Bobby Miller endured another rough start but the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied against the Houston Astros bullpen to come away with an 8-7 victory that has them in position to complete a series sweep on Sunday.
Home runs from Will Smith and Jason Heyward put the Dodgers up 3-0 in the first inning, and they would have scored more if not for Corey Julks robbing Mookie Betts of a leadoff shot. After Heyward’s homer, rookie starter Ronel Blanco proceeded to retire the next 12 batters in a row.
The stretch ended with a two-out walk of Michael Busch in the fifth inning, though L.A. couldn’t start a rally. By that point the Astros had pulled ahead behind a big inning.
It started with a base hit, walk and bunt single that loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth. Miller then gave up a grand slam to Alex Bregman, followed by a walk, double and RBI single before Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came with the hook.
The four-plus innings pitched were a career low for Miller, while the 10 hits allowed are his most in six starts.
Yency Almonte managed to stem off the Astros’ rally, but they added onto their lead against Ryan Brasier in the sixth inning with José Abreu’s sacrifice fly. That was the first run allowed by the Dodgers bullpen since the series finale against the Giants.
Their scoreless streak earlier in the weak played a part in the Dodgers tying an MLB record by recording back-to-back shutout wins for a 14th consecutive season.
In the midst of Phil Bickford collecting four strikeouts over two perfect innings, the Dodgers chipped away at their deficit.
David Peralta’s pinch-hit, two-run home run in the seventh inning cut their deficit to 7-5. Astros relief pitcher Bryan Abreu walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the eighth and gave up a sacrifice fly to Heyward and James Outman hit a game-tying RBI ground-rule double.
While it appeared that was going to prevent the Dodgers from potentially taking a lead, Ryne Stanek was called for a balk on a full count and with two outs, bringing in what held as the game-winning run.
After Stanek struck out Busch to end the inning, he shouted at home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez and turned to yell at second base umpire Junior Valentine as well. Valentine immediately ejected Stanek, and Astros manager wound up getting tossed by Gonzalez.
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