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Dodgers catch a beating in finale with Indians

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians
“What does the sixth inning feel like?”
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

In honor of the start of golf’s U.S. Open on Thursday, Rich Hill had a subpar performance in the finale of a three-game series against the Indians. Cleveland put a hurting on Hill and Ross Stripling in an 12-5 win over the Dodgers to stave off a sweep on getaway day at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Things got wonky very early for Hill, who allowed three singles and hit a batter before recording an out in the first inning. A walk and a single with two outs made it a three-run opening frame, giving Cleveland their first lead of the series.

Hill allowed two more runs in the second inning, including a double by Jose Ramirez and a home run by Edwin Encarnacion.

Down 5-0, the Dodgers got on the board with a solo home run by Cody Bellinger in the fourth inning, his fifth home run in the last four games. Bellinger’s 18 home runs are the most by a Dodger through 67 team games since Matt Kemp hit 20 in 2011, a feat even more impressive since Bellinger was not called up until the Dodgers’ 21st game in 2017.

Doubles by Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig cut into the lead in the fifth, then a two-run home run by Chris Taylor brought the Dodgers within 5-4, stirring thoughts of more late runs in this series by Los Angeles.

But that’s when everything fell apart for the Dodgers.

Hill, who needed 62 pitches to get through those first two innings, fought his way into the fifth, which started with a walk and a single, ending his day.

Stripling was brought in, and immediately allowed a three-run home run to pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall, giving Cleveland a four-run advantage.

Two of those runs were charged to Hill, who allowed seven runs in four-plus innings on Thursday. Hill has been nothing like the pitcher he was in 2016 this season, and through eight starts — none of which have lasted beyond five innings — the left-hander sports a 5.14 ERA and a 5.30 FIP, with 23 walks in 35 innings.

After getting the first two outs of the sixth inning, things went south for Stripling, who loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Chisenhall continued his tormenting of Stripling with a two-run single, breaking the game open.

Another RBI single by Roberto Perez ended Stripling’s day.

Six of the Indians’ 12 runs were scored with two outs.

The 12 runs allowed by the Dodgers were one shy of their season high, which came on Apr. 21 in Arizona.

Up next

The Dodgers move 250 miles southwest in Ohio to face the Reds for a weekend series in Cincinnati, beginning Friday night. Alex Wood starts the series opener, facing off against Tim Adleman.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: Cody Bellinger (18), Chris Taylor (8); Edwin Encarnacion (13), Lonnie Chisenhall (8), Erik Gonzalez (1)

WP - Josh Tomlin (4-8): 5 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP - Rich Hill (3-3): 4+ IP, 8 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts