After suffering multiple collapses over the weekend at Coors Field, the Los Angeles Dodgers returned home with a clean slate for the start of a new series with the San Francisco Giants.
Clayton Kershaw looked to play stopper and was fittingly brilliant on National Left-Handers Day. He allowed just one run in a season-high eight innings against San Francisco and brought Los Angeles within three outs of reclaiming a tie for first place in the National League West.
With a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, Scott Alexander was tasked with notching his would-be third save of the season and turning the bullpen’s fortunes around. As was the case on Saturday, however, he failed to do so in yielding four hits and four runs (three runs) over 0.2 innings of work.
The Giants went on for a 5-2 victory that and extended the Dodgers’ losing streak to four games in the process. It marked the second time in three days in which the club relinquished a lead with two outs in the ninth inning.
Despite seeing another win slip away, Kershaw remains confident the Dodgers bullpen can step up in the absence of closer Kenley Jansen, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“Kenley has big shoes to fill,” Kershaw said. “We know that. This is a very talented group, guys that we trust and guys that have our backs all season. Scott is going to be just fine. Come the ninth inning tomorrow, whoever it may be, we have good faith that they’re going to get the three outs we need.”
In the wake of another disappointing outcome, the Dodgers remain a mere one game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the standings. That’s nothing short of unprecedented, considering the club’s injury woes and current 3-7 stretch over their last 10 games.
In a more positive development, Jansen spoke to reporters before Monday’s loss and expressed confidence that he may be able to return to the mound much sooner than anticipated.