Kenley Jansen blew his sixth save of the season but the Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged another strong outing from Walker Buehler by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, for their 11th walk-off win.
Max Muncy delivered the game-winner with a solo home run in the 10th inning off Blue Jays reliever Tim Mayza to win it.
Facing an opener for a second consecutive night, the Dodgers struggled to find much success. “There’s some challenges to it. Fortunately, understanding how far, what limits their pitchers potentially have and who’s going to take the bulk of the innings makes it easier,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of facing a team that utilizes the strategy.
“As well as having guys in your lineup that can handle both. I expect Godley to take the majority of the innings tonight. We’ve got some familiarity with Wilmer Font, so we’re in a good place.
“It’s a lot easier when you’re familiar with Wilmer and Godley, who we faced many times over. The familiarity helps, but I think with a four-man bench you don’t want to hit too early and shorten your bench. That’s something I definitely think about and looking at splits helps.”
After Wilmer Font collected four strikeouts over two scoreless innings against his former team, Buddy Boshers worked around a walk in the third before surrendering the homer to Will Smith. His drive down the left-field line began to hook but hit off the foul pole to break the scoreless tie.
Chris Taylor nearly added to the lead as he followed Smith’s home run with a ball to the right-center field gap that got by Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk. Although they collided, Grichuk regained his balance and started a relay to nab Taylor at home plate, preventing the proverbial Little League home run.
The Dodgers were unsuccessful in their challenge Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire illegally blocked the plate.
With just the one run to work with, Walker Buehler bounced back from a subpar outing at Marlins Park. He faced some trouble throughout the night but worked out of it to complete seven shutout innings.
Of course, that Buehler again was dominant at Dodger Stadium should hardly come as a surprise. He entered the night 5-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 11 home starts this season.
Toronto did manage one single in each of the first three innings, and also had Grichuk double with two outs during the final frame of that stretch. Buehler escaped the jam by getting Rowdy Tellez swinging for one of his eight strikeouts on the night.
That started a string of 11 consecutive batters retired, which was snapped on Billy McKinney’s ground-rule double with one out in the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly advanced McKinney — the tying run — to third base, where he was stranded when McGuire struck out.
Joe Kelly made quick work of the Blue Jays in the eighth inning and Jansen started the ninth with a strikeout. He nearly got Rowdy Tellez on a pitch in the dirt but the foul tip was followed by surrendering a game-tying home run on the next pitch.
The save opportunity was Jansen’s first since he blew one to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 9.