Recap: Dodgers Lose To Blue Jays In Extra Innings

The Los Angeles Dodgers returned from a long road trip with a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in 11 innings, which cost them an opportunity to extend their lead in the National League West standings. It’s the Dodgers first time losing back-to-back games since falling to the Kansas City Royals from July 1-2.

Mookie Betts again got the Dodgers going early, with his leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning eventually being cashed in on Max Muncy’s RBI single. That not only gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, but it was their third hit within the first four batters.

José Berríos allowed two more baserunners in the second inning but largely settled in from there. That was until Jason Heyward connected for a solo home run in the fourth inning.

The homer was Heyward’s 10th of the season, which is more than he had for the Chicago Cubs the past two years combined. The veteran outfielder last was a power threat during the 2019 season, when he hit 21 home runs.

Michael Grove initially protected the Dodgers’ 2-0 lead by relying on steady dose of cutters and sliders. But the Blue Jays began to benefit from soft contact in the fifth inning and wound up chasing him from the game.

Three consecutive singles got the Blue Jays on the board, and Grove nearly kept them to just the one run as he induced a double play. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. kept Toronto’s rally going with a hard-hit ball that got by Chris Taylor for a game-tying RBI single that knocked Grove out of the game.

The six strikeouts Grove finished with tied for his second-most this season, which he’s now done in three games (two starts).

The game remained tied into the eighth inning, when Matt Chapman drove an inside fastball the other way for a go-ahead home run. Chapman’s heroics were short-lived, however, as Muncy tied the game with a 435-foot majestic blast to right field.

It gave Muncy a third consecutive game with a home run, which he’s also done in four of the last five, and his fifth consecutive contest with at least one RBI and one extra-base hit.

After neither team scored in the 10th inning, Chris Taylor’s throwing error in the 11th proved costly. A single loaded the bases and Daulton Varsho’s sinking line drive to right field got by Heyward’s sliding attempt for a two-run double.

Phil Bickford walked a third run in before he managed to get out of the inning.

The Dodgers fell to 3-4 in extra innings this season and have lost four such games in a row.

Did Michael Grove use sticky stuff in Dodgers game against Blue Jays?

A subplot to Grove beginning to struggle in the fifth inning was umpires instructing him to change pants. Prior to that point, Grove’s white pants appeared to have a small stained area alongside his right hip.

By the start of the fifth inning, after umpires conducted a sticky substances check, Grove was on the mound with clean pants.

While that fueled speculation of Grove possibly cheating, his velocities and spin rates were both down compared to season averages. Furthermore, it’s an area Grove regularly wipes his right hand, and where he continued to do so in the fifth inning.

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