With the Los Angeles Dodgers on the verge of turning to another bullpen game in place of Julio Urías’ spot in the starting rotation, they needed Michael Grove to be effective and provide some length in the series finale against the Chicago White Sox.
Grove was neither, as he gave up four runs and completed just five innings but was picked up by the bullpen and offense in the Dodgers’ 5-4 walk-off win in 11 innings. Grove ran into immediate trouble as Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez combined for back-to-back solo home runs in the first inning.
Grove responded to retie seven of the next nine batters faced, collecting four strikeouts in the process, but the Dodgers’ deficit remained 2-0 heading to the bottom of the third.
That grew in the fourth inning as Grove again gave up back-to-back home runs, with Jake Burger and Andrew Vaughn doing the damage. The home run was Burger’s third in two nights.
Dodgers pitchers hadn’t allowed three home runs in consecutive games since August 23 and 25, 2020, but they have now done so two separate times since June 2.
Dylan Cease largely kept the Dodgers in check before running into some trouble in the sixth inning. He was removed after allowing two hits in the sixth, though the Dodgers went on to load the bases and tie the game when Chris Taylor hit a grand slam on what was his 100th career home run.
The game remained tied until the 11th inning, when Freddie Freeman delivered a walk-off RBI single for his first hit of the night. That came after Mookie Betts ended a 12-pitch plate appearance with a walk to load the bases.
Dodgers bullpen responds
Having entered the night with the worst ERA in the National League and coming off a disappointing showing, the Dodgers bullpen turned in six scoreless innings.
Their stretch began with Shelby Miller completing two innings, aided by defensive plays from Miguel Vargas and Taylor. Yency Almonte bounced back from surrendering two home runs on Wednesday to retire the side in order in the eighth. Evan Phillips worked a clean ninth inning and got through the 10th.
Caleb Ferguson handled the 11th inning as the fourth and final relief pitcher the Dodgers needed to use.
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