Clayton Kershaw exited with the Los Angeles Dodgers trailing but they got to the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen and hung on for a 6-5 comeback win that snapped their two-game losing streak. The Dodgers have not lost three games in a row since April 7-9.
Kershaw’s return from the bereavement list was a mixed bag of results. He was sharp early and stranded runners at the corners in the third inning to keep the Dodgers’ 1-0 lead.
After the Dodgers went up 3-0, a leadoff walk and one-out double in the bottom of the fourth wound up leading to Manuel Margot getting the Rays on the board with his two-run base hit.
Harold Ramírez hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning that put the Rays ahead 5-4. That also gave Tampa Bay 100 home runs on the season, which they didn’t reach last season until August.
The Rays lead the Majors in both home runs and stolen bases this season, and are on track to be the first team to do so since the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.
While slugging and stealing bases have been areas of strength for the Rays, their bullpen remains a weakness. Tyler Glasnow allowed three runs on five hits and collected eight strikeouts over 4.1 innings in his 2023 debut.
The bulk of that damage was done by Max Muncy on a solo home run and RBI double. Muncy then scored his third run on a wild pitch.
However, the Dodgers found themselves trailing in the seventh inning until Miguel Rojas singled and took second base on a wild pitch before coming home on Mookie Betts’ base hit.
Betts then stole second base and scored easily on Freddie Freeman’s second double of the game. Freeman’s first double extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
Miguel Vargas provided what ended up holding as the game-winning run on a solo home run in the eighth inning. The homer was Vargas’ fifth this season, of which four have come in the month of May.
Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips and Caleb Ferguson combined to pitch four scoreless innings to wrap up the Dodgers’ win. Phillips handled the eighth and recorded an out in the ninth inning before Ferguson came on.
Ferguson allowed a two-out RBI single to Wander Franco but ended the game with runners at the corners.
Kershaw finished with a no-decision but avoided losing his third start in a row, which would have been a first since August 25-September 6, 2019 (New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants).
Dodgers eye series win
Their come back set the stage for a rubber match on Sunday to end the Dodgers’ season-long road trip. A win in the series finale would additionally give the Dodgers a .500 record in the stretch of 10 games on the road.
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