Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. Defends Takeout Slide, Compares His Style Of Play To Dodgers’ Chase Utley
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite forcing extra innings and nearly pulling off a comeback win, the Los Angeles Dodgers ultimately dropped another game to the Arizona Diamondbacks in disappointing fashion.

Rich Hill only lasted four innings in his first start in nearly three weeks and put the loss on his shoulders. The Dodgers called upon J.T. Chargois to replace Hill in the fifth inning when some drama unfolded.

With a pair of Diamondbacks runners on first and second, Ketel Marte and Steven Souza Jr. attempted a double steal against Chargois. The latter slid hard into third baseman Max Muncy and ultimately knocked him down with the impact of the collision.

Souza was called out but the Dodgers immediately expressed their displeasure of his slide with yells from the dugout. Afterward, Dave Roberts said he felt that the 29-year-old was overly aggressive on the basepaths.

Souza later defended his slide into third base and clarified there wasn’t any attempt to injure Muncy and compared his play to Chase Utley, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“Chase Utley plays the game really hard,” Souza said. “I play the game really hard. I don’t see any difference in what he did to Nick and what I did there.

“We’ve got two teams that play really hard and these things happen,” Souza said. “I don’t think there’s any ill-will or anything.”

Souza additionally pointed out the resemblance of his slide to one of Utley’s last week when he went hard into the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed at second base.

It remains to be seen if any retaliation will take place in the finale on Wednesday, as the Dodgers look to salvage the brief two-game series with a split.