With two runners on and the Los Angeles Dodgers holding a three-run lead in the eighth inning, Kenley Jansen was called upon for a four-out save. If would mark the fourth such save for Jansen this season.
What began under a semi-familiar circumstances took a turn and finished as a historic night for the right-handed closer. Jansen struck out J.T. Realmuto on four pitches to strand the runners.
His spot in the order came up two on and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jansen hit a chopper toward first base that skipped off Justin Bour’s glove and went for an infield single. The hit was Jansen’s second of his career, and first in two plate appearances this season.
“Second Major League hit, but we still saved the baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said postgame.
The Dodgers pushed across two runs, giving Jansen a 7-2 lead heading to the ninth. It was more than enough of a cushion, as he struck out the side on nine pitches, completing an immaculate inning.
Jansen became the 79th player in MLB history to throw an immaculate inning. He’s the first Dodgers pitcher to do so since Todd Worrell in August 1995.
“Nine pitches, three punch outs. Very focused,” Roberts said. “That was special.”
Jansen wasn’t aware of an immaculate inning until informed of it following Thursday’s win. “That was special,” he said.
Jansen this season has 32 strikeouts to zero walks in 16 innings pitched.