The Dodgers and Rays had two hours of MLB exclusivity that is provided with a Sunday morning Peacock broadcast, and produced one of the wildest games of the year, won by the Rays 11-10 on Sunday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
It marked just the second loss for the Dodgers in their last 83 games when scoring 10 or more runs, since the start of the 2018 season.
Sunday in Florida gave us a combined 21 runs and 28 hits. The game had old friend Luke Raley robbing Freddie Freeman and Austin Barnes of extra-base hits with two outstanding catches in left field.
There was a single to left field that took a turf bounce over Chris Taylor’s head untouched for a triple. We saw two Dodgers non-tags at third base, giving them three during the series. The Rays stole five bases, giving them 10 in the series.
We also saw Trayce Thompson snapping out of his record slump in a big way.
Thompson entered Sunday in an 0-for-39 slump, the longest hitless string by a Dodgers non-pitcher in 114 years. He got his first start in a week, and capitalized. He singled in the second inning to snap the skid and drive in a run, his first hit since April 17.
He singled again in the third inning, and homered in the fifth, his first long ball since April 12.
Pitching woes continue
Just when it looked the Dodgers were coming out of the two-week morass of pitching hell, with four straight starting pitchers lasting at least five innings, Sunday dove headlong into scramble mode thanks to another short start by Gavin Stone.
The Dodgers rookie walked none and induced 15 swinging strikes, but those were the only two positives on Sunday for Stone. He allowed a run on three hits in the first inning, then in the second allowed a triple and double for one run, then allowed five straight two-out hits for a six-run frame.
Stone threw 37 pitches in second inning alone, which was his last. The short start necessitated five Dodgers relievers to cover the final six innings. In 13 games over the last two weeks, the Dodgers bullpen has thrown more innings (61⅓) than its starters (53⅓)
The right-hander has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 23 hits in 10 innings over his first three major league starts. But just as in his first two starts, Stone got a no-decision thanks to the Dodgers offense.
Dave Roberts said #Dodgers are going to reassess if Gavin Stone makes his next start in L.A. or OKC.— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) May 28, 2023
The Dodgers tied the game immediately after the six-run Rays second, with four runs of their own in the top of the third. The game was already 7-7 before LA’s second pitcher even entered the game.
Chris Taylor batted fourth on Sunday, the sixth time this season, all against left-handers, and for good reason. He homered against Rays southpaw Josh Fleming in both the second and sixth innings, and in between singled and walked. Taylor is hitting .250 against left-handers this season, but 10 of his 12 hits are for extra-bases, including seven home runs, giving him a .750 slugging percentage against lefties.
Despite getting robbed by Raley in the first inning, Freeman doubled in each of his next two at-bats. Freeman leads the majors with 22 doubles on the season, including two on both Saturday and Sunday. Freeman has a 17-game hitting streak, including 12 multi-hit games, hitting .441/.519/.809 during the streak.
J.D. Martinez homered in the sixth inning and also singled, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Since returning from the injured list on May 12, the Dodgers designated hitter has done just that, hitting .313 with six home runs, four doubles, and 18 RBI in 15 games.
Max Muncy homered for the second straight game, one of a season-high five home runs hit by the Dodgers on Sunday. But he also left the game in the third inning with a left hamstring cramp.
Fleming started for the Rays and made it through six innings, but left in a 10-10 tie. He’s just the 14th pitcher to allow double-digit runs to a Los Angeles Dodgers team. Fleming is the fourth such pitcher to allow 10 runs to the LA Dodgers in a no-decision. The other three — Dave LaRoche, Frank Pastore, and Eddie Oropesa — pitched in relief.
Ten stolen bases by the Rays marked the second series this season the Dodgers have allowed double-digit steals, along with giving up 12 steals from April 25-27 to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. On the season, the Dodgers’ 73 stolen bases allowed lead the majors, 20 more than the second-place White Sox.
James Outman didn’t start on Sunday but entered in the third inning after Muncy was hurt. Outman struck out in all three at-bats, taking the baton from Thompson in the slump relay. Outman is hitless in his last 20 at-bats, dating back to May 19, with 12 strikeouts.
Home runs: Chris Taylor 2 (9), Max Muncy (17), Trayce Thompson (5), J.D. Martinez (10); Isaac Paredes (8)
WP — Jalen Beeks (2-2): 1 IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
LP — Victor González (1-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run
Sv — Jason Adam (7): 2 IP, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
After a 4-6 road trip gauntlet, the Dodgers return home to host the Nationals for three games. Bobby Miller makes his Dodger Stadium debut on Monday night (6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with right-hander Trevor Williams starting for Washington.