Kenley Jansen entered to record the save. He used two groundouts and a strikeout to retire the Indians in order and earn his 13th save of the year.
Keys To The Game:
In the second inning, the Dodgers got on the board due to a swinging bunt single by Joc Pederson. They then extended their lead with a perfectly executed double steal. Joc Pederson ran for second and drew a throw from Yan Gomes. Pederson then stopped running and Chris Taylor sprinted home. The throw from Erik Ramírez was off target and Taylor scored the Dodgers’ second run of the game.
The Dodgers benefited from reviewing plays twice during the game on Wednesday night. The first one came in the third inning when Brandon McCarthy threw out Bradley Zimmer.
The second time came in the eighth inning when Erik González forgot that the neighborhood play no longer exists. In an attempt to turn a double-play, González received the throw from Francisco Lindor after he had stepped off second base. The Dodgers, wisely, challenged the play and the double play was turned into a groundout.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound in an attempt to sweep the three-game series against the Indians. Josh Tomlin will try to get the Indians one win in the series and bounce back from a rough start in his last outing. Tomlin allowed four runs (three earned) over 2.2 innings against the White Sox in his last start. Hill will try to pitch into the sixth inning for the first time this year as he faces his former team. The game will start at 9:10 am PT and be televsised on SportsNet LA.