In a disastrous 7th inning, Brandon Lowe hit a go-ahead RBI single and Avisaíl García and Kevin Kiermaier each hit 3-run homers as the Rays rallied for 7 runs and defeated the Dodgers 8-1. Dylan Floro, who had been one of the Dodgers’ best relievers, was charged with 4 runs and the loss and Caleb Ferguson was charged with 3 runs.
The seventh inning was a straight-up disaster. In a tied game, Dave Roberts put Floro into the game, a logical move that just didn’t pay off. It was clear Floro didn’t have control when he entered the game. He hit the first batter, then gave up a single. Then still with no outs, he gave up an RBI single to Lowe.
At this point, it was clear that Floro was a disaster. But there wasn’t much Roberts could do other than get another arm loose. The disaster continued to the next batter when Floro threw a bad fastball to García, who deposited it in the seats. At this point, it was 5-1 Rays.
After the home run, Roberts put Ferguson into the game and removed Floro, but it didn’t stop the Rays. Ferguson walked the first man he faced, recorded two outs, then hit a batter. Before Ferguson knew what was happening, Kiermaier had deposited a fastball over the center field wall for yet another 3-run homer.
A logical question to ask is “Why didn’t Roberts pull Floro sooner?” Although he didn’t say much about it, it isn’t hard to figure out. There are really two possible answers.
First, Roberts never would have expected Floro to struggle so he didn’t think he’d need to warm anyone up. Then, when Floro did have problems, he had to wait for Ferguson to be warmed up before he could enter the game.
Second, because Pedro Báez was given the night off after being struck by a comebacker, the Dodger bullpen was understaffed. And not only that, they were missing one of their best relievers.
What all of this, it would be easy to forget about Rich Hill‘s fantastic start. Hill threw 6 innings, allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits with 2 walks and a strikeout. He had command of his pitches and accomplished his primary goal, putting the team in a place to win. Hill exited the game in a 1-1 tie.
The Dodgers have an off-day as they fly to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates on Friday. Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers and the Pirates have not announced a starter. Pittsburgh currently sits at 24-22, 4.5 games behind the Cubs in the central division. Game one of the weekend series will begin at 4:15 pm.