The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to successfully cool down one of baseball’s hottest teams in recent months with their 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
Despite having his start abruptly cut short in the sixth inning, Rich Hill was nevertheless solid in his return to the Oakland Coliseum. He allowed only three hits and two runs over 5.1 innings of work, but battled with command issues — yielding four walks on 98 pitches.
Hill was backed up, however, with a scoreless effort from the Dodgers bullpen. The combination of Dylan Floro, Scott Alexander, J.T. Chargois and Kenley Jansen compiled 3.2 shutout innings with six strikeouts to ensure a loss for the Athletics — snapping their six-game winning streak.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts highlighted the quartet of relievers and believes they have succeeded in recent high-leverage opportunities, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Guys are starting to take advantage of some opportunities,” Roberts said. “You look at where we’re using Floro – whether it be in the fifth inning, in the seventh inning, in some leverage spots – he’s really doing a great job. Chargois, ever since he came back from OKC, he’s been dominant. He’s throwing strikes and competing well. And Alexander is doing the same thing. Since he came up he’s been lights out – throwing strikes, getting the ball on the ground when he needs to. And Kenley, the last two outings it’s been good to see him be efficient and pitch to all the quadrants. They’re taking advantage. You see the confidence is starting to build with those guys.”
As Roberts points out, Floro has thrived in various roles since rejoining the Dodgers in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds last month. Across 12.2 innings pitched (11 games), he has posted a 2.13 ERA, 2.67 FIP and 0.47 WHIP with 9.9 strikeouts per nine.
Alexander and Chargois have also excelled after spending some time with Triple-A Oklahoma City to work out kinks earlier in the year. Jansen, of course, is in the midst of another All-Star caliber campaign despite uncharacteristic struggles in April.