Though most of the game ran at a rather slow pace, the seventh inning had enough action and drama to fill an entire game.
As previously mentioned, the Dodgers used the small-ball strategy, and this inning perfectly demonstrated that. They scored three runs in a two-out rally to increase their lead to six runs. Enrique Hernandez, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson hit three-straight base hits to drive in the three runs. Max Muncy and Corey Seager also each snagged a stolen base to get themselves into scoring position.
The Rays responded to the Dodgers’ three-run seventh inning with an impressive inning of their own. Tampa Bay notched five straight hits to score enough runs to cut LA’s lead in half. Pedro Baez allowed one of these runs to score by taking a 103 mph line drive off of his right knee to drive in the runner at third base.
Baez takes 102.8 off the bat from Adames. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/uRekcKCj2P— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) May 22, 2019
Baez would leave the game with a right upper leg contusion, bringing in Scott Alexander to pitch. Alexander allowed back-to-back hits to allow runs two and three to score. Clayton Kershaw is credited with two earned runs and Baez with one.
Speaking of Kershaw, his outing earned him his fourth win of the season, preserving his undefeated record for another five days. He threw 6 1⁄3 innings and was credited with two earned runs. He struck out eight batters and allowed six hits.
Relievers Dylan Floro and Kenley Jansen each had scoreless outings to carry the lead through the end of the game. Helping out in Dylan Floro’s favor was centerfielder Alex Verdugo, who prevented a potential triple with a laser throw.
The main takeaway of the game: the Dodgers were able to do damage against the team with the best major league ERA (2.98) to show off their strength.
WP: Clayton Kershaw (4-0), 6 1⁄3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
LP: Hunter Wood (1-1), 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Stolen bases: Corey Seager (1), Max Muncy (3)
The Dodgers close out the two-game set in Tampa Bay by sending Rich Hill to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PDT.