Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Played Matchups In Sticking With Grant Dayton
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Having taken control of first place in the National League West with back-to-back victories against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to complete a three-game sweep Thursday.

Their offense had feasted on Phillies pitching, and Justin Turner provided an early lead by hitting a moonshot for a three-run homer in the first inning. Yasmani Grandal slugged a solo homer in the fourth, but the Dodgers eventually failed to maintain their lead.

Los Angeles was ahead, 4-3, when the seventh inning began. After striking out Odubel Herrera to end the sixth, Grant Dayton remained in the game.

The rookie left-hander has been a pleasant surprise out of the Dodgers’ bullpen, making the most of his opportunities in his second stint in the Majors.

If not for facing the Phillies, Dayton’s stat line would be spotless. While he threw 1.1 scoreless innings on Wednesday, Dayton didn’t fare as well in the series finale.

Freddy Galvis led off the seventh with a base hit, and Dayton was allowed to face Maikel Franco, who hit a go-ahead home run that proved to be the difference.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained his decision to stick with Dayton against the right-handed hitting Franco, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

“It’s one of those situations where you’ve got to make a decision,” Roberts said. “For me, Grant’s been throwing the ball well enough. …That’s one of those decisions where you’ve got to pick your poison.

“In one situation, I’ve got two out of three matchups I like. In the other, I’ve got one out of three. I’ll take my chances.”

Dayton retired Ryan Howard after giving up the home run, then was replaced by Joe Blanton. The right-hander recorded the final two outs to end the inning.

Dayton has allowed five hits, three runs and has 15 strikeouts over 10 innings pitched in seven relief appearances. Two of hits are home runs, both of which were surrendered to the Phillies. Galvis tagged Dayton for a go-ahead, three-run homer on Aug. 10.

Though, two of the runs scored in that instance were charged to Scott Kazmir.