Runs initially were at a premium for two of the top offenses this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t get going until the middle innings of a 9-2 victory that extended their winning streak to a season-high-tying eight games.
The game was the first this season with Minute Maid Park opened to full capacity. Though the crowd was nearly split as the 34,443 announced attendance featured an estimated 40% Dodgers fans. They directed plenty of vitriol toward the Astros, and made their presence felt on Turner’s blast.
Zack Greinke retired the first nine batters faced before issuing a leadoff walk to Mookie Betts in the fourth inning. Turner then followed with a drive to right-center field for his first home run since May 4.
It was hit to nearly the identical spot as Turner’s fly ball in the first inning that was caught deep in the gap. That the homer came off Greinke was also ironic due to Turner previously crediting him for advice on a batting stance.
Greinke settled back in to retire the next six batters, only to run into trouble when Turner sparked a two-out rally in the sixth inning. His base hit was followed by walks from Max Muncy and Will Smith, and Chris Taylor then blooped a two-run single into center field.
More insurance came across in the seventh inning when Gavin Lux scored on a wild pitch, again when the Astros issued three straight walks with the bases loaded in the eighth, and on a fielder’s choice in the ninth.
Kershaw quiets Astros
As Greinke was keeping the Dodgers at bay early, Clayton Kershaw matched that effort by not allowing a baserunner until Kyle Tucker’s one-out double in the fourth inning. Tucker advanced to third base on a grounder, where he was stranded.
The Astros’ next man to reach was Martín Maldonado on a base hit with one out in the sixth inning. Nothing came of that as well, but Alex Bregman broke up Kershaw’s shutout with a leadoff home run in the seventh.
That was the lone run Kershaw allowed as he went 7.2 innings, good for his longest start since Aug. 25, 2018. He needed just 81 pitches and struck out six.
Joe Kelly retired Jose Altuve to end the eighth inning, and Phil Bickford allowed two base hits that led to a run scoring on an error in the ninth before finishing out the win.
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