Going into tonight’s game, the Dodgers have shown perhaps that they are an improved team in that area. They entered the game hitting .407 in those situations and they went 2-for-5 tonight in their 5-3 win over the Giants.
Tonight’s key hit came from David Freese who strode up to the plate with runners on first and third and two out in the seventh inning. He drove a pitch off the right field wall to score both runners and that put the Dodgers back on top by a run.
Kiké Hernández led off the game with his third home run of the season. With two outs and runners on first and second, Cody Bellinger hit a ground ball that was fielded by Joe Panik just beyond the infield. Freese was sent home and he just beat the tag to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.
Ross Stripling was effective and efficient in his first three innings of work, he retired all nine batters he faced and he only needed nine pitches in each inning. However the fourth inning was different.
Steven Duggar homered to halve the lead. With one out, Evan Longoria singled and then Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer to put the Giants in front. Stripling would face nine batters in the fourth but only gave up those three runs.
Stripling would continue and pitch into the seventh inning; overall he pitched 6⅓ innings allowing those three runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Scott Alexander retired both batters he faced to end the seventh.
The Dodgers would add an insurance run when Chris Taylor doubled home Bellinger in the eighth inning.
Caleb Ferguson retired the side in order in the eighth and Kenley Jansen got the save as he faced just three batters in the ninth, striking out one.
So the Dodgers ended the homestand winning five of their first seven games and won their first two series of the year. While there are certainly concerns about their bullpen and maybe a little bit regarding hitting left-handed pitching, they have also shown that they can come back and also hit much better with runners on base than last year.
Player of the game:
Kiké Hernández went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and a walk. He also scored twice.
The Dodgers homered in their seventh straight game, setting a franchise record by homering in their first seven games of the season.
On the other hand, they have also given up at least one home run in the same seven games to start the season.
The Dodgers have a travel day tomorrow as they begin a seven-game road trip on Friday. Their first stop will be in Denver where they will be the visitors for the Colorado Rockies home opener. The Rockies are scheduled to have left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson on the mound. he Dodgers will have right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda go for them in the first game of the series.
First pitch will be at 1:10 p.m. PDT and it will be televised on Sportsnet LA with radio coverage on KLAC 570 AM.