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Dodgers find gold at the end of the rainbow

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LA offense pours it on after the rain delay

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

A rain delay changed the tenor of the series opener at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, with the Dodgers finding their way around the bases often to beat the Phillies 5-0 on Tuesday night.

No runs were scored in the game until just after 10 p.m. ET, roughly around the time a night game would start at Dodger Stadium. Both teams were held back by rain, and by magnificent starts by Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer.

Both pitchers faced 12 batters and allowed no runs. Nola struck out seven, Scherzer struck out six. Scherzer allowed three singles, Nola just one. But the pitchers’ duel wasn’t meant to be, halted by a rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning, a break that lasted one hour, 44 minutes.

On one hand, having to use much more of the bullpen than planned in a Scherzer start, the first contest in a stretch of 13 straight days with a game, was unwelcome, especially with another bullpen game or fill-in start planned for Thursday.

The flip side was not having to face Nola, an opportunity on which the Dodgers immediately pounced once the skies cleared. Corey Seager, whose 108.6-mph line-drive single off the right field wall was the only hit off Nola, greeted reliever J.D. Hammer in the fifth inning with an opposite-field home run to open the scoring.

After the Dodgers tacked on a run in the sixth against Matt Moore, Seager followed with a double to put a pair of runners in scoring position and chase the left-hander. AJ Pollock singled up the middle to score both for a 4-0 advantage.

Much of the concern before the gameand rightfully so — regarded Justin Turner, who is out for the series with a groin injury, and Mookie Betts, who was a late scratch with hip discomfort. Both could end up on the injured list in the coming days.

But the Dodgers still in the lineup are still pretty good, too.

Trea Turner had two hits, including a double, and scored rather easily on a hard-hit liner to right field, complete with a memorable slide.

“I try not to hit the ground very hard, because it usually doesn’t feel great. I’m trying to be as soft as I can, whether I’m going headfirst or feet first, and obviously avoid tags,” Turner explained. “It’s basically how I’ve slid my whole life.”

Will Smith had two hits with runners in scoring position, though one of them didn’t score a run since a pitcher was on second base (more on that below). Smith, batting third for the first time this season and the seventh time in his career, has 20 runs batted in since the All-Star break, in 18 games.

Pollock has at least one hit in each of his last 24 starts, and he followed up his scorching July with 12 hits in 27 at-bats in August, hitting .444/.464/.704 with five extra-base hits and eight RBI in seven games this month.

Max Muncy provided some insurance with a second-deck home run in the ninth inning, his first home run since July 19. That snapped a string of 13 games and 65 plate appearances in between long balls.

Notes

  • Corey Knebel, fresh off the injured list, made his first major league appearance in 109 days, facing four batters in the sixth inning. He allowed a walk and an infield single before striking out Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto.
  • Justin Bruihl, who made his major league debut on Sunday, got Brad Miller to ground out to extinguish that sixth-inning rally, then recorded two more outs in the seventh. In between, Bruihl batted for the first time in the majors, and walked on five pitches. Bruihl’s only other career plate appearance in college or the minors came earlier this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, when he walked and scored on July 9 at El Paso.
  • Six Dodgers relievers combined to record the final 17 outs, including nine by strikeout. They allowed two hits, and three walks.
  • The last of those relievers was Conner Greene, who made his Dodgers debut one day after getting claimed off waivers. Greene, who worked around a single to pitch a scoreless ninth, is the 33rd Dodgers pitcher used this season, extending the franchise record. The major league record is 42 pitchers used in a season, held by the 2019 Seattle Mariners.

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: Corey Seager (5), Max Muncy (23)

WP — Alex Vesia (2-1): 1⅔ IP, 1 hit, 4 strikeouts

LP — J.D. Hammer (1-1): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Up next

These two teams are back at it Wednesday night (4:05 p.m. PT; SportsNet LA, ESPN), with David Price starting for the Dodgers against Phillies trade deadline acquisition Kyle Gibson.