A wild Brian Wilson blew a lead, aided by a poor fielding day by Carlos Triunfel, leading to a three-run eighth inning for the Indians and a 5-4 Dodgers loss on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers lost a series for the first time in four weeks, the last time an American League Central team came to Los Angeles, when the White Sox won two of three at Dodger Stadium from June 2-4.
Wilson allowed one run in his last 19 games, with 18 strikeouts and seven walks in his last 16⅔ innings, and was staked to protect a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning on Wednesday. But walks to Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana to lead off the inning put that in danger. Brantley was nearly thrown out at second base on a stolen base attempt, but Triunfel, who started at shortstop, failed to hold on to the throw.
After Yan Gomes struck out, David Murphy - who was in a 1-for-44 slump before his three-hit game on Tuesday - delivered a pinch-hit single to left field to tie the game. Matt Kemp's throw in to third base got away thanks in large part to Triunfel being turned around and not even watching the play, allowing runners to move up to second and third.
It was the fourth misplay of the game for Triunfel, who made an error in the first inning and dropped a potential double-play ball on a transfer in the second.
Mike Aviles followed with a single to right field to bring home both runners who advanced on the throw, giving Cleveland a 5-3 lead.
Scott Van Slyke homered in the eighth inning to cut the two-run deficit in half, his first home run against a right-handed pitcher this season.
The Dodgers put runners on second and third with two outs against Indians closer Cody Allen, but Matt Kemp flew out to deep right center field to end the game.
The eighth-inning collapse marred an otherwise strong outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lasted seven innings for the second straight start, allowing only the two runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out eight, giving him 50 strikeouts and just eight walks in nine starts since returning from the disabled list.
Ryu was pitching well but when Ryan Raburn took him over the wall in the fourth inning for a two-run home run that looked like it might be enough for Cleveland to win.
Normally the chances of a late comeback are tough enough as it is. The Dodgers are 0-29 this season when trailing after seven innings, while major league teams as a whole win only 8.8 percent of those games. Factor in that four Dodgers regulars sat in the series finale on Wednesday and the Dodgers' chances of a late rally looked bleak.
The Dodgers tried to get around this by simply scheduling their comeback earlier, like in the fifth inning.
The Indians held a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, but it was close to becoming 3-0. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled on a ball to right field that confounded Van Slyke, who jumped as the ball was bouncing off the wall. But one out later Van Slyke redeemed himself with a strong throw from right field on a single by Santana to nail Cabrera at the plate.
Miguel Rojas got a one-out bloop single in the fifth, and scored one out later on a surprising double by Ryu, his second hit of the day and fourth hit, including three doubles, by Dodgers pitchers in the last two games. After Ryu's double cut the deficit to 2-1, a pair of walks loaded the bases, putting the Dodgers in a position that has plagued them all season.
The Dodgers entered Wednesday hitting 8-for-55 with the bases loaded, hitting .145/.183/.218, but Andre Ethier singled to center field for two runs and a 3-2 lead.
Dodgers starting pitchers have gone 36 straight games without issuing more than two walks, tying the 2005 Minnesota Twins for the longest streak since 1900, per Elias.
Ryu's start Wednesday was the 10th by a Dodgers pitcher this year with at least eight strikeouts and no walks. No other team in baseball has more than five such games.
Hanley Ramirez pinch hit for a third straight game, a two-out walk in the ninth inning. Manager Don Mattingly said before the game the club will make a decision on Thursday whether or not to place Ramirez, who is dealing with left calf tightness and right shoulder soreness, on the disabled list. Making such a move Thursday would make Ramirez eligible to return on July 18, the first day after the All-Star break.
The Dodgers hit the road to Denver for four games at Coors Field. In the opener, Zack Greinke gets the start while the Rockies counter with Franklin Morales, the first of four straight left-handed pitchers the Dodgers will face this weekend.
Home runs: Scott Van Slyke (7); Ryan Raburn (2)
WP - Bryan Shaw (3-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP - Brian Wilson (1-3): ⅓ IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Sv - Cody Allen (8): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts