LOS ANGELES -- In a bizarre back-and-forth contest that involved far more back than forth, the Dodgers were dropped by the Indians 10-3 at Dodger Stadium. The loss, coupled with San Francisco's 5-0 win over the Cardinals, ended the Dodgers' two-day stay in first place in the National League West.
The loss also snapped the Dodgers' three-game winning streak, the seventh time a three-game win streak failed to reach four this season, and left Los Angeles a half-game behind the Giants in the division.
The Dodgers as a staff allowed only four runs in the previous five games combined, and Josh Beckett himself carried a 14-inning scoreless streak into Tuesday's game. But that was all down the drain in the top of the first inning, when Michael Brantley doubled home Asdrubal Cabrera, followed by a home run to right field by Lonnie Chisenhall for a quick 3-0 Cleveland lead.
But the Dodgers answered immediately in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez, making good on manager Don Mattingly's prediction before Monday's game: "His swing looks like he is getting ready to take off."
The Dodgers looked they might have taken off as well, loading the bases after Gonzalez homered, forcing Justin Masterson to throw 37 pitches in the opening frame. But Carlos Triunfel struck out to end the inning.
After loading the bases with two outs in the first, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the second, then loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth. But those situations produced zero runs, thanks to five strikeouts and a groundout.
On the season the Dodgers are 8-for-55, hitting .145/.183/.218 with the bases loaded. They rank 30th in baseball in those situations in batting average and on-base percentage, and are 29th in slugging percentage and OPS, with only Tampa Bay worse.
But wasn't the most bizarre way the Dodgers found a way to not score. The fourth inning began with a double by Beckett, his second of the night, and singles by Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig to cut the Indians' lead to 5-3. That marked the end of the night for Masterson, who threw 85 pitches but only got through three innings.
Kyle Crockett came in to face Gonzalez, who flew out to shallow left field. Gordon tagged and tried to score from third, but was thrown out by Michael Brantley. Then catcher Yan Gomes alertly threw to second base to nail Puig, who was initially called safe.
Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the safe call at second, which was overturned. Then Mattingly challenged the out call at home, which was upheld. The result: one fly ball, two challenges, three outs, and one more neutered Dodgers rally.
The Dodgers never really threatened after the fifth inning, and the Indians tacked on crooked numbers on Jamey Wright and Paul Maholm in relief, providing the final margin.
Beckett had two doubles on the night, his first two extra-base hits this season. He is the first Dodgers pitcher with two extra-base hits in a game since Chad Billingsley (double, home run) on June 5, 2011, and the first with two doubles since Randy Wolf on April 20, 2007.
Gordon was 3-for-4 with a walk and is 15-for-30 (.500) with three doubles and a triple in his last seven games. He was also caught stealing and is just 6-for-12 in steal attempts since the beginning of June.
Since the beginning of 2010, Tuesday night was just the third time the Dodgers lost in 38 games in which the opposing starter didn't last more than three innings.
Tuesday marked the third time the Dodgers gave up double-digit runs in a game this season.
The Dodgers go for their sixth straight series win on Wednesday afternoon, with Hyun-jin Ryu taking the mound in a 12:10 p.m. PT start. Trevor Bauer gets the start for Cleveland in the series finale.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (14); Lonnie Chisenhall (9)
WP - Kyle Crockett (2-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk
LP - Josh Beckett (5-5): 5 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts