Winners of 33 in their last 43 games entering play, the A’s have been the best team in baseball since mid-June. But Rich Hill and the bullpen allowed just four hits all night to start the six-game road trip with a victory.
Oakland starter Sean Manaea didn't have his best stuff early on and the Dodgers took advantage, chasing him before he could complete the third inning. The lefty threw 77 pitches and only recorded eight outs.
The Dodgers have the most homers in the National League this season, but it would take some manufactured runs to get the job done Tuesday.
After two of the first three batters reached in the first inning, Manny Machado brought home the game’s first run on a Kiké Hernandez groundout. It would be much of the same in the second inning.
Chris Taylor walked and Yasiel Puig singled to put runners on first and third with one out for Austin Barnes. Knowing runs might be hard to come by against a team with the fourth lowest ERA in baseball, the Dodgers executed the safety squeeze to perfection, bringing home Taylor to go ahead 2-0.
Manaea had already thrown 55 pitches after two and it wouldn’t get better as the game move to the third. Again, the Dodgers would have two runners on with one out, this time for Cody Bellinger. On an 0-2 pitch, Bellinger lined a single to center to bring Justin Turner around to score, ending Manaea’s night.
Rich Hill continued his recent effectiveness, pitching into the sixth inning without allowing a run, working around four walks in the process. The lefty wouldn’t escape the sixth, however, giving up a double to Matt Chapman two batters before Khris Davis launched his 32nd home run of 2018 to bring the A’s with a run.
The homer was the 11th for Davis in 17 games in the second half.
In an American League park, the Dodgers moved the slumping Matt Kemp to the DH and slotted Brian Dozier at the top of the lineup. Dozier paid immediate dividends, reaching base four times in five plate appearances.
The designated hitter for this night, Kemp has been anything but a hitter lately. Mired in a 1-for-37 slump when he came to the plate in the seventh inning, Kemp looped a ball off the end of the bat that dropped in behind first base to score Joc Pederson from second.
Four different relievers combined to retire 11 of the final 12 batters, striking out six to seal the win.
The Dodgers and A’s close out the series with Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.55) matching up with Mike Fiers (7-6, 3.48) in his Oakland debut.
Home runs: Davis (32)
WP - Rich Hill (5-4): 5 1⁄3 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Sean Manaea (10-8): 2 2⁄3 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 walk, 1 strikeout
SV - Kenley Jansen (32): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts