Dodgers’ Justin Turner: MLB Extra Innings Rule ‘Wild’
Evan Longoria, Justin Turner
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Prior to MLB officially implementing a new extra-innings rule this season — putting a runner on second base with nobody out, a change that had been tested in the Minors — Justin Turner proposed ending such games with a home run derby.

He pitched playing a 10th inning under normal rules, then shifting to the home run hitting contests if a game extended beyond that. Turner’s idea was not slanted to give a team with impressive hitters, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers an edge, but rather to bring excitement.

It never gained much traction, and while the Dodgers have only played three extra-inning games this season, each has been filled with a twist. In the first, Edwin Rios hit the first ever leadoff two-run home run.

Then Max Muncy delivered the first sacrifice fly to lead off an inning as Chris Taylor had stolen third base. Turner found himself in the thick of things Tuesday night when he advanced to third base on a dropped pitch and scurried home when Joey Bart’s throw sailed into left field.

But the San Francisco Giants tied it in the bottom of the 10th. The following inning, Turner again gave the Dodgers a lead by leaping to avoid a tag, resulting in an RBI infield single.

“Probably the greatest hit in the history of MLB,” he joked after the game.

That too wasn’t enough as Dennis Santana surrendered a walk-off home run to Donovan Solano. “A lot of weird stuff happened tonight,” Turner said of the Dodgers’ 10-8 loss. “This extra innings stuff is kind of wild.

“It’s tough. Even a one-run lead, like you saw tonight, you can score without getting a hit. It definitely puts a lot of pressure on the defense and pitching staff. We just couldn’t shut them down.”

Dave Roberts frustrated

The Dodgers led 3-0 in the first inning, then 6-3 in the third, and were two outs from a win in the ninth when Brandon Belt hit a game-tying solo home run off Kenley Jansen.

The Giants became the second team in the Modern Era of MLB history to win a game despite trailing in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings.

“Our bullpen’s been great all year, so I’ll bet on those guys every night. We just weren’t able to shut the door,” Turner said.

Frustration was much more evident from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was not pleased with his team’s overall effort. “We didn’t do a lot of things right,” Roberts said.

“Which kept those guys in the ballgame and they found a way to walk us off.”

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