The Los Angeles Dodgers began a seven-game homestand with the first of four games against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers were coming off being swept in a three-game series by the San Francisco Giants, and a Dodgers victory would allow them to gain some ground on their idle rivals.
Los Angeles fell behind 3-0 in the third, but fought back to tie it on a Trayce Thompson three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning. They fell behind 6-3 in the fifth inning and clawed back to tie it in the sixth.
Then, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner needed to be separated after a heated exchange in the dugout between the top and bottom of the seventh inning. The confrontation stemmed from Grandal running into an out in the sixth, which nearly cost the Dodgers the game-tying run.
With runners on first and third base and one out, Justin Turner pinch-hit for Will Venable. Turner flied out to left, deep enough for Joc Pederson to tag and score from third with relative ease.
However, Grandal also attempted to tag and was thrown out at second base. The on-field call had Pederson scoring before the third out was recorded, and the ruling was upheld after review.
“It’s part of the game, it’s a long season and we’re all competitors. Sometimes you have differences of opinion,” Turner said of the exchange. “With one out, and the fly ball is the second out, what you don’t want to do is run into an out there. The run scored, so it didn’t really matter.”
The outburst was one Turner said have been few and far between during his time with the Dodgers. “It’s actually something that hasn’t happened too much in the three years I’ve been here. I’m not saying anyone is going looking for it,” he said.
“But things haven’t been going great for us all year. Bottom line is, we want to win games.” Grandal admitted to it being a baserunning mistake on his part; one of the few he’s made in recent seasons he pointed out.
“Your teammates want to make sure you play smart and the right way,” Grandal added. “I think we need to play with some fire. If we fight, we fight.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts supported Grandal’s initial attempt but called on the catcher to be more aware of the situation. “You’re trying to draw a throw to make sure the run from third base scores,” Roberts said.
“The ball should stop you. The ball went into second base and [Grandal] continued and it was a lot closer than it should have been. I applaud the effort and aggressiveness from Yas, but in that situation the ball tells you what to do.”
Roberts spoke to Grandal in the dugout to relay that same message. “When you play 162 games emotions come out. That’s baseball,” the rookie manager said.
Milwaukee took an 8-6 lead in the top of the ninth yet there the Dodgers were, fighting again. They loaded the bases with two outs and saw their final comeback attempt end on a Corey Seager strikeout. Their ability to climb back into games this season is a positive Turner highlighted in his postgame remarks.