Freeway Series Recap: Dodgers Bullpen Nearly Squanders Lead

What was a pitchers’ duel early between Clayton Kershaw and Dylan Bundy turned into a wild offensive slugfest that saw the Los Angeles Dodgers hang on for a 14-11 win over the L.A. Angels to set the stage for a Freeway Series rubber match.

Bundy was perfect through three innings, only to lose his command and be let down by shaky defense. After Mookie Betts’ leadoff walk, Corey Seager singled and Max Muncy broke up the scoreless tie with an RBI base hit.

Will Smith doubled the Dodgers’ lead with a single of his own, and Matt Beaty’s two-run double knocked Bundy out of the game. An intentional walk of Gavin Lux to load the bases backfired as David Fletcher couldn’t handle a ball off Austin Barnes’ bat.

The Dodgers’ eight-run inning was capped off by Betts beating the shift with a soft two-run single through the right side of the infield and Seager’s swinging bunt.

With two on and two outs in the sixth inning, the Dodgers strung together a rally on RBI singles by Betts and Seager, and Justin Turner’s run-scoring double. Betts finished the night with a game-high four RBI.

Kershaw also didn’t allow a baserunner until the bottom of the fourth inning, when David Fletcher led off with a single. Mike Trout’s base hit put two on with one out, but Kershaw worked out of the small jam by inducing Justin Upton into an inning-ending double play.

Nothing came of a leadoff walk in the fifth, and that marked the end of Kershaw’s night. Heading into the start on short rest, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he would be slightly more cautious in monitoring his workload.

Kershaw was unsuccessful in his attempt to lobby to remain in the game, and the performance of the bullpen certainly magnified Roberts’ decision. Dennis Santana and Mitch White combined to allow four runs before getting through the sixth, and Barnes’ two-out error in the seventh spelled more trouble.

It led to six unearned runs and seven overall as the Angels suddenly made a game of it late. Victor Gonzalez stabilized matters for the Dodgers in the eighth inning and Blake Treinen converted the save without issue.

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