Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed confidence Rich Hill would extend the success he’s had in July, and vouched for an offense that had gone quiet through the first two games against the Atlanta Braves. “We’re going to play well tonight,” Roberts said.
Sure enough, Corey Seager’s solo home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Dodgers an early lead. It was the first time in the series they’d struck first. Chase Utley’s solo home run in the third inning put the Dodgers ahead, 2-0.
It was a lead Hill managed to protect until the fifth inning. He retired the first five batters faced, including four by strike out. Back-to-back two-out singles in the second by Nick Markakis and Sean Rodriguez didn’t amount to anything.
Johan Camargo doubled and Freddie Freeman walked to put two on with two outs in the third, but both runners were then stranded by Matt Kemp. Hill was up to eight strikeouts through four scoreless innings.
Hill hit Julio Teheran with a pitch to start the fifth inning, which marked the beginning of the end for his shutout work. Camargo’s second double of the game put the tying runs in scoring position with one out.
Freeman scored Teheran on his groundout to second base, and Kemp’s line drive was out of Logan Forsythe’s reach and carried into left field for a game-tying RBI single.
Consecutive base hits by Yasmani Grandal and Forsythe put two on with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth and led to the Dodgers recapturing the lead in unusual fashion. A double play left Grandal at third base with Yasiel Puig batting.
He sent a dribbler up the third-base line that Teheran fielded and alertly threw to home plate. The ball beat Grandal but Tyler Flowers dropped it on his tag attempt. Hill retired Ender Inciarte to start the seventh inning, then gave way to Pedro Baez.
Even with allowing two runs for the first time since June 26, Hill’s ERA in his past six starts is 1.93 and he’s collected 52 strikeouts over 37.1 innings.
Chris Taylor, who entered along with Baez as part of a double switch, went opposite field for a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh and added a two-run triple in the eighth. With a 6-2 win the Dodgers avoided their first three-game losing streak since June 4-6.