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Dodgers offense gives bullpen company in blame game

"Should I stay or should I go?"
"Should I stay or should I go?"
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND -- The Dodgers found a way to share the blame with their struggling bullpen, collecting just two hits on offense in a 5-2 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday afternoon to close out another fruitless Bay Area trip this season.

Jesse Chavez allowed just two hit in his eight innings, striking out six while walking two.

The first hit was a home run by Oakland native Jimmy Rollins, which came one out after a Joc Pederson walk in the third inning, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 advantage.

Rollins since the All-Star break is hitting .257/.311/.442 with 12 extra-base hits in 28 games.

"I think he's been thriving since the second half started," said manager Don Mattingly. "He knows what time it is. He seems more relaxed."

But after the home run Chavez retired 16 of 18 batters faced, including 13 in a row before Kiké Hernandez hit a two-out double in the eighth inning. Chavez recovered to strike out Rollins to end the threat, preserving Oakland's one-run advantage.

Alex Wood was cruising with just one run allowed through five innings, but he ran into trouble in the sixth. A single, double and a single to open the inning tied the game at 2-2, then a double play ground ball gave Oakland the go-ahead run.

"I thought Alex was good early. He kept us in the game, gave us a chance," Mattingly said. "It just seemed like in that [sixth] inning he hit the wall."

Wood held Oakland to 3-for-16 with two walks his first two trips through the batting order, then got through four batters the third time through. Losing the lead, Wood allowed the A's to go 2-for-3 with a walk that third time through, ending his day after 5⅔ innings and just 82 pitches.

"You want to go as deep as you can in the game, hopefully save some guys from not coming into situations they're not accustomed to coming in," Wood said.

After 16 strikeouts and a 20.5-percent strikeout rate in his first three Dodgers starts, Wood struck out just one Athletics hitter on Wednesday, and walked three.

The Dodgers are 2-6 when their starting pitcher this season has more walks than strikeouts.

The A's loaded the bases with nobody out against Jim Johnson in the eighth inning, then tacked on a pair of insurance runs with Luis Avilan and Pedro Baez on the mound, providing the final margin.

The Dodgers are 0-8 in games in the Bay Area this season.

Up next

The Dodgers have Thursday off, then head to Houston for three weekend games against the Astros. In Friday's opener, Brett Anderson will start for the Dodgers, with Mike Fiers starting for Houston.

Two straight losses doesn't have Mattingly down. In fact, after the game he had a weird mix of quiet confidence with a dash of delusion amid the team's struggles.

"Honestly this is a great time of the year to be playing. It's fun every day at the ballpark," Mattingly said. "We'll see what our guys are made of, in a pennant race."

Wednesday particulars

Home run: Jimmy Rollins (12)

WP - Jesse Chavez (7-12): 8 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

LP - Alex Wood (8-8): 5⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, three walks, 1 strikeout

Sv - Drew Pomeranz (2): 3 up, 3 down