The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t get out of their own way early but strung together a five-run rally in the fifth inning that propelled them to a xx-xx win over the Houston Astros. It was the first meeting between the two teams since MLB found the Astros guilty of electronically stealing signs en route to winning the 2017 World Series.
There were assertions from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts that there wouldn’t be any carryover from that, benches cleared in the sixth inning after Joe Kelly struck out Carlos Correa on a slider in the dirt.
Prior to that, Kelly had struggled with his command. A fastball sailed over Alex Bregman’s head for ball four, and he brushed back Yuli Gurriel and Correa with multiple breaking balls. Upon striking out Correa, Kelly made faces at the Astros’ shortstop, who shouted back in his direction.
Benches cleared and both teams were warned, then the game carried on without issue. At that point the Dodgers held what wound up being a decided lead. However, getting there was a bit of an uphill battle.
A best-case scenario had Walker Buehler going five innings and 75 pitches in his 2020 debut, which coincided with celebrating a 26th birthday. He appeared to be well on his way to reaching that target, retiring 11 of the first 12 batters faced.
But Buehler seemingly began to fatigue in the fourth and never made it through the inning. He threw six consecutive balls at one point, walking a batter and allowing an RBI single prior to being lifted. Buehler exited with the Dodgers in a 2-0 deficit.
Correa was responsible for the damage, slugging a home run and adding an RBI single off Buehler.
After four innings of making hard contact but having nothing to show for it, L.A. began to break through against Framber Valdez and took advantage of getting into a young Astros bullpen.
Corey Seager beat the shift with an opposite-field single in the fifth, which was then followed by base hits from AJ Pollock and Kiké Hernandez. Mookie Betts walked with the bases loaded to cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half.
Andre Scrubb replaced Enoli Paredes, but the Dodgers continued to go station to station with RBI base hits from Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. Chris Taylor’s walk with the bases loaded capped off the five-run inning.
Kelly’s erratic performance was followed by dominant showings from Caleb Ferguson and Blake Treinen in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively. Kenley Jansen then shut the door in the ninth for his first save of the season.
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