Dodgers News: Miguel Rojas Embraced ‘Do-Or-Die’ Trea Turner Play

The Los Angeles Dodgers have welcomed back several key contributors from the injured list and paternity leave in the last week, including Miguel Rojas, who returned to the lineup on Monday after missing 11 games due to a left hamstring strain.

Rojas has struggled offensively this season but continues to provide a steady glove at shortstop. The 34-year-old made his impact felt in the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies when he bare-handed a chopper and threw out the speedy Trea Turner for the second out in the ninth inning.

The Dodgers at the time were protecting a one-run lead, and though the Phillies would eventually even the score, Rojas’ highlight reel play helped set the tone. “Trea has a lot of speed, so I knew I didn’t have time to actually catch the ball with my glove and make the play,” Rojas explained.

“Kudos to the team and organization putting us in the right spots. It was kind of weird, because with ‘Bazooka’ on the mound, knowing he’s throwing the sinker, I was playing up the middle kind of, and that’s where the ball was hit. So it was an easy route.

“At the end of the day, I felt like it was a do-or-die play. I had to use the barehand, and I feel like I’ve been pretty good throughout my whole career bare-handing balls. So I’ve got no fear of trying to make that play.

“Those are the situations where you make a play like that, it gives a boost of energy to your pitcher. Unfortunately he couldn’t get through the inning, but this team is unbelievable the way we’ve been playing. Finding ways to get wins. So happy Muncy got a big hit there.”

Rojas, who no longer is the Dodgers’ everyday shortstop, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and hit a single off José Alvarado that wound up sparking a rally.

“The good thing is I’ve faced him a lot in my career and I have an idea of what he throws,” Rojas said.

“I just want to make sure he throws a strike. That’s why I took the first one, then I was able to lay off the really good slider, and he left one on the middle of the plate and I was able to put the barrel on it.

“I credit that to my at-bats against him. I know what he’s doing and what he’s trying to do to me.”

Miguel Rojas proud of Dodgers rally against José Alvarado

Rojas credited his Dodgers teammates for manufacturing the go-ahead run against one of the toughest left-handed relievers in the league. “They put him in the eighth. They were trying to win the game right there. I’m glad I got it going,” Rojas said.

“Outman, lefty against lefty, a great at-bat to hit the ball down the line. I think it’s a good team effort. He’s been one of the best relievers in the game and we were able to do what we did. I think that says a lot about what kind of club we want to be.

“We’re never going to say, ‘OK, this game is over.’ It’s never going to be over until we fight to the last out. Pretty happy and excited to be back, and really proud of the guys.”

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