LOS ANGELES — A series of Dodgers mistakes opened the floodgates, and LA never recovered in a 16-6 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, snapping the home team’s two-game win streak.
“You don’t see it very often but tonight we got our butts kicked, in every part of the game,” said manager Dave Roberts.
Khris Davis did the heavy lifting early for Oakland, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning then scored after a double in the fourth. Davis had three hits on the night.
Then on a slow ground ball to second base Chase Utley opted against the sure second out of the inning at first base, instead tossing to second trying to get the lead runner Matt Chapman. The toss was both late and errant, putting two runners on base.
“He was trying to do too much, very uncharacteristic of Chase,” Roberts said. “You have the eight-hole hitter coming up with a base open, giving Wood some options.”
With two outs the A’s cashed in the gift with three straight hits for four more runs, including a broken-bat single by pitcher Daniel Mengden and a two-run double by Marcus Semien. What could have been a two-run deficit for the Dodgers was 7-1.
Alex Wood didn’t see the end of the fourth, but did see seven runs charged to his ledger to take the loss.
“It was just bad, everything from start to finish. I didn’t make good pitches,” Wood said. “It was just one of those days.”
In the woulda-coulda-shoulda game, six of Oakland’s seven runs were scored with two outs, in innings after Dodgers misplays. Before the two-out home run by Davis in the first inning, Wood was late covering first base on a grounder to first base by Mark Canha.
But it’s hard to play what if when you allow 16 runs on 21 hits, a combo the Dodgers have allowed only three times at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.
Both extremes for Thompson
Trayce Thompson made his first start of the season on Wednesday and had two plays on the opposite ends of the defensive spectrum. A would-be fly out to right center field by Joc Pederson in the first inning inexplicably dropped untouched a few feet in front of Thompson for a “double,” which was eventually cashed in for the Dodgers’ first run.
Then in the sixth inning Yasiel Puig hit what he thought was a pinch-hit, two-run home run that would have pulled the Dodgers to within 9-6, but Thompson leaped over the center field wall to bring it back, ending the inning.
It was all Puig could do to tip his batting helmet to Thompson after the play.
Even Puig has to appreciate that catch pic.twitter.com/CVyqwBMbZ1— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 12, 2018
Walk on the wild side
Scott Alexander allowed two runs in the sixth inning, a frame that included two singles, a walk and two wild pitches. He threw more balls (11) than strikes (10) in the inning.
“Scott is a guy that throws a heavy dose of sinkers to the bottom of the zone. A guy like that you would expect to be efficient and pound the strike zone, put the ball on the ground,” Roberts said. “Right now he’s having a hard time getting ahead of hitters and being consistent in the strike zone.”
Alexander has walked six of 21 batters faced so far this season.
“I’m just not making good pitches right now,” Alexander. “These are good hitters, and if you’re not on your game you’ll get exposed. I’m just trying to get outs any way I can.”
Roberts said Alexander was working on some things mechanically.
“I don’t know if it’s any one thing I have to fix,” Alexander said. “I just have to be better.”
- Yasmani Grandal drove in a pair of runs for the Dodgers, including his second home run of the season and a double. Grandal is 12-for-32 (.375) in the early going this season.
- Matt Kemp singled twice and doubled on Wednesday for his third straight multi-hit game.
- Wood struck out five and walked none for the third time in three starts this season. It’s the first time in his career he has walked zero in three consecutive starts.
- Wilmer Font allowed six runs in two innings of mop-up duty, including two home runs, needing 56 pitches. “It’s a steep learning curve for Wilmer,” Roberts said. “He’s competing, but it’s a tough league.”
For the fourth time in eight days (counting rain last week) the Dodgers have an off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game series against the Diamondbacks. Kenta Maeda starts the Friday night opener, his first start in 13 days, facing old friend Zack Greinke.
Home runs: Yasmani Grandal (2), Kiké Hernandez (1); Khris Davis (2), Matt Chapman (4), Jed Lowrie (3)
WP - Daniel Mengden (1-2): 5+ IP, 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 5 strikeouts
LP - Alex Wood (0-2): 3⅔ IP, 7 hits, 7 runs, 5 srikeouts