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Bullpen stumbles again in latest walk-off loss

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Dodgers scored 36 runs in the three-game sweep against the Phillies last month at Dodger Stadium, but the Phillies got their revenge with a 5-4 walk-off win on a windy Friday night in Philly.

There was a lot of swinging and missing by the Dodgers’ bats against Ranger Suarez. The left-hander used his changeup effectively and struck out eight, retiring the last nine batters he faced.

Suarez took his sweet time to start the game, but the Dodgers’ bats were raring to go at 4:05 PM sharp. Freddie Freeman’s historic success against the Phillies continued with a first-inning double off Suarez.

J.D. Martinez drove in the first run of the game with a double to left field past a diving wet-haired Brandon Marsh.

Dave Roberts decided on Luis González as opener to counter Rob Thomson’s heavy lefty lineup. After González got through Bryce Harper, inducing a force out from the slugger, Roberts went to Michael Grove for the bulk of the game.

Old friend Trea Turner greeted Grove with a two-out single, but J.T. Realmuto flied out to DeLuca in center field for the third out.

A bright spot in the game was when Jonny DeLuca collected his first major-league base hit, a single to center field off Suarez in the second inning.

There was a reason Roberts didn’t want Grove to face Schwarber. Even with a bum knee, Schwarber hit a leadoff triple to center field which bounced past DeLuca. Harper singled to tie the game.

Suarez may have been slow to start the game on time, but he certainly stepped up his game against the Dodgers’ bats. He struck out the top of the Dodgers’ order for a 1-2-3 fifth.

The Phillies finally got to Grove in the bottom of the fifth. A single, a walk and a double netted the Phils the lead. A wild pitch allowed Schwarber to come in and score. Turner’s RBI single made it 4-1.

Roberts finally went to the bullpen with Philly’s left-handed hitters looming. It took Alex Vesia one pitch to retire Bryson Stott to end the fifth and the bleeding. It’s good to see Vesia’s season turning around. He struck out the side in order in the sixth inning and now has put together four consecutive scoreless outings.

Matt Strahm took over for Suarez in the seventh, and the Dodgers’ bats rejoiced. Mookie and Freddie hit back-to-back two-out home runs to tie the game 4-4. Mookie’s moonshot was of the two-run variety.

Jose Alvarado pitched around a leadoff Martinez double to preserve the tie in the top of the eighth. Martinez’s ball was hit off the center field wall, barely short of a tie-breaking homer. The aggressive wind, blowing in, took about 20 feet from Martinez on that.

Shelby Miller also stepped up for the Dodgers with two scoreless innings and struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth.

With one out away from getting the game to extras, Caleb Ferguson served up the walk-off home run to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Mookie Betts (17), Freddie Freeman (12), Kyle Schwarber (17)

WP — Gregory Soto (2-4): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

LP — Caleb Ferguson (3-2): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 1 run

Up next

Bobby Miller (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.76 WHIP) makes his fourth career start for the Dodgers when the flamethrower takes on Aaron Nola (5-4, 4.30 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) in the second game of the series in Philadelphia (1:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA).