Trailing by two runs in the ninth inning, the Dodgers staged their latest rally in what is rapidly becoming the greatest season in franchise history. Yasiel Puig played hero with a two-run, walk-off double, delivering a 5-4 win over the White Sox on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The ninth inning saw a parade of Chicago relievers, none of which have a save in 2017, with former closers David Robertson and Tyler Clippard traded. Gregory Infante started the ninth, and recorded what was the only out of the frame.
Aaron Bummer followed, but was pulled after allowing a single to pinch-hitter Cody Bellinger, who has played in all 99 games since his call to the majors. Jake Petricka followed to the mound, and ultimately fell on his sword.
Petricka faced three batters and didn’t retire one. Logan Forsythe doubled home Bellinger to pull the Dodgers within one, then Austin Barnes singled to center, putting runners at the corners for Puig’s heroics.
The Dodgers have 10 walk-off wins this season, and are 30-4 in their last 34 home games.
The ninth rescued the Dodgers on what looked like a spoiled birthday effort by Yu Darvish, who allowed three solo home runs, three of the four hit by Chicago on Wednesday.
The four home runs allowed matched a season high for Dodgers pitching, done four other times. The Dodgers are 4-1 in such games.
Another night, another leadoff home run for Chicago, but this time it was Leury Garcia to launch the first pitch of the game over the fence.
The Sox hit a HR on the 1st pitch of a game in consecutive contests for the 1st time in franchise history (STATS LLC, SABR and Elias).— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 17, 2017
That wasn’t all against Darvish, who also allowed solo home runs to Tony Delmonico in the fourth inning and Jose Abreu in the sixth. The three home runs matched a season high for Darvish.
After striking out 10 batters in each of his first two starts as a Dodger, Darvish didn’t record a strikeout on Wednesday until Yoan Moncada whiffed in the sixth inning, Darvish’s 24th batter of the game.
Darvish also whiffed his 25th batter of the game, but that was it. He left after six innings trailing 3-2, and his two strikeouts were the fewest in his 125 major league starts. His previous low was three strikeouts, on May 27, 2012 against the Blue Jays.
Darvish left the game technically in the seventh after warming up to start the inning, sprinting off the mound after manager Dave Roberts and trainer Nate Lucero came to the mound.
Darvish left the game after the 6th with lower back tightness. Precautionary.— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) August 17, 2017
Yu Darvish said Clayton Kershaw convinced him to exit after six innings tonight. “We need you really bad in six weeks,” Kershaw told him.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) August 17, 2017
Delmonico added his second home run of the game, greeting left-hander Tony Watson in the eighth inning with solo shot to right field.
Kiké Hernandez tied the score at 2-2 in the fourth inning with a home run to center field, continuing his rampage against left-handed pitching. Hernandez has 10 home runs in 135 plate appearances against southpaws in 2017, tied with Justin Turner for the team lead. In MLB, only Nolan Arenado (12) and Andrew McCutchen (11) have more.
Three of those 10 home runs for Hernandez have been hit against Carlos Rodon this season.
But Rodon, who allowed four home runs in a loss to the Dodgers on July 19, lasted into the eight inning on Wednesday, limiting the Dodgers to just two runs.
Thursday is an off day for the Dodgers, who will travel to Detroit to open a three-game series against the Tigers, the start of a seven-game road trip that will also take them to Pittsburgh. The series opener on Friday, a 4:10 p.m. PT start, will see Rich Hill pitch for the Dodgers against Jordan Zimmermann for the Tigers
Home runs: Kiké Hernandez (11); Leury Garcia (8), Tony Delmonico 2 (3), Jose Abreu (22)
WP - Ross Stripling (2-4): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Jake Petricka (1-1): 0 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs