Walker Buehler turned in a dominant start on his 27th birthday and the Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back from a deflating loss with an 8-0 shut out of the San Francisco Giants. The victory pulled L.A. back within two games of San Francisco for first place in the National League West.
Anthony DeSclafani avoided the first-inning pitfall he’d previously experienced against the Dodgers this season, but they wound up chasing him in the third. Chris Taylor’s walk and Max Muncy’s base hit led to Justin Turner giving L.A. a 1-0 lead on a slicing fly ball.
Will Smith followed that with a drive into Triples Alley and appropriately made it live up to its name with his three-base hit that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0. AJ Pollock continued his hot month of July with an RBI single, good for one of his three hits on the night.
After squandering opportunities to extend their lead, the Dodgers managed to do so in the seventh, beginning with Pollock scoring on a contact play when Buehler hit a chopper to third base and Curt Casali couldn’t field the throw at the plate.
Max Muncy then broke the game open with a two-run double off the wall in center field. Cody Bellinger tacked on another run for good measure with a solo homer in the eighth inning. The home run was Bellinger’s fifth his season and first since July 10.
Buehler held the Giants without a hit until Wilmer Flores’ two-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Darin Ruf led off the fifth inning with a base hit and Mike Yastrzemski singled in the sixth, but that was all Buehler allowed.
He finished with eight strikeouts over seven shutout innings and now has gone at least that long in three of five starts against the Giants this season. Buehler also joined Hideo Nomo as the only Dodgers pitchers to log a minimum of seven innings on his birthday.
Dodgers trade update
Wednesday’s game was played without much change on the trade front for the Dodgers. Along with the Giants they are believed to be a favorite to complete a Max Scherzer trade, and L.A. reportedly has made contact for Craig Kimbrel and other Chicago Cubs players as well.