Pedro Baez Implodes, Dodgers Lose 3rd Straight Game
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw yet another slim lead vanquish with Pedro Baez on the mound, as he allowed four runs to the Philadelphia Phillies in the seventh inning. The Dodgers’ 6-2 loss prevented them from taking matters into their own hands in terms of moving closer to clinching the National League West.

Despite facing the bottom of the Phillies lineup, Baez’s trouble began immediately. J.P. Crawford led off with a triple and Jorge Alfaro was hit by a pitch. Pinch-hitter Maikel Franco provided a small reprieve for Baez by popping up the first pitch he saw.

After a walk loaded the bases, Curtis Granderson made a sliding catch on a slicing fly ball to shallow right field, and popped to his feet to throw home. He was aided by Crawford’s lapse in judgement as he came off the bases before Granderson made the catch and was forced to retreat.

Crawford’s failure to tag ultimately proved a moot point. Baez walked in the tying run, then surrendered a three-run, go-ahead double to Rhys Hoskins. It was then that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts finally came with the hook for his embattled reliever.

Tony Cingrani struck out Nick Williams to stop the bleeding. Brock Stewart surrendered a solo home run to Aaron Altherr in the eighth.

Prior to the meltdown, the Dodgers clung to a 2-0 lead thanks to Yasmani Grandal and Granderson, both of whom have slumped at the plate.

Grandal led off the third inning with an opposite-field home run that gave the Dodgers six players with at least 20 homers in a single season for the first time in franchise history. The previous record of five players was set in 1979 and tied in 2000.

Following a Cody Bellinger one-out single in the fourth inning, Granderson lined an RBI double into right field. The extra-base hit was Granderson’s first with the Dodgers that was not a home run.

That was all Phillies ace Alex Nola allowed in his seven innings of work. He induced pinch-hitter Alex Verdugo into a double play to strand two runners in the seventh.

Yu Darvish didn’t have the same sharpness or efficiency seen in his last start, and it eventually caught up to him. In identical fashion to Clayton Kershaw the night prior, Darvish didn’t face a situation with two runners on until the sixth.

Whereas Hoskins drew a walk against Kershaw to load the bases, he worked the count full on Darvish and pulled an RBI single into left field. That marked the end of the night for the right-hander at 97 pitches.

Darvish did reach 200 strikeouts on the season, marking a third season he’s done so and the first since 2013. During that season with the Texas Rangers, Darvish collected a career-high 277 strikeouts.

Tony Watson was in hot water after a soft infield single loaded the bases for Aaron Altherr. But rather than hit a second grand slam in as many games, he grounded into an inning-ending double play. Escaping the jam ultimately proved futile.