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Opportunistic Dodgers take opener in Seattle

LA scored in 4 of last 5 innings on Friday

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Seattle Mariners Photo by Liv Lyons/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Bobby Miller struck out seven, Miguel Rojas and James Outman homered, and J.D. Martinez delivered a pair of insurance-run singles. The Dodgers bullpen did the rest, finishing off a 6-3 win over the Mariners on Friday night at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Miller relatively cruised through his first five innings, with his changeup and curve playing beautifully off his fastball. Eugenio Suárez got Miller for a solo home run in the fourth, but Miller allowed nothing else until some trouble in the sixth.

Miller allowed three runs in total, and his 5⅔ innings snapped a six-start streak of lasting at least six innings, matching the longest by a Dodgers pitcher this year.

That is right on Miller’s seasonal average in his 19 starts (5.65 innings), a mark topped only by Lance Lynn (5.88) on the staff, and a big reason why the Dodgers continue to count on Miller in bigger and bigger spots.

The Dodgers bullpen was active early, in the top of the fifth, but not because of Miller. It was to catch this Miguel Rojas home run.

Rojas, who turned around a 95.5-mph fastball from George Kirby, has four home runs this season, all of them since the beginning of August, hitting .279/.333/.450 over his last 36 games.

The Dodgers got a brief scare in the sixth when Will Smith was hit by a pitch on the right forearm, though the meeting with trainer Thomas Albert was brief and he remained in the game. The two were reunited shortly thanks to Max Muncy, who hit a ball into the right field corner that was scored a triple and brought home Smith easily.

After Muncy’s first triple of the year, Martinez singled him home for a 4-1 advantage. Martinez also delivered a two-out single to score Freddie Freeman for more insurance in the eighth.

Those runs were very much needed because, after allowing only four to reach base and one to score through the first five innings, Bobby Miller permitted three of the first four in the sixth inning to reach, and two of them scored. Another two-out single ended his night, but Caleb Ferguson got out of the frame without any further damage.

Ferguson, Brusdar Graterol, Ryan Brasier, and Evan Phillips kept the Mariners off the board the rest of the way, though it was hectic down the stretch.

Seattle had the tying run(s) on base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth. The latter came with a two-out infield single that glanced of Brasier’s glove, followed by Ty France hitting foul balls that were nearly tracked down but came out of the gloves of Jason Heyward and Muncy before getting hit by a pitch. But Brasier struck out Mike Ford looking to end the threat.

James Outman homered in the eighth inning for yet another insurance run, his 20th of the season. Outman is the 10th Dodgers rookie to hit 20 home runs in a season, and the first since Cody Bellinger in 2017.

The tying run merely came to the plate in the ninth with two hits off Evan Phillips, but he got Teoscar Hernández to end the game.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Miguel Rojas (4), James Outman (20); Eugenio Suárez (21)

WP — Bobby Miller (10-3): 5⅔ IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP — George Kirby (10-10): 6 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Sv — Evan Phillips (23): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout

Up next

These two teams are back at it again on Saturday (6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA). Clayton Kershaw, the other Dodger with a six-start streak of six or more innings, will be on the mound for the first time in 11 days for the Dodgers, while right-hander Bryce Miller starts for the Mariners.

The Dodgers’ magic number is now two to win the division. They can win the National League West on Saturday with a win plus a loss by the Giants, OR two Giants losses (they have a split doubleheader in Colorado) and a D-backs loss.