The Dodgers and Giants played another close game, a regular feature of a rivalry that spans decades and multiple coasts. Friday night was no different, though definitely more thrilling than most. A low-scoring game evolved into a game of can you top this late, with the Giants scoring three in the 10th inning in an 8-5 win at Dodger Stadium.
Kenley Jansen started the 10th, and allowed a single to score the unearned, free runner. Then he walked a batter and gave up a double to Evan Longoria, confounding Sheldon Neuse, playing his first game in right field as a professional.
This is not to say Neuse might have caught it — Statcast estimated a .550 expected batting average — but it was a bad route.
Longoria’s double scored two, the first earned runs allowed by Jansen in May.
The Dodgers couldn’t muster a second three-run comeback in as many innings in the bottom of the 10th, but how the game got there was a wild ride.
A tie game in the eighth quickly got away from Blake Treinen, and Buster Posey’s three-run home run looking like it would surely hold up for the Giants.
Treinen struck out Mike Tauchman to begin the eighth, but then hit Lamont Wade Jr. with a pitch and walked Mike Yastrzemski, both reaching with two strikes. Posey followed by hitting the second pitch he saw from Treinen over the left field wall.
Posey is having a resurgent year, with 10 home runs in 34 games, hitting .336/.415/.622 with a 186 wRC+ that ranks fourth in the majors with at least 120 plate appearances. It was the second home run allowed by Treinen this season.
But it wasn’t even the last three-run home run to left field by a catcher in the game. Justin Turner and Will Smith each singled in the ninth against Tyler Rogers, then with two outs, pinch-hitter Austin Barnes followed with a three-run shot of his own.
Pinch-hit game tying homer! pic.twitter.com/yWL2MJMrqj— MLB (@MLB) May 29, 2021
It was the fifth extra-base hit for Barnes in his last eight games, and the first pinch-hit home run of his career.
“It’s staying within yourself and taking aggressive swings in the zone,” Barnes said. “I’m doing a better job of doing a little bit of damage to the baseball.”
Albert Pujols was up next, and had designs on his 669th home run, nearly hitting a walk-off home run in the ninth. But Tauchman had other ideas.
Tauchman takes back a walk-off! pic.twitter.com/gRCjUOqPFL— MLB (@MLB) May 29, 2021
“I thought Albert got it. The dugout was about to go crazy,” said Barnes. “It would have been fun.”
“Albert hit a homer,” said Walker Buehler. “It just so happened that guy jumped up and caught it.”
It was a surreal few minutes.
Buehler was fighting it most of the game — I’m only partially referring to his exchange with home plate umpire in the sixth after Buehler’s third walk of the night — and managed only five swing and misses on the night, none on his four-seam fastball.
“They found a way to kind of touch everything I was throwing,” Buehler said. “Kind of back to the drawing board. I feel good that we got out of it, but I’ve got to be better.”
Buehler did finish off two of his three strikeouts with his cutter, and only allowed a pair of runs. Brandon Crawford doubled, advanced on a Will Smith passed ball, and scored on a fly ball in the second, then Steven Duggar homered in the fifth.
San Francisco nearly managed two more runs off Buehler, on another would-be double by Crawford, a 103-mph drive with a .620 expected batting average per Statcast, but Yoshi Tsutsugo had other ideas, tracking the ball down with a leaping grab just shy of the warning track in left field.
Flutter jump from Yoshi! pic.twitter.com/sfxCYR9FbT— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 29, 2021
That catch ended Buehler’s night, pitching at least six innings for the 10th time in as many starts this season.
- Matt Beaty provided the Dodgers’ first run with his second home run of the season, a pop fly down the right field line just out of the reach of Yastrzemski.
- Turner matched a season high with three hits, done last on April 16.
- Mookie Betts was hitless in six at-bats, and popped out in three straight at-bats at one point. He had six infield pop-ups in 55 games all of last season. Dave Roberts said Betts will get a day off on Saturday to “recalibrate,” but will start the series finale on Sunday.
- Roberts said the Dodgers will send down two position players on Saturday when Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry are activated from the injured list. That keep the Dodgers active roster at 14 pitchers.
Home runs: Matt Beaty (2), Austin Barnes (2); Steven Duggar (3), Buster Posey (10)
WP — Tyler Rogers (1-0): 1 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs
LP — Kenley Jansen (0-2): ⅔ IP, 2 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv — Jarlin García (1): 1 IP, zeroes
Julio Urías starts Saturday afternoon (4:15 p.m., Fox), trying to extend what is already his career-high hitting streak to three games, facing Giants right-hander Logan Webb, who will be activated off the injured list after missing 10 days with a right shoulder strain.