The Los Angeles Dodgers, who entered Thursday looking for a sweep, allowed the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies to slip out of their hands.
Home runs Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal ensured the Dodgers held a lead for much of the game, but they were unable to hold the Phillies off. Despite taking a lead into the seventh inning, the Dodgers’ otherwise proven bullpen faltered.
Dave Roberts elected to remain with Grant Dayton after the rookie ended the sixth inning with a strikeout. Dayton gave up a leadoff single, followed by a go-ahead home run to Maikel Franco that proved to be the difference.
Roberts explained his decision to stick with Dayton to face the right-handed hitting Franco by pointing to Ryan Howard due up next.
With his decision backfiring, Roberts expressed disappointment in dropping a game that easily could have been won, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
“That’s a game that leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” Roberts said. “It’s a win that we had late. We played well enough to win.”
Although Dayton gave up the go-ahead hit, the Dodgers offense didn’t do Stripling or their bullpen any favors. Phillies pitchers combined to retire the last 10 batters faced, with Howie Kendrick the last to reach base — on an intentional walk in the sixth.
That same inning the Dodgers squandered an Adrian Gonzalez leadoff double, which was one of just two hits after Grandal’s solo home run in the fourth.