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Chris Taylor starts the comeback, Freddie Freeman walks it off for Dodgers

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a deflating loss on Wednesday night, and an early hit conceding four solo shots to start the scoring on Thursday, the Dodgers found enough energy to mount a comeback. Chris Taylor’s grand slam in the sixth inning tied it, and Freddie Freeman’s fly ball single in the 11th ended it, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 walk-off win over the White Sox.

Freeman came up to bat with the bases loaded and no outs, needing only to put one into the outfield, and he did just that, with a deep fly to left-center which dropped in short of the track with no defender chasing, as it was too deep to even contemplate throwing someone out at home.

Groovy hours, for the White Sox, with Michael Grove on the mound

If you watched Michael Grove’s start against the Yankees back on June 3rd and missed this one, picture basically the same thing, and you won’t be that far off.

For the second time this month, Grove racked up seven strikeouts in a start, earning 18 whiffs on this particular outing. However, the right-hander once again got bit by the long ball, allowing four solo shots to up his June total to six, in 14 innings.

After getting the first two batters of the game on a groundout and lineout, Grove conceded back-to-back shots to Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez.

A few innings later, with the White Sox still leading 2-0, it was the turn for Jake Burger and Andrew Vaughn to go back-to-back to leadoff the fourth, both with screaming liners, with a launch angle of 19 and 20 degrees, respectively.

Beyond that, Grove was about as effective as one could have asked for, and that is somewhat evident in the fact that there was no one on for each of the homers he allowed, which could have completely changed the complexity of the game.

A late rally by the Dodgers offense allowed Grove to spit the hook, making this much like Wednesday’s affair, a game decided by the bullpens.

Facing right-hander Dylan Cease, a top-2 finisher in last year’s AL Cy Young race, the Dodgers’ offense was stifled through the first five frames, only managing a couple of hits, and with a zero on the board to show for it.

However, if nothing else they worked up Cease’s pitch count to the point he got the hook after a David Peralta single made it two on, and one out in the bottom of the sixth, with Miguel Vargas coming up. The White Sox starter left with 102 pitches over five and a third.

Reynaldo López was the first man out of the Sox bullpen, and in a high-leverage situation, things quickly went south for the reliever.

Vargas flew out, but James Outman fought through his massive slump just enough to hit a liner back up the middle. Interestingly enough, Dino Ebel opted to hold Will Smith at third, even with two outs, as Luis Robert came charging, leaving the bases loaded for Taylor.

The Dodgers’ third baseman saw a slider for a ball, swung through a high and away fastball, and then connected on a heater which leaked middle in, also up, hitting the Dodgers’ eighth grand slam of the season, and effectively tying up the score in swing, at 4-4.

Taylor became the fifth Dodger to hit a grand slam this season, joining Trayce Thompson, Max Muncy, James Outman, and Freddie Freeman, the latter three of which all did a couple of times.

In a sea of uncertainty, Evan Phillips carries this ‘pen on his back

After the Taylor Grand Slam tied the game, both bullpens held down the fort for a few innings, carrying the 4-4 tie into extras.

Phillips pitched a scoreless ninth, retiring all three batters he faced with a couple of strikeouts, but with most relievers having been used last night, and a high-leverage spot in the following frame, Dave Roberts went with his relief ace for a second inning of work.

Pitching with the ghost-runner, and the top of the order up, Phillips retired Tim Anderson, walked Gavin Sheets, and then punched out both Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez to keep the Sox from the scoreboard.

An eventful 11th inning gives the Dodgers the win

As both sides put up scoreless 10th innings, even with the ghost runner, the Dodgers got a second opportunity to score one and walk it off. You know what they say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, ...

Miguel Rojas was the first batter of the inning and had a check swing on a 3-1 count and clearly foul-tipped it into the glove, but the umps missed it and awarded him first on a non-reviewable play.

Mookie Betts then followed with a long 12-pitch at-bat which ended in a walk, setting up the table for Freddie Freeman to send us home with a deep fly into left-center as the White Sox had their outfield in.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: Chris Taylor (11), Luis Robert Jr. (17), Eloy Jiménez (7), Jake Burger (16), and Andrew Vaughn (9)

WP — Caleb Ferguson (4-3): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

LP — Garrett Crochet (0-1): 0 IP, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 2 walks,

Up next

The Dodgers will carry on this homestand with a three-game weekend series beginning Friday night (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), welcoming the Giants for the first time in Dodger Stadium in 2023.