A Chase Utley leadoff double and Corey Seager RBI single gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the lead a mere two batters into Friday’s series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. In what no one could have predicted, the game went into the 16th inning and lasted over five hours.
The Dodgers outhit the Cardinals, 14-8, but were an abysmal 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base. After watching his teammates squander one opportunity after another, Justin Turner connected for a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning.
It was just the second homer Cardinals closer Seung-Hwan Oh allowed this season. Los Angeles handed the ball to Kenley Jansen, needing only three outs to pull within three games of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West.
After retiring Matt Adams and Yadier Molina, Jansen’s saw his first pitch to Jedd Gyorko lined into the left-field stands for a game-tying home run.
The Dodgers’ closer credited Gyorko for delivering and said he’s looking forward to another potential matchup, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“Nobody’s perfect,” he said. “He was a good hitter. I can’t beat myself up over stuff like that. Most of the time they can foul it back off and today he didn’t. You have to give credit to the hitter, too. Tomorrow’s another day and hopefully I can face him again.”
The blown save was Jansen’s fifth this season and second since the All-Star break. He converted 36 of 38 save opportunities last season. On top of failing to help the Dodgers cut into the Giants’ lead, Jansen’s inability led to an already-taxed bullpen shouldering even more of a load.
Los Angeles used seven actual relievers on the night, and an eighth pitcher in Bud Norris. Five pitchers were used from the 10th to the 16th inning, with Norris surrendering a walk-off solo home run to Adams.